Composting - Hey, That's Not Garbage!

10/01/2010
You might be surprised at what you can add to your compost pile, as composting goes much farther than just grass clippings and veggie scraps, and sometimes throwing dead leaves in. I was really surprised to come across some of the things that you can add to your composting pile, and not only will your plants benefit from these added nutrients but landfills will fill up more slowly.

Some of these things are basically common sense, but some of them made me go 'woah, really?'. Freezer Burnt Fruits/Veggies. These make good compost, because after all, once they thaw out they'll start decomposing just like any other fruit or veggie. Pet Hair. This also composts well, and if you put it in the compost pile it'll help get rid of some allergy triggers in your home and possibly help you breathe better!
Also:

Wood chips
Bee droppings
Lint from behind refrigerator
Hay
Popcorn (unpopped, 'Old Maids,' too)
Freezer-burned fish
Old spices
Pine needles
Leaves
Matches (paper or wood)
Hops
Chicken manure
Weeds
Rabbit manure
Hair clippings
Stale bread
Coffee grounds
Wood ashes
Sawdust
Tea bags and grounds
Shredded newspapers
Egg shells
Cow manure
Alfalfa
Any plant kitchen wastes, like apple cores, cucumber or carrot peelings, expired lettuce, etc.

These can all be very beneficial to compost piles, especially since most people mix their compost in with their garden soil. You'll add calcium with egg shells (You can also dry these out and crush them up very finely and feed them to your chickens to supply more calcium and help them lay harder-shelled eggs), proteins from the manures and hair clippings, etc.

There are more 'what?' inducing compostables, such as

Paper napkins
Burlap coffee bags
Post-it notes
Kleenex tissues
Elmer's glue
Q-tips
Greeting card envelopes
Vacuum cleaner bag content

You'll want to make sure you turn the pile every day or every other day to prevent seeds from taking root and growing out of your pile. Also, you might want to make sure dogs or other animals can't get into the pile. This can be achieved by driving a post into the ground on each side of your pile and stretching  chicken wire or similar fencing around it. Simple, cost-effective and it works. And, if you have  a problem with animals like Raccoons climbing in, keep an extra piece of fence to put over the top at night.