A large component of solid waste management and reduction are yard trimmings and food residuals, which together constitute 24 percent of the U.S. municipal solid waste stream. 

How Can Composting Be Used?

Compost can: 

  • Suppress plant diseases and pests.
  • Reduce or eliminate the need for chemical fertilizers.
  • Promote higher yields of agricultural crops.
  • Facilitate reforestation, wetlands restoration, and habitat revitalization efforts by amending contaminated, compacted, and marginal soils.
  • Cost-effectively remediate soils contaminated by hazardous waste.
  • Remove solids, oil, grease, and heavy metals from stormwater runoff. 
  • Capture and destroy as much as 99.6 percent of industrial volatile organic chemicals (VOCs) in contaminated air. 

        Finished compost can be applied to lawns and gardens to help condition the soil and replenish nutrients. Compost, however, should not be used as potting soil for houseplants because of the presence of weed and grass seeds.

What To Compost:

  • Cardboard rolls
  • Clean paper
  • Coffee grounds and filters
  • Cotton rags
  • Dryer and vacuum cleaner lint
  • Eggshells
  • Fireplace ashes
  • Fruits and vegetables
  • Grass clippings
  • Hair and fur
  • Hay and straw
  • Houseplants
  • Leaves
  • Nut shells
  • Sawdust
  • Shredded newspaper
  • Tea bags
  • Wood chips
  • Wool rags
  • Yard trimmings
  • Animal Manure

What Not To Compost:

  • Black walnut tree leaves or twigs - Releases substances that might be harmful to plants.
  • Coal or charcoal ash - Might contain substances harmful to plants.
  • Dairy products (e.g., butter, egg yolks, milk, sour cream, yogurt) - Create odor problems and attract pests such as rodents and flies.
  • Diseased or insect-ridden plants - Diseases or insects might survive and be transferred back to other plants.
  • Fats, grease, lard, or oils - Create odor problems and attract pests such as rodents and flies.
  • Meat or fish bones and scraps - Create odor problems and attract pests such as rodents and flies.
  • Pet wastes (e.g., dog or cat feces, soiled cat litter) - Might contain parasites, bacteria, germs, pathogens, and viruses harmful to humans.
  • Yard trimmings treated with chemical pesticides - Might kill beneficial composting organisms.

Want to learn about how you can create your own compost?
Check out Environmental Protection Agency's steps on how to create your own compost as well as making indoor compost! For more information on composting in Oklahoma, visit: