My Green Chapter: What not to Compost

So you’ve started on this incredible journey in composting and are absolutely delighted that you have managed to minimize food waste by throwing everything and anything into your compost mix.  Fresh, frozen, cooked or uncooked are all foods created equal when it comes to composting? There are some do’s and dont’s when it comes to ditching food waste so read on for the rules to make composting as easy as it gets.

  1. Foul Odors: Composting certain foods such as meats (cooked or raw) and dairy products isn’t recommended due to the smell it generates. The high temperatures in the UAE add to this problem so we suggest as a rule, meat and dairy should not be composted.  
  2. High Temperature Required: Certain foods require high levels of heat to destroy various harmful bacteria and breakdown different fats and protein. In order to achieve these levels, careful maintenance and sound knowledge is required.
  3. Pests: The addition of meats has a high chance of attracting unwanted guests such as house and/or fruit flies, insects, bugs and rats. Once these pesky pests come into the picture, a whole new set of problems arises. Avoid this situation altogether and adhere to the no meat and dairy rule.
  4. Unwanted results: There is a chance that your compost will end up as mushy rot due to the addition of meats. The slimy mush is a byproduct of an interfered decaying process caused by the build-up of anaerobic bacteria. This bacteria harms the production of well-balanced compost and can also result in foul smells.    

So far, we mainly discussed the importance of avoiding meats for your compost pile. However, meats are not the only products you should be avoiding. We’ve compiled a list of products to avoid as a helpful guideline.

  1. Diseased plants: Simple explanation, place a sick person in a room full of healthy people and most likely more people are likely to come down with the illness. Same goes for plants.
  2. Cooking Oil: Cooking oil not only attracts unwanted pests but it also increases the time it takes to complete the decomposing process. The level of moisture in the compost has been known to alter due to the addition of oil.
  3. Dairy products: It’s best to avoid adding dairy products such as yogurt, butter, cheese and milk and these tend to invite unwanted pests.
  4. Animal feces: Any form of feces (unless it belongs to a non-carnivorous animal) is dangerous as this poses a health risk. This includes the excreta from your pet dog or cats as it can contain parasites or pathogens that are extremely harmful to humans.
  5. Heavily printed paper: The colors and print contains harmful substances for your plants. Do your plants a favor and avoid adding items that include newspapers, magazines or wrapping paper.
  6. Large bones and seafood shells: It's best to avoid composting large bones and shellfish all-together as the smell is a magnet for unwanted pests.

P.O. Box 26132 - Dubai, UAE

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