Can Bread be composted?
Well, when it comes to home composting, nowadays people have three major options at hand.
If they don’t go for the compost pile they will either go for the trash pile or the recycle bin.
For one reason or the other, I personally love the compost pile!
But, the big question here always is; what needs to go where when you are composting?
To the regular com-posters, I know this will be a fairly obvious thing.
However, this might not be the case especially when you are new to the whole idea about composting.
Especially when it comes to the stale bread, we are all always quick to throw the moldy crusts into the compost bin.
(Not unless you are the type that will shrug the molds or pull them off and continue digging as if nothing is an issue).
Therefore, if you have been wondering whether bread is safe for your compost pile or what exactly needs to be thrown into your compost pile, you need not worry anymore.
You have come to the right place; I’ll break it all down for you below.
Indeed, it’s always a good idea to safely compost you’re your pile. But it’s even a better idea to know exactly what you can/cannot be composted.
Can You Compost Bread?
If you are a regular com poster, I bet you have heard this question a lot.
This is a question that has been making the internet go crazy. Some will say yes, others will say no.
Well, first things first! I’m not here to take sides but to determine which one of the two is the correct answer to this question.
If there is one thing I love about composting from home is that you get to take full control of what goes into the compost.
In this case, you will be able to keep the harmful stuff out of your compost.
Also, you get to control the balance of your compost ingredients.
If you’ve been having a little dispute with adding bread to your compost or not.
Come let’s find out the final verdict.
Well, when it comes to whether or not to compost bread people will always have different ideas.
Okay, here’s what I have to say about this issue; if you are paying attention to what bread could do for the compost, it should not be the issue.
However, bread tends to attract lots of rodents and pests.
Generally, bread breaks down easily, therefore, it’s a great material for composting.
In that case, if you can’t do without bread in your compost you may have to invest in a compost bin.
This helps you to safely compost your materials without pets and rodents being a hindrance.
What Materials are the Best for Composting?
Let’s start right from the basics. When it comes to composting, all materials that are either carbon-based or nitrogen-based are compostable.
The trick here should be using 1/3 of the ration as the green-nitrogen based items and 2/3 as the brown carbon-based items.
Brown materials are naturally bulky hence the carbon materials help to proper aeration and nourishment of the organisms in the compost.
Besides, too much of nitrogen will only create a dense smelly odor.
As well, it will make the decomposition process of the mass to be unusually slow.
To determine the health of your compost you can check the smell.
If it smells fresh, then that means you are on the right track.
And definitely, the foul smell from the nitrogen materials is being masked by the carbon materials.
What Should I Compost?
Composting is one of the best ways to get rid of the plant materials, biodegradable items and leftover foods that would have been taken to the landfills at the end of the day.
When you compost the household items and kitchen waste, you get to remove at least 30% of the household waste from the garbage bin.
Also, with the right nutrients, compost could also provide rich nutrients to your plants hence enabling them to flourish well.
For that reason, here is a list of the fully safe materials that you can compost to achieve a nutrient-rich soil ideal for gardening and planting.
⦁ The Nitrogen/Green Items
The nitrogen or green items are rich in proteins. This means that the nitrogen items should cover only 1/3 of the compost pile.
I know you are wondering why the green items take such a small portion.
The issue with nitrogen items is that they make they make the compost pile to smell sour.
This is because the nitrogen content here is converted in to ammonia gas, some of the common nitrogen items include;
⦁ Coffee grounds
⦁ Grass Clippings
⦁ Fresh flowers
⦁ The Carbon/ Brown Items
On the other hand, we have the brown items which are rich in carbon content.
Hence they give the compost pile a fluffy and incredibly light texture and body.
in that case, the carbon items should take up at least 2/3 of the compost heap.
In addition, the carbon-rich items tend to counteract the nitrogen content in the other 1/3.
This is because the nitrogen in most cases expands really quickly. Some of the brown items include;
⦁ Cotton fabrics
⦁ Paper towels
⦁ Dryer Lint
⦁ Grass Clippings
This is one of the most essential ingredients of any compost composition.
However, when not decomposed in the right way, the grass clippings could turn into a stinky mess.
In that case, as you incorporate grass clippings in your compost you need to know the right way to do it. Grass will not make the feeds stock but will definitely make up the oxygen-free mat.
This is because grass contains at least 50% of water, therefore, will quickly go anaerobic in the absence of oxygen.
And to prevent this from occurring, you need to mix grass with some other ingredients of your preference.
You may consider adding soil or sawdust before adding it the grass clippings in the compost pile.
Actually, you could just spread the grass on top of the compost pile.
Wood chips and sawdust is best added when chopped or shredded.
Also, you may add pine needles but you need to be aware of its extremely high content of carbon.
This is because an equally high level of nitrogen is needed to break it down.
Therefore, as you add grass clippings into the compost pile, do it moderation and in thin layers.
This helps to increase the surface area exposed to microbes and air.
— Growing Organic (@growing_organic) October 21, 2017
⦁ Citrus Fruits
Over the past few years, there has always been a heated debate on whether or not it’s safe to add citrus fruits to the compost heap.
The reasons every time range from one thing to the other with the most common one being; the acidic content could kill the friendly worms.
Well, you should know that it’s quite okay to add citrus fruits to the compost.
Actually, adding citrus to your compost pile could help to keep away the scavengers out of your compost pile.
This is because citrus fruits have a strong smell that most of the scavenging animals loath.
In that case, citrus fruits help to keep the animal pests away.
⦁ Coffee Grounds
The coffee grounds are a great addition to any compost pile.
This is because they are a great source of nitrogen during compositing.
In that, they have a carbon-nitrogen ration of 20:1.
Therefore, the coffee grounds provide the present bacteria with the required energy to turn the organic matter in to compost material.
More to that, the coffee grounds are known to improve the soil structure as well as keep off slugs and snails in the garden.
⦁ Paper Napkins
This is one that you will never lack in any kid’s birthday or during a barbecue party.
However, the paper napkins can prove to be wasteful if the guests leave them lying all over the place after the party.
Therefore, if choose unbleached and recyclable paper towel or napkin then it can its compo-stable.
These napkins break down just as normally as any other type of paper material.
⦁ Cardboard’s and Shredded Papers
Cardboard’s are one of the most recyclable and reusable materials. More to that, they are available in almost everything we own.
Ranging from the food containers, parcel boxes and so much more.
The paper material is a natural product that will more likely break down faster than most materials when placed in a compost heap.
All you have to do in order to speed up the composting process is shred the papers into smaller chunks. This ensures that it has less surface area.
Others Things to Avoid in Your Compost
While there is a whole list of things from home that are great additions to your compost pile, there are still some things that are better if left out from the whole mix.
This is because such materials could either be hazardous, to the plants outside or to the soil too.
For that reason, they can only be disposed of in the regular container for disposing waste.
Below is a list of materials that are a NO to your compost pile if you need to safely compost your waste.
⦁ Cooking Oils
Cooking oils are one thing that in any case go straight into the trash bin.
This is because they smell like food to the pests and insects.
For that reason, cooking oil will only attract more of them.
In addition, the cooking oils tend to upset the moisture balance of the compost pile.
⦁ Baked Goods
Most of the baked goods like pasta, bread and cake should never be included in a compost pile.
This is because they will only open up a highway for unwanted pets.
Therefore, it’s a good idea to avoid baked goods that may include a lot of frost or sugar.
Otherwise, the addition of these products will attract rodents and animal pests.
⦁ Meat and Dairy Products
If you are a composter, meat or any milk products should be completely out of your mind.
When I talk about meat products I mean animal fats, blood and meat scraps. On the other hand, dairy products include; cheese, yogurt, cream.
This is because such products will degrade very fast and still, may attract very many pests in the process.
⦁ Pet Droppings
The droppings from pets like cats and dogs may contain a couple of disease organisms.
If you are not careful enough, these disease organisms are likely to make the compost toxic.
This is a big health risk. However, bedding and waste from the non-carnivorous home animal should be fine.
⦁ Diseased Plants
For you to be able to destroy the plant disease, it takes an industrial class composting system and extremely high temperatures.
If the plant diseases are not destroyed they may later spread to the plants when the compost is applied to the plants.
This is because the diseased plants transfer bacterial or fungal issues to the finished compost.
Once you get started on composting, it can be really rewarding.
However, if you don’t follow through some of the basics carefully, things could go wrong in a blink.
Pesticides are another thing that you should keep off from.
This is because the herbicides and pesticides don’t break down well.
Farmer spraying pesticides
— Sustainable Table (@eatsustainable) May 31, 2014
There will always be a chief objection that most grains tend to attract rodents.
But I guess, this is the case for any neglected compost pile.
All in all, with the right practices. It should be okay to add grains in your compost pile.
All you have to do is at least mix them with some grass clippings, leaves, kitchen scraps and maybe livestock manure is you have some.
More to that water the pile then ensure that you place it in a rodent-friendly section.
Therefore, when it comes to the case of composting bread, this solely depends on how you would lien to don your composting.
If you can’t do without bread, follow the safety precautions mentioned above. Otherwise, it’s better if you avoid it.