Backyard Composting

Benefits of Backyard Composting

Through composting, you can recycle fruit scraps, vegetable peelings, grass and leaves into a wonderful soil amendment called humus.

  • Enjoy healthier plants! Compost can be spread on your lawn, as top dressing, or placed around plants, bushes and trees as a mulch to help retain moisture and inhibit weed growth.
  • Reduce your garbage! Remove the organic material from your garbage and you may be able to have a smaller garbage can.
  • Conserve water! Placing compost around plants, bushes and trees will help retain moisture so you won't have to water as much. Composting your food waste means you don't have to use your garbage disposal and the extra water it takes to flush it down your drain.

What can you compost in your own backyard?

The right mix of materials produces the best results. Use the lists below as a guideline for what to put in your bin.

What Can Be Composted

  • Coffee grounds and filters
  • Egg cartons (paper)
  • Fruit scraps
  • Garden waste
  • Grass clippings
  • Green plant trimmings
  • Leaves
  • Old flowers
  • Pine needles
  • Rinsed eggshells
  • Sawdust
  • Straw
  • Tea bags
  • Vegetable scraps

Do Not Compost

To avoid odors and pests, do not compost:
  • Dairy products
  • Meat or bones
  • Pet waste
  • Whole eggs
Compost Bin Made Wood

To Learn More About Backyard Composting

The Minnesota Composting Council (MNCC) has resources available to help with backyard composting. Be sure to watch their video that shares information on where to locate a bin in your yard, how to harvest and use finished compost as well as an explanation of how backyard composting is different from commercial composting.

Information from the University of Minnesota Extension Service can be accessed online. The Extension Service has many publications that can be ordered for a small fee.  In addition, the Anoka County Extension Service has a Master Gardener Line who can answer your questions. Call 952-443-1426 and leave a message. A Master Gardener will call you back.