Can you compost meat and how do you do it safely at home? (2023)

Can you compost meat and how do you do it safely at home? (1)

Composting is a great way to reduce the amount of food waste you produce. When you compost, you take the leftovers from your meals and use them to create a nutritious growing medium for plants. Composting keeps food waste out of landfills and reduces methane emissions. Often the connectionreplace chemical fertilizersand is excellent for retaining water in the soil. But if you use traditional composting methods, you probably won't be able to compost all of your cooked leftovers and leftovers.

WhileThere are many compostable itemsthat work well with traditional composting, there are also some organic materials that you should avoid. Meat products like chicken trimmings or bones can cause some problems when traditionally composted at home.


  • Can you compost meat?
  • Why you can't compost meat: 4 possible problems
  • Are animal products like meat and dairy bones compostable?
  • Try lomi: a safe way to compost meat at home

Let's see why meat composting is a problem and what you can do about it.

Can you compost meat?

Can you compost meat and how do you do it safely at home? (2)

EPA OceanComposting meat is not a good idea, and they suggest avoiding it when composting the traditional way. While meat breaks down over time and contains many nutrients that can be very beneficial to the soil, the problems meat causes do not outweigh the benefits it provides.

However, traditional composting methods aren't your only option, and there are ways to easily and safely compost leftover meat at home. For example,Lomi is a small kitchen appliancewhich uses electricity to quickly compost organic materials. Unlike traditional composting, Lomi can break down meat trimmings fast enough that there are no issues with traditional composting.

Can you compost meat and how do you do it safely at home? (3)

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Lomi enables you to turn food waste into plant-ready nutrients in less than 24 hours. Enhance your plants and reduce waste.

Why you can't compost meat: 4 possible problems

Meat will degrade over time if you throw it in the trash just because it's organic matter. However, there are very good reasons not to put it in your traditional compost heaps.

1. Meat compost smells bad

Can you compost meat and how do you do it safely at home? (4)

Nobody likes the smell of rotting meat andcompost cooked food. Adding meat to your compost pile will make the pile smell very unpleasant due to its characteristic odor. Putting meat in your compost bin will cause odor problems, whether it's in your home or in your yard. When it's indoors, you have to live with that stench every day now, and it might attract all the pets you're likely to get dirty.

While simply placing your compost pile in the garden sounds like the right solution, it can also easily lead to problems. The smell alone can be very annoying to some neighbors and will likely draw the wrong attention from local wildlife.

2. Meat in compost attracts pests

Can you compost meat and how do you do it safely at home? (5)

A big concern when putting meat in your compost bin is thiscan attract the attention of pests. Mice, raccoons and other mammals are strongly attracted to the smell of meat and will start visiting your compost heap. Mice, in particular, like compost as a place to nest, and even if you love mice, having them in your compost pile can be a major health concern. Nor is it healthy or safe for animals for wildlife to learn to associate compost heaps with food.

3. Leftover meat takes longer to decompose.

Can you compost meat and how do you do it safely at home? (6)

Meat is high in protein and fat, which takes longer to break down than the simpler carbohydrate structures found in plants and garden waste. Adding meat to your compost increases the time it takes for it to fully break down and means you have to pay a lot more attention to the heap and its production. It can also result in parts of your compost pile being used up faster than others. This alone creates more work for you as you will have to sift through the finished compost to remove any unfinished meat residue.

4. Raw meat can contaminate the compost heap.

Can you compost meat and how do you do it safely at home? (7)

This is the biggest risk when composting meat waste. While cooked meat is unlikely to cause this problem, raw meat can be contaminated with various bacteria that thrive in the warm, humid environment of a compost heap. These includeE coli,Campylobacter,salmonella, miListeriaBacteria, all harmful to humans. When a compost pile becomes contaminated in this way, it becomes dangerous to use that compost to fertilize plants it intends to eat. For the sake of your own health, it is essential to do without the traditional composting of raw meat waste.

Are animal products like meat and dairy bones compostable?

Can you compost meat and how do you do it safely at home? (8)

Besides meat, some other animal products should be avoided in traditional composting for various health and safety reasons. Because dairy products are also high in fat and protein, they face similar spoilage problems. And just like meat offals, dairy products emit strong odors that are unpleasant and attract the attention of animals.

Meat Bones are another item that traditionally cannot be composted.. The bones are too dense, especially with beef and pork. These can take hundreds of years to decompose if left buried. With large bones, there simply isn't enough microbial penetration in the traditional composting process for decomposition to take place. Also, bones are even more attractive to wildlife than meat due to their high nutritional content - animals must chew the bones to get the minerals they contain.

While meat and dairy bones are best avoided in traditional composting, just like with meat trimmings, there are ways to compost them at home.Lomi can easily break down both dairy products.and small bones. If these are items you tend to throw away, a lomi allows you to compost them and prevent them from ending up in landfill.

Egg shells are another animal product that you might want to avoid as it's not easyEgg shell dungerwith traditional composting methods. Egg shells are extremely stable and do not break down well through microbial action alone. While eggshells are remarkably high in calcium and can be extremely beneficial to include in your soil, using them in regular compost requires additional preparation by drying and grinding.

Try Lomi: a safe and convenient way to compost meat at home

Can you compost meat and how do you do it safely at home? (9)

If you eat meat and want to compost your meat waste, there are safe and convenient ways to do so. Some cities, such as Minneapolis and San Francisco, have commercial composting facilities, e.g. B. Utilities that can compost meat. But if you don't have composting facilities available or prefer to do all the composting at home, it's still possible!Pela's Lomi is a powerful kitchen toolThey can break down most organic materials, including meat and other animal products.

Unlike traditional compost, Lomi's quick action doesn't give time for scraps of meat and other animal products to rot. Instead, Lomi's mills break down food waste while the heat and oxygen promote water reduction and breakdown. Because the process is fast and fully autonomous,Meat and all other animal products (except large bones) can be processed in lomi.

Lomi's final product.It is high quality, nutrient rich soil that makes a great addition to your garden soil. Depending on the mode, Lomi can craft the nutrient-rich soil supplement in about twenty hours. Lomi is a true home composter, designed with sustainability and your lifestyle needs in mind.

If the ability to make meat compost at home while maintaining a daily supply of natural fertilizer sounds like the perfect solution for you, check out Lomi!You can order one online, or just learn more about how Lomi can improve your life while improving your environmental impact.

Written by: Serena Simpson


How do you safely compost meat? ›

When you put meat scraps in the compost, you want to place them in or near the center (buried underneath other layers) because you'll be doing a process known as hot composting. Placing the meat scraps in the middle of the compost pile will surround them with the most material possible, which is the warmest spot.

What happens if you put meat in compost? ›

Problem with composting meat

Sanitation issues: When meat decomposes, it can become infected with bacteria such as E. coli, listeria, or salmonella. If infected meat contaminates a compost pile, there is a risk of the bacteria transferring into surrounding plants.

What are 3 things you shouldn't compost? ›

DON'T add meat scraps, bones, grease, whole eggs, or dairy products to the compost pile because they decompose slowly, cause odors, and can attract rodents. DON'T add pet feces or spent cat liter to the compost pile. DON'T add diseased plant material or weeds that have gone to seed.

How do you compost meat and bones at home? ›

Most animal bones, meat and seafood can be composted, albeit at a much slower rate than other items. It is recommended that large animal bones and whole carcasses are cut into smaller pieces and that meat is cooked and in chunks before it is added to the HOTBIN in a bid to speed up their decomposition.

Should you put raw meat in compost? ›

Put all raw and cooked meat into your green cart for composting. This includes: Ground meat.

How long does it take for meat to compost? ›

It takes one to three months for meat to decompose. But you must provide the right environment. Control the temperature, moisture content, and oxygen access. If these conditions are not regulated, meat may not decompose properly or fast.

Why can't you put cooked food in compost? ›

However, most home composting systems have a limitation: you can't put cooked food waste, dairy products, meat and fish into them as they will putrify, producing bad odours and attracting rats and flies.

Is it OK to put cooked food in compost? ›

Can Cooked Food Be Composted? Yes, virtually all cooked food can be composted. The general rule of thumb is that anything that can be eaten can be composted. However, most general composting guidelines recommend against composting cooked foods.

What are two mistakes that we should avoid when we prepare compost? ›

  • Using Only One Pile or Bin. ...
  • Incorrect Balance of "Browns" and "Greens" ...
  • Composting the Wrong Materials. ...
  • Skipping a Starter. ...
  • Using Too Little or Too Much Water. ...
  • Leaving Your Compost Pile Open. ...
  • Not Aerating. ...
  • Continually Adding to Your Compost Pile.
Sep 23, 2022

What are the bad things about composting? ›

Beware that enclosed compost piles can overheat and create high levels of dangerous gasses, such as methane, so be sure to rotate the container or till the pile daily. Do not place compost near a building. In addition to the fire concerns, compost placed adjacent to buildings can promote infestation.

Can I put moldy bread in compost? ›

Is moldy food, which is recognizable, all right to use in the compost bin? Answer: You can add moldy food (vegetables and fruits only) to a backyard composting bin anytime. Mold cells are just one of the many different types of microorganisms that take care of decomposition and are fine in a backyard bin.

Can you bury spoiled meat in your garden? ›

Hide the meat and sawdust mixture deeply in an outdoor regular compost pile or bury it directly in the garden if you don't have a worm bin or the quantities could overwhelm the bin. Thoroughly covering the waste prevents smells from emanating and attracting vermin.

Can you put spoiled milk in compost? ›

Is Spoiled Milk Good For Compost? Of course, you can compost spoiled milk. In fact, spoiled milk has two added advantages over fresh milk when being used as fertilizer or compost. Understand this, once milk goes bad, it is worthless and its price goes to zero, yet the mineral content remains the same.

How do you compost cooked meat? ›

Bury It: Cover cooked foods with a few shovelfuls of dirt, leaves, or sawdust in your compost pile to keep smells down and discourage pests. Enclose It: If scavengers are a problem, use a critter-proof enclosed system such as a tumbling composter or wormery.

Is Rotten meat good for soil? ›

Decomposing flesh stinks, attracting disease-spreading pests like rats and flies to your garden. Raw and cooked meat can also contain harmful bacteria, which could spread through your compost and later contaminate your crops.

Can you compost boiled eggs? ›

Can You Compost Hard Boiled Eggs? Yes, you can add hard-boiled eggs to your compost. Most of those who argue against this cite the fact that the hard-boiled eggs, like other meats, dairy products and whole eggs, will attract rodents and cause odors as they decompose. Although they are right, this can be mitigated.

Can you compost cheese? ›

7. Dairy Products. Refrain from composting milk, cheese, yogurt and cream. While they'll certainly degrade, they are attractive to pests.

How long should compost sit before using? ›

Test whether the compost is ready...

Decomposition will be complete anywhere from two weeks to two years depending on the materials used, the size of the pile, and how often it is turned. Compost is ready when it has cooled, turned a rich brown color, and has decomposed into small soil-like particles.

Can you compost coffee grounds? ›

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Coffee grounds can be an excellent addition to a compost pile. The grounds are relatively rich in nitrogen, providing bacteria the energy they need to turn organic matter into compost.

Can you compost bread? ›

👉 Bread can be composted when broken into small pieces. It decomposes quickly and adds nitrogen to your compost pile. However, some breads have ingredients added to them that are non-compostable. There are also certain stages when bread is better for composting than others.

Can you put raw meat in food waste bin? ›

Recycling food waste

Most local councils will give homes and workplaces a recycling bin (or caddy) to sit in your kitchen - and biodegradable bin liners for it on a regular basis. You can put the following food waste in your caddy: meat and fish - raw or cooked, including bones and skin.

Should you cut up food before composting it? ›

Begin by cutting or shredding the ingredients into small pieces. This will help them decompose faster. Although shredding leaves is not necessary, it will shorten the time it takes for them to compost. The same is true for kitchen scraps and garden waste.

How do you compost at home for beginners? ›

How to Compost
  1. Start your compost pile on bare earth. ...
  2. Lay twigs or straw first, a few inches deep. ...
  3. Add compost materials in layers, alternating moist and dry. ...
  4. Add manure, green manure (clover, buckwheat, wheatgrass, grass clippings) or any nitrogen source. ...
  5. Keep compost moist.

Can eggs be composted? ›

Certainly, you can compost eggs, although you have to use the correct methods. All organic matter, including eggs, eventually decomposes. Compost takes all those unwanted scraps of organic waste matter and makes them useful.

How do you properly dispose of raw meat? ›

Spoiled products, especially raw meats, hold a lot of bacteria that could make you sick if ingested. Package spoiled items in bags separately from other trash items. If possible, use dark-colored, thicker garbage bags to dispose of spoiled food items.

Can rotten meat be composted? ›

Why Can't I Put Meat In Compost? Putting meat in compost is a food safety risk. Decomposing flesh stinks, attracting disease-spreading pests like rats and flies to your garden. Raw and cooked meat can also contain harmful bacteria, which could spread through your compost and later contaminate your crops.

Can eggs go in food waste? ›

You can recycle all your food waste, including cooked food, bones, meat, fish, dairy and egg shells as well as fruit and vegetable peelings.

What is the first rule of composting? ›

Rule 1: Start with the End in Mind

With composting, it helps to have a vision of what the entire process will look like. Most of our clients use their finished compost back on their pastures or in their gardens. Others see themselves selling their compost to cover some of their operating expenses.

Does a compost bin need to be in the sun? ›

You can put your compost pile in the sun or in the shade, but putting it in the sun will hasten the composting process. Sun helps increase the temperature, so the bacteria and fungi work faster. This also means that your pile will dry out faster, especially in warm southern climates.

Can I put rotten vegetables in compost? ›

Is moldy food, which is recognizable, all right to use in the compost bin? Answer: You can add moldy food (vegetables and fruits only) to a backyard composting bin anytime. Mold cells are just one of the many different types of microorganisms that take care of decomposition and are fine in a backyard bin.

Can I compost cereal boxes? ›

Cereal boxes are biodegradable, which means that they can decompose. In addition, they are made from paper, so essentially, they would serve as excellent compostable materials. They decay well too, so don't hesitate to chop up your cereal boxes and carefully plant them a little below the soil.


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