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Can You Compost Bread? What You Need To Know!

sliced bread

Composting is a great way to turn waste into a useful product. Compost piles help reduce the amount of material in landfills, and the finished compost will help your flowers and vegetables grow magnificently. Many people want to know if it is safe to add bread to their compost pile, and the short answer is yes. However, it’s a hotly debated topic, so keep reading as we discuss the benefits and potential dangers of adding this common household food to your compost.

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Can You Put Bread in Your Compost Pile?

Yes. Your compost pile can break down bread, and it will add a source of nitrogen to your compost. The downside of adding bread to a compost pile is that it can attract pests that might otherwise avoid the area, which will increase the risk of contamination.

food composting
Image Credit: Fevziie, Shutterstock

Reasons to Add Bread to Your Compost Pile

Adding bread to your compost pile will help prevent it from going to the landfill, and the compost enables you to find a use for your wasted food. Bread will not throw off the balance of your compost pile like dairy products will, nor will it slow down the composting process. It also breaks down quickly and almost dissolves in contact with water.

Reasons to Avoid Composting Bread

Most people who warn against adding bread to your compost pile are worried that doing so will invite rodents and other pests. However, if your compost heap is enclosed or has a lid, there is no risk of rodents getting inside. If your compost heap is out in the open, you can avoid attracting rodents by making sure you cover the pieces of bread with plenty of compost.

How to Put Bread in Your Compost Pile

  • Wait until the bread is old and moldy before you consider adding it to the compost pile.
  • Break up the bread into small pieces so it will decompose faster.
  • Dig a hole in the center of your compost pile, and place the bread inside. This area is where the compost pile generates the most heat, so the bread will break down faster.
  • Cover the bread with a high-carbon material, like sawdust or dead leaves, to create a better balance of nutrients during decomposition.
  • Speed up decomposition by adding manure garden soil or finished compost.
  • Refill the hole that you created at the center of the compost pile with the compost that you removed, covering the bread and other items that you placed inside. Placing the items in the center and covering them will help hide them from rodents and other pests until they have a chance to break down.
top view of food composting bin
Image Credit: photographyfirm, Shutterstock

Is Bread a Brown or Green Composting Item?

Bread is a green composting item because it contains a high amount of nitrogen. If it didn’t have so much nitrogen, it would make a great brown compost because it’s high in carbon.

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While many people will warn against composting bread due to its tendency to attract rodents and insects, adding it to your compost pile is not harmful, especially if you take steps to break it up and cover it in the center of your compost pile. It breaks down quickly when it comes in contact with water, so you won’t need to worry about it after a day or two. Adding cow manure will help make the process go even faster.

See more: 9 Smart Uses for Bread Clips: Creative Ideas for Reuse

Featured Image Credit: amiraxgelcola, Pixabay


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