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What Can and Can't Go Into My Purple Bucket?

Updated: Jun 18, 2021

Great question!

Here's the quick & easy answer first, then I'll get into the WHY. Also, our bucket label 'cheat sheet' pdf is attached for reference.


Most vegetable & fruit scraps (no tomatoes, citrus, or pickled foods), egg shells, coffee grinds & filters (no pods or kcups), tea (loose and in tea bags), plant trimmings, and shredded cardboard.


Dairy, meat, bones, breads, fats, oils, citrus, seeds, nuts, diseased plants, animal waste, metal, glass, & plastics.

WHY NOT? The short answer is that we are composting naturally using static piles. All of the UNACCEPTABLE items will either slow the composting process significantly OR they will increase odor, drawing in predators and upsetting neighbors.

There are large commercial operations that rapidly compost all sorts of materials including those listed above. The downside is much higher expense (that's passed on to the customer), much greater land space demands, and more noise and smell. That is not ideal for our beautiful mountain community.

Here is the detailed reason as to why we can't accept certain items:

DAIRY, MEATS, BONES, FATS, & OILS - these items create strong odors, drawing in rodents, predators, and insects. They also slow the composting process significantly.

CITRUS - the natural chemicals within citrus peels may be damaging to worms and other beneficial microorganisms. The thick citrus rinds are also very slow to break down. (Please note that we do accept citrus peels in small quantities, as they do provide nutrients to the pile, but we ask that you not place whole citrus fruits in your Purple Buckets.)

SEEDS & NUTS - nuts can contain chemicals that inhibit growth of other plants; not good for compost that will find its way to local gardens. Some seeds can survive the compost process and grow later where you don't want them.

DISEASED PLANTS - certain plant diseases can taint compost and survive into the plants you place in your amended soils.

ANIMAL WASTE - Purple Buckets are for household scraps only.

METAL, GLASS, & PLASTIC - these go in the recycle bin. They will not break down in a compost pile.

As always, reach out anytime with questions. Whether you're a Purple Bucket Compost client or a DIY backyard composter, we're happy to do whatever we can to grow our happy composting community.

Bucket Cheat Sheet
Download PDF • 600KB

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