Can Meat Be Composted?: Here Is What You Need To Know

can meat be composted

Meat is usually avoided in compost because composting with meat attracts pests and sometimes smell bad. Adding meat to your compost is really up to you and the neighboring people you are living with. To put it short, if you want to compost meat, make sure you add a small quantity of the scraps to your compost pile or bin.

Additionally, make sure that your compost is generating and conserving enough heat so that the meat can cook and decompose faster.

Another composting best practice is to place the meat in the center of the compost bin or pile. This can help limit or eliminate the amount of smell that your meat compost may emit to the surroundings. Covering the compost pile or bin is another way to control or hinder pests from getting access to your compost. This also helps prevent pests from messing up your compost and the surrounding.

Turning the meat compost from time to time can also help. This is important to your meat compost as it helps generate heat in the compost, which in turn speeds up the decomposition process.

Another good and effective option for composting meat is to invest in an in-vessel automated composter if you have the money. These are automated devices specifically designed to carry out the composting process efficiently by using in-built aerators, heat insulators, and mechanical mixers. All these automated to help speed up the breakdown of organic matters.

Read also: Adding Worms To Compost: The Detailed Guide

Why Meat is sometimes avoided in Compost?

Composting is one of the efficient and simple ways to take house garbage and then turn them into something resourceful. However, some of this garbage waste can go into the compost container without much effort while others will not decompose effectively unless you put or invest much work. Some of these materials include fish scraps and meat scraps.

Despite this, meat is organic and contains a large amount of nitrogen, a compound or mineral that is required by plants for healthy growth and yields.

However, meat when started decomposing can emit an unpleasant smell, which attracts pests such as flies and rodents. These pests can come and mess up the entire compost and the surrounding where the compost is located.

Moreover, meat can sometimes contain pathogens, which are transmissible from one from plants to animals. These types of pathogens are called foodborne pathogens.

So, when you added meat that carries foodborne pathogens and you add the meat to your compost, the pathogens can survive may survive the heat in the compost. And so when plants are fertilized with this compost, the plants may absorb these pathogens into their systems.

When these plants are harvested and taken to the home for consumption, people will take this food and foodborne pathogens will be transferred to the system of these persons who took the food. Then, the pathogens regrow when they sense new host cells and infect them.

Moreover, some neighbors are not kind at all. They can talk about everything wrong. And so the smell that may come out of your meat compost maybe not be an exception. When they start to smell unpleasant, they can come and complain or start talking about it somewhere.

These are the main reasons why some compost enthusiasts do usually avoid adding meat to their compost.

However, nowadays there are large-scale industries around that manage and recycle such organic matters that may otherwise be hard to compost at home. Some of them are owned by the government while others are private.

These companies have sophisticated facilities for breaking down all kinds of organic matters. The heat which can be generated using these industrial facilities can breakdown anything and kill any form of pathogens that maybe present in compostable materials.

Read also: Can You Compost Cheese?: Here Is What You Need To Know

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you put chicken bones in a compost bin?

Chicken bones are organic. However, composting chicken bones at home using a normal traditional compost bin may be problematic. This is because breaking the bones may take time and this delays the composting process.

How to dispose of meat scraps?

You can dispose of meat scraps by composting them in a compost pit or send the meat scraps and other waste to your state or local waste management center.

Can you bury meat in the garden?

Other compostable materials such as coffee grounds, grass clippings, cow manure, rabbit manure, and chicken droplets can be buried in garden soil several inches away from the crowns of garden plants. Bury at about 10 inches down the topsoil. However, burying meat scraps in the garden is not recommended. This is because meat can attract pests and destroy your garden plants.

Read also: Composting Limes (Fruits) And Lime ( CaCO3): The Detailed Guide

How to compost meat and cooked food?

If you want to compost meat and cooked food such as rice, make sure you dry them up. Chop them into smaller pieces. And then add them to the interior of your compost bin or pile. Additionally, do not add too much-cooked food and meat.

Can you compost fish?

Fish is just like meat when it comes to compost. However, fish can emit a bad smell more than that of meat. So, if you are composting fish, make sure you follow properly the basic composting preparation and maintenance, which include adding small amounts, adding smaller pieces of fish, turning the fish compost timely, and burying the fish scraps deep down the compost bin or pile.

Can I put raw chicken in compost?

Adding raw chicken to the compost is not recommended. This is because raw chicken can stink your compost, which reduces the level of oxygen in the compost. This lack of oxygen on the other hand affects the aerobic decomposers. The best answer to this question is to avoid adding raw chicken to your compost.

Can I put moldy fruits in my compost?

Moldy fruits can be added to the compost. But, you need to create a compost that generates heat. This heat can breakdown the moldy fruits quickly and kill any pathogens that may be present in the moldy fruits.

Can you put baking soda in compost?

Adding baking soda may kill some beneficial decomposing microorganisms such as bacteria, fungi that are present in the compost. So, do not add baking soda to your compost.

Can you put milk in Compost!

Milk is also an organic matter and compostable. However, most people avoid milk in compost because when the milk starts to decompose, the milk does usually emits a bad and unpleasant smell. And this smell attracts pests, which destroy the compost and surrounding.

Can you put vinegar in compost?

Vinegar can be composted. This is because the pH of vinegar is low, which is ideal for correcting alkaline compost and soil. However, do not add vinegar if your compost is very acidic.

Can you put butter in your compost?

Butter is one of the dairy products, which attracts pests and make compost smell unpleasantly. If you wish, you can compost butter. Bit, remember the basic composting preparation for dairy products and meat.

Can you put cooked vegetables in compost?

Yes, you can compost cooked vegetables but leave them to dry up before you add the cooked vegetables to the compost.

Can you put rotten tomatoes in compost?

Tomatoes can be put in compost. However, remember that tomatoes can be acidic. So, to prevent increasing the acidity of the compost, avoid adding too many tomatoes.

Learn more about composting meat from this study and this study


In this article, I looked at the problems associated with composting meat. I also looked at how to compost meat properly with other compostable materials. I hope the article will be of excellent help to you. So, let me know if you have questions in the comments section below.

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