Can You Compost Bread? Tips for Composting Bread

can you compost bread
Foto: CC0 / Pixabay / Couleur

Although some gardeners advise against it, you can compost bread. Read on to learn more about how to create a balanced compost using bread.

When you imagine the kinds of ingredients you can add to your compost pile, you probably think of banana peels or leftovers before you think of bread. Some composters recommend against using bread, mainly because the scent could attract scavenging animals. There are, however, ways to prevent this from happening, and you can compost bread. While there are some things you will need to be careful about, composting bread can ultimately be a great way of reducing the environmental impact of your food waste.

Can You Compost Bread?

Moldy food may be unappetizing, but it is a great addition to your compost pile.
Moldy food may be unappetizing, but it is a great addition to your compost pile. (Foto: CC0 / Pixabay / account_deleted)

Bread is a dietary staple for many households. Although it is a popular breakfast item, it is still common for bread to go stale before it can all be eaten. Most people will simply throw bread out once it is too tough to eat, and so composting can be a great alternative that reduces food waste for this commonly forgotten household item.

Additionally, you may also have noticed that stale bread is often moldy as well. Although this does not make for the most pleasant appearance, the microorganisms that cause molding are beneficial for compost. This is because these microorganisms are partially responsible for the breakdown of organic material. That’s why adding bread can be a great way to encourage healthy decomposition in your compost.

What You Need to Watch Out For

Bread made with milk shouldn't be added to your compost pile.
Bread made with milk shouldn’t be added to your compost pile. (Foto: CC0 / Pixabay / Couleur)

While composting bread can bring many benefits, not all kinds of bread are suitable. As you may know, dairy products should not be composted. Some breads contain milk or butter as an ingredient, and should therefore not be composted. Make sure to check the ingredient list for your bread before you add it to your compost pile.

Additionally, when you place bread at the top of your compost pile, it can attract scavenging animals. This threat puts off some people from composting bread altogether. However, you can prevent this from happening if you cover your added bread with older parts of the compost pile. This will mask its scent, in addition to speeding up the decomposition process.

How to Compost Bread

Make sure there is enough brown material balancing out your added bread.
Make sure there is enough brown material balancing out your added bread. (Foto: CC0 / Pixabay / stux)
  1. Before you compost your bread, you should split it into smaller pieces so that it can be broken down more easily.
  2. Sprinkle your bread pieces into the center of your pile.
  3. Check the balance of ingredients in your compost. It should consist of one third ‘green’ materials, such as vegetables, and two thirds ‘brown’ materials, such as cardboard. Bread is classified as a green material, so make sure there is enough brown material balancing it out.
  4. Cover your new additions with surrounding compost material in order to cover the scent and encourage breakdown.

How to Store Your Compost

Once your compost is ready, you can store it before usage.
Once your compost is ready, you can store it before usage. (Foto: CC0 / Pixabay / pixel2013)

Once your compost is ready, you may not want to use it immediately. If you want to store it before adding it to your garden, you can follow these steps:

  1. Place your compost on a pile on the ground. Make sure there is earth beneath your pile — this will allow worms to get into your pile and enrich the nutrient content.
  2. Cover your pile with a waterproof tarp and secure the edges so that it is not blown away. This will prevent excess moisture from seeping into your pile and washing it away.
  3. Remove the tarp once you are ready to use your compost, and add it to your garden.

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