Putting Citrus Peels in Your Compost Pile


Can you put orange or grapefruit peels in your compost pile?

Hardiness Zone: 6a

Peggy from Chillicothe, OH


Yes, definitely!


You can successfully compost all types of fruit and vegetable peelings from the kitchen. Meat scraps, dairy products, and high-fat foods like salad dressings and peanut butter can be composted too, but it is generally better to avoid them. They produce a rancid smell when decomposing that repels neighbors and attracts animals.

To speed up decomposition, food scraps should be chopped or cut up into small pieces and eggshells crushed. Here are some examples of items that can be composted. Some of them may surprise you:

Food Waste (cooked & raw)

Breads, candy, coffee grounds (& non-bleached filters), eggshells, fruit & vegetable peelings, microwaveable popcorn bags, Popsicle sticks, nuts, paper food wraps & ice cream boxes, paper plates, napkins and towels, pasta, pizza boxes, tea leaves & tea bags, muffin liners, and wine corks.


Yard Waste

Brush, grass clippings (not chemically treated), hay & straw, leaves, pine cones/needles, plants, roots, sawdust and wood shavings, twigs & branches, weeds (not recommended).

Other Waste

Shredded cardboard, dust bunnies, feathers, human hair, newspaper, etc.

Happy composting!


About The Author: Ellen Brown is an environmental writer and photographer and the owner of Sustainable Media, an environmental media company that specializes in helping businesses and organizations promote eco-friendly products and services. Contact her on the web at http://www.sustainable-media.com


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January 2, 20080 found this helpful

Yes, you can!

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By jsham (Guest Post)
January 4, 20080 found this helpful

Did you know that citrus peels are also good to put into your flower bed to keep stray (or ones belonging to the neighbors, who let them run loose) animals from using the beds for their litter area. Animals do not like citrus!

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January 4, 20080 found this helpful

Maybe you'd want to snip them into strips or bits to hurry the composting. They remain recognizable a little longer than other materials, which is no problem. The simplest thing to do it to just bury them in a flower bed where they can compost however slowly they want, and be done with it.

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January 5, 20080 found this helpful

Here is what I do with my orange peel. Remove as much of the white as possible, then grind it up in my coffee grinder.


Let it dry half hour or som and store in plastic bag in freezer. I now have orange rind to add to many things I bake, especially biscotti.

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March 22, 20080 found this helpful

I have an orange tree and make juice. I always put all the rinds from making the juice in the composite and layer them with grass, leaves,etc. I have had no problems with them decomposing in a timely manner:)

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March 22, 20080 found this helpful

I have a bag less vacuum cleaner, I empty the container in it! (Also a great way to find money and game pieces that got sucked up)

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By Heidi (Guest Post)
January 7, 20090 found this helpful

Does the peel make compost too acidic? What about the chemicals sprayed onto the fruits?

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December 8, 20130 found this helpful

I've avoided putting citrus in my compost in the past, so I appreciate this advice. Does anyone know if it's ok to put dryer lint in compost. The lint from a load of towels should be cotton fiber. Thanks.

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