How To Compost Pasta Step By Step - Webgardener - Gardening and Landscaping Made Simple (2022)

Can you compost pasta? Despite, some issues such as attracting pests when you added cooked pasta, but the short and approved answer is yes, you can compost pasta.

However, while adding pasta to the compost bin or pile is safe, there are a few basic composting preparation tips that you need to put in mind in order to get good results.

Read on to find out why pasta is considered a good compostable material and how to effectively compost pasta.

Can you put the pasta in compost?

Pasta is one of the starchy foods such as bread, rice, millet, maize, and yam. These are materials that we use frequently in our various homes as a primary source of energy. However, sometimes you can prepare these things in large quantities that is much for your stomach to handle even when you left the food for the next time. These materials are now waste and will eventually become a nuisance if not properly handled.

One of the effective and common ways to properly handle those leftovers is to recycle or repurpose them into something resourceful for plants and soil in the process known as composting.

Composting is an easy way to turn unwanted leftovers from homes and places of work into a rich-nutrient fertilizer known as compost.

Pasta is one of the common compostable materials whose addition to the compost is still debatable. And this also includes other starchy goods. But, as most compost enthusiasts suggested, all grains and other forms of starchy foods can be added conveniently to the compost under certain important composting preparation guide.

This is because all the reasons raised against adding pasta to the compost can be avoided by properly preparing the pasta before adding the compost and also adding the pasta with the correct ratio of brows and greens.

Two important issues were raised against the addition of pasta and other starchy foods. One reason is that starch such as pasta can be cooked with meat and fish. And from experience, food leftovers containing fish and meat attract pests such as flies and rodents.

(Video) Composting for Beginners | The Dirt | Better Homes & Gardens

And thee pests can destroy the compost and scatter the surrounding area where the compost is placed when they come.

The second reason is that cooked pasta and other starchy foods that contain meat or fish can be smelly. And so when you added cooked pasta that contains some pieces of meat and fish scraps, your compost may emit an unpleasant odor. And this smell can disturb you and your neighbors and any random visitor that may come in.

However, these issues can be avoided if you follow proper composting preparation and maintenance. In this article, I will show you how to compost pasta the right way.

But, before then, is pasta greens or browns?

Is Pasta greens or browns?

Some compost enthusiasts do usually mistaken pasta and other starchy foods like greens. But, in reality, pasta is not a green compostable material. And this may be one of the reasons why some people are facing problems with composting pasta and other starchy foods.

This is because your compost can fail when you mistaken brown compostable materials for green compostable materials and green compostable materials for brown compostable materials.

The main component of pasta is carbohydrates and some added vitamins. And chemically, carbohydrates are comprised of three important elements namely carbon, oxygen, and hydrogen. Carbon takes the biggest percentage of carbohydrates.

And so what are brown compostable materials in composting? Brown compostable materials in composting are organic matters that contain more carbon when compared with the overall components present in that organic matter.

To keep it short, pasta is a brown compostable material, not free compostable materials. This is because pasta contains more carbohydrates. And carbohydrates contain carbon as the main component in their structure.

(Video) How to make COMPOST at home with kitchen & garden waste: कम्पोस्ट बनाएं घर पर

Tip: Learn more about compostable materials in composting

How to Compost Pasta Effectively

Now that you know where pasta belongs among compostable materials, let us look at how to compost pasta scraps.

Pasta composting can’t be hard unless you make it yourself. Here is the step by step method in practice:

Get your compost bin ready: before adding your pasta scraps and other waste, prepare the compost bin or pile. If the compost does not get holes, make some holes on the compost. You can learn how to make holes and a local compost bin at home in this guide.

These holes are required for an efficient movement of air in and out of the compost bin.

Place the compost bin on a good spot: a good spot for keeping a compost bin is that spot, which is in the sun’s direction and has a well-flat surface. The spot must also b well-ventilated. The spot should be easy to access and far away from wildlife pests such as rodents.

Add your compostable materials: if you are composting raw pasta, just break the raw pasta scraps into smaller pieces and mix them with other brown compostable materials such as sawdust, shredded cardboard, dried leaves, and shredded tree branches. But, of you composting cooked pasta, you need to remove all meat and fish scraps.

Additionally, if there is plenty of water in the cooked pasta, you dry the pasta before adding it to the compost. When the cooked pasta finished drying and the water inside has evaporated, break the cooked pasta scraps into smaller pieces and then mix them up with other brown compostable materials.
Add the brown compostable materials containing the pasta first in the compost bin. Ensure that you also add chopped straw and hay as a floor. Then, follow the first layer of brown compostable materials with a gr3ns layer.

Make sure you do not add too much pasta waste especially if the pasta scraps are from cooked pasta. Alternate between brown compostable materials and green compostable materials while adding until you reach the center of the compost bin. When you reach the center of 2/3 of the compost bin, stop adding any brown compostable materials that contain pasta scraps.

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You need to fill the remaining space with browns (compostable materials that do not contain them) and greens. Fill up space with Brown compostable materials such as shredded cardboard, newspapers, dried leaves, pine needles, chopped straw, and shredded wood. Then, follow each layer of browns with a layer of greens.

The key point here is that you need to bury the cooked pasta scraps in the center together with other browns. This way the cooked pasta cannot smell and attract pests.

Turn the compost timely: after two to three weeks, you need to start turning in the compost. This can create and conserve heat within the compost. Turning can also increase air circulation in the compost. Both heat and oxygen are needed by decomposers to breakdown the organic matter.

Tip: Learn more on how to compost

How long does it take for Pasta to Decompose?

Pasta is a fast-degradation compostable material. If everything is done correctly, you can harvest your compost in the next 2-4 months. However, it may sometimes take 6 months or a year if you added some brown and green compostable materials that are toughed to decompose easily such as avocado pits, pineapple peels, and crowns, and unchopped cardboard, and hair.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you compost dry pasta?

Dry pasta either cooked or uncooked can be composted. But, if the size is big enough, you need to breakdown the larger size into smaller pieces.

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

Can you compost rice and pasta?

Yes, you can both rice and pasta. If they are wet and not dry, you need to dry them before adding them to your compost.

Can you compost uncooked pasta?

Yes, you can compost uncooked pasta. Put the uncooked pasta in the interior of the compost bin so that the pasta scraps will receive the maximum heat required for proper decomposition.

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

Can you compost pasta sauce?

Yes, you can compost pasta souce. If the pasta source contains water, spread the pasta source under the sun and dry the pasta source up. Additionally, if the souce contains onions, meat, or fish, remove them one after the other from the source. Then, dry them up and add them to your compost.

Can you compost fresh pasta?

Fresh pasta is that pasta, which is not put into use, or nothing is added to the pasta. You can compost this type of pasta without any issues. But, make sure you breakdown big sizes into smaller pieces.

Related: Can You Compost Hair?: Here Is What You Need To Know

Can you compost raw pasta?

Yes, you can compost raw pasta. It is just like fresh pasta. After breaking the raw pasta, combine the pieces with the right brown compostable materials such as newspapers, sawdust, and dried leaves.

Can you compost old pasta?

You can compost old pasta. However, remember that old pasta may sometimes carry pathogenic bacteria or fungi. If you find that has these pathogens, do not add them to your compost.

Can you compost bread and pasta?

You can compost bread and pasta. Both of these compostable materials are easy to breakdown. Break large bread either moldy or fresh into pieces and add them to your compost.

Can you compost cooked pasta?

Yes, you can compost cooked pasta. If you cooked the pasta with meat, onions, garlic, and fish, you need to remove these scraps from the pasta and then dry only the pasta before adding them to your compost.

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

(Video) Create Living Soil, Good Compost, & Intensive Growth in your home garden.


Starchy foods are among the common organic matters that some compost enthusiasts sometimes usually avoid especially those that are cooked with onions, garlic, meat, and fish. This is because they were told or experienced starchy foods like pasta can attract pests and release an unpleasant smell.

However, if you follow the right composting preparation, starchy foods such as pasta can be composted conveniently.

In this article, I looked at the right steps on how to compost pasta scraps effectively. I hope that you will find this article helpful. Let me know if you have questions in the comments section below.


How do you compost pasta? ›

Pasta, potatoes and other starches can be added to your compost pile. Pasta and other starches should be buried deep in the heap to keep from attracting pests or rodents. Not only does composting help us recycle vegetable trimmings and coffee grounds, it enables us to create food for our soil.

What are the 7 steps in composting? ›

  1. 7 Easy Steps to Composting. By. ...
  2. Choose Your Type of Backyard Compost Bin. You can use either an open pile or a compost bin. ...
  3. Choose Your Composter Location. ...
  4. Alternate Layers. ...
  5. Add Kitchen and Yard Waste as They Accumulate. ...
  6. Continue to Add Layers Until Your Bin is Full. ...
  7. Maintain Your Compost Bin. ...
  8. Harvest Your Compost.
May 9, 2019

How do you make compost the simplest easy to compost? ›

How to make Compost - The Simplest Easy Method To Compost Piles!

Is pasta good for soil? ›

The nutrients in the pasta water will fertilize and feed your plants, giving them a healthy start by feeding the bacteria in the soil. It can also add minerals such as phosphorous and potassium to the soil which will also boost plant growth.

Is pasta water good for compost? ›

A Source of Affordable, Organic Fertilizer

Pasta water is an excellent way to provide these starches without high concentrations of potentially harmful minerals like nitrogen. Just like compost, leftover water from your pasta dishes provides nutritional supplements that work exceptionally well alongside fertilizer.

How do you compost 10 simple steps? ›

I learned the correct way to compost from a local composting expert.
5. Understand the difference between green and brown materials.
Green MaterialsBrown Materials
Grass clippingsDry brown leaves
Coffee and tea groundsEgg shells
Green garden trimmingsHay and straw
Fruit scraps, peelsShredded paper
2 more rows

How do I start composting for beginners? ›

How to Compost
  1. Start your compost pile on bare earth. ...
  2. Lay twigs or straw first, a few inches deep. ...
  3. Add compost materials in layers, alternating moist and dry. ...
  4. Add manure, green manure (clover, buckwheat, wheatgrass, grass clippings) or any nitrogen source. ...
  5. Keep compost moist.

How do you make garden compost at home? ›

For best results, start building your compost pile by mixing three parts brown materials with one part green material. If your compost pile looks too wet and smells, add more brown items or aerate more often. If you see it looks extremely brown and dry, add green items and water to make it slightly moist.

What are the methods of preparing compost? ›

More Recent methods of composting are:
  • Tumbler Composting (A form of hot composting)
  • Worm Farm Composting (Vermicomposting)
  • EMO Composting (Bacteria composting)
  • Combination Composting (Compot Composting)
  • Commercial Composting.
  • Mechanical Composting.

How do you make compost for kids? ›

Making a Homemade Composter! | Full-Time Kid | PBS Parents

How do you make compost for a small garden? ›

Fill your backyard compost bin with a 6-inch layer of “brown” matter and a 2- to 3-inch layer of “green” matter. Water until moist, but not soggy, similar to the feel of a damp sponge. Repeat the layering process and turn. The more frequently you turn, the faster the organic material will break down.

How do you make compost in 14 days? ›

Make Compost in 14 Days with the ComposTumbler® by Mantis

What is process of composting? ›

Composting is the natural process of recycling organic matter, such as leaves and food scraps, into a valuable fertilizer that can enrich soil and plants.

How long does it take for pasta to decompose? ›

In general, it takes about three months for pasta scraps to decompose because it is an easy and fast-degradation compostable element.

Is pasta green or brown compost? ›

To keep it short, pasta is a brown compostable material, not free compostable materials. This is because pasta contains more carbohydrates. And carbohydrates contain carbon as the main component in their structure.

What should you not put in compost? ›

7 Things You Shouldn't Compost
  • MEAT & MILK PRODUCTS. While meat and dairy products are perfectly biodegradable, they can attract unwanted pests to your backyard or green bin. ...
  • BAKED GOODS. ...
  • PET & HUMAN waste. ...
  • WEEDS.
Aug 9, 2016

Can you put cooked pasta in a worm farm? ›

Bread, rice, pasta, processed foods - you can add the odd crust or bits of cooked rice off the dinner plate, but don't add lots of starchy foods. Worms don't like them and they may go off or attract pests. Acidic foods - citrus, pineapple, garlic and onions.


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