Acceptable for Composting:
Fruit and vegetable scraps
Non-greasy food scraps or leftovers
Rice, pasta, bread, cereal, etc.
Coffee grounds with filter, tea bags
Egg and nut shells
Cut or dried flowers, wreaths
Houseplants and potting soil
Cardboard, clean paper, newspaper
Yard trimmings, grass clippings, leaves, pine needles
Not Acceptable for Composting:
Meat, chicken, and fish
Greasy food scraps or leftovers
Fats or oils
Dairy items (cheese, butter, yogurt, etc.)
Fruit peels and pits (ie. peach pits, etc)
Dog or cat feces, kitty litter
Coal or charcoal
Diseased or insect-infested houseplants and soil
Yard trimmings treated with chemical pesticides
Perennial or plants gone to seed
A convenient way to store kitchen scraps so you don't have to keep running out to the compost bin is to put them in a large zip-lock bag and keep them in the freezer.
HOW COMPOST WORKS
All organic materials contain carbon and nitrogen in varying proportions. To create ideal conditions for composting, add and mix equal parts (by volume) of "green" high-nitrogen materials (ie. fruit and vegetable scraps, coffee grounds) and "brown" high-carbon materials (ie. leaves, shredded paper). This blend will provide the bacteria and other decomposer organisms the proper proportions of carbon and nitrogen.
You want to keep a balance between green and brown materials. Without enough greens, a pile will decompose very slowly, and without enough browns the pile may smell bad. In general, it's better to err on the side of too many browns, so you should stockpile dry, carbon-rich material, such as fall leaves or shredded newspaper, to add to your bin throughout the year.
When adding "greens," such as food waste or green garden trimmings to your compost pile, be sure to cover these food scraps with a layer of "browns" (finished compost or fall leaves) to deter possible odors, pests and flies. This will disguise the scent of the food and deter vermin. If you have the space, keep a supply of bagged fall leaves throughout the year to cover food scraps and balance out the "browns." Be sure to mix the brown thoroughly into the pile.