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Can You Compost Egg Shells?

By Marley Goldin
on October 21, 2021

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If eggs are part of your daily morning routine, you may be looking for more responsible ways to consume them. So, can you compost egg shells?
close up of a pile of eggshells

Ready to make your kitchen more sustainable? Composting is a great way to start. But knowing what can and can’t be composted is tricky. So you may find yourself wondering, “hmm.. can you compost egg shells?”

The good news is YES! You can compost egg shells, and I’m here to help you do so in the most effective way.

throwing egg shells into compost bin

Yes! You Can Compost Egg Shells!



How To Compost Egg Shells

Not only can you compost egg shells, gardening sources actually say you should!

Egg shells add calcium to your compost, a healthy additive to soil for your plants.

It’s always best to crush your egg shells before adding them to your compost. You can even opt to put them through your blender or coffee grinder to crush them into small pieces to speed up their break down in the compost.

Whole egg shells can take years to break down on their own.

Best practice is rinsing your egg shells before adding them to the bin as well. This will avoid attracting pests.

After cracking my eggs, I just turn on my faucet and give them a quick rinse before placing them in my kitchen countertop compost pail.

If you are worried about the small chance that the raw egg may contain disease such as salmonella, you can place your rinsed egg shells on a baking sheet, and heat them in the oven at 200°F for a couple of minutes to kill any bacteria.

egg shells on baking sheet

How Egg Shells Break Down in Compost

Egg shells, though packed with nutrients and a very healthy addition to your compost, are not technically 100% organic material because they contain minerals. All this means is that they do take a little longer to break down.

As mentioned above, crushing or grinding the egg shells can speed up this process up to tenfold.

Are Eggs Sustainable?

On average, emissions from plant-based foods are up to 50 times lower than animal-based foods. That means eating eggs in moderation and responsibly sourcing your eggs are great ways to reduce your carbon footprint.

So how do you responsibly source eggs?

Look for local and organic, pasture-raised eggs (over free-range or cage-free) to support agriculture that is less reliant on chemicals and fossil fuels.

a bunch of egg shells on the counter

Egg Substitues

To help me reduce my egg consumption, I like to save the eggs for when they really count (like in this Smoked Salmon Eggs Benedict). that means you will find me baking without eggs often.

Some of the most common egg substitutes in baking include flax eggs, apple sauce, mashed banana, aquafaba, or a commercial egg replacement like Just Egg.

Why Compost?

Composting not only reduces your contribution to waste in the landfill and reduces your carbon footprint, but it’s also great for the soil health in your garden.

Composting helps combat climate change by allowing your organic waste to break down naturally, as opposed to turning into greenhouse gas in the landfill.

If you’re interested in the benefits of composting and need help getting started, check out my article on the Advantages of Composting.

pile of egg shells on the counter top

So, Can You Compost Egg Shells?

In conclusion, yes! You can definitely compost egg shells.

For best practice, rinse your egg shells and crush or grind them up in the blender, food processor, or coffee grinder to speed up their breakdown.

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