Can We Compost Raw Meat? How?

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Quick Answer: Can We Compost Raw Meat?

The answer is complicated. It is not recommended to compost raw meat whether in a pile or bin. But, they can be technically composted as they are organic but pose many problems. It may create an unpleasant smell and attract scavengers. If you are an experienced composter, you may follow the hot composting process to compost raw meat.

This is the ultimate guide on composting raw meat.

I have poured hours of research into answering the question using facts and experience of composting.

Read on for further information!

Can We Compost Raw Meat?

Raw meat can be composted as they are organic. However, many experts advise against composting them due to food safety issues. You may decide depending on your experience, pest infestation in your area, and municipal laws.

The answer is complicated. Technically, raw meat is organic and may decompose over time. So, they may be composted.

But, EPA and many composting experts do not recommend composting raw meat. There are many good reasons to avoid putting it in a compost pile due to food safety issues.

The decision to put raw meat in your compost depends on the likelihood of pest infestation in your area, your experience in composting, and how often you can monitor the compost pile.

Also, check if the law is against composting raw meat in your area.

Problems With Composting Raw Meat

Raw meat may harbor harmful microbes. It may turn rancid producing odors that may attract pests. Also, they take time to decompose.

The problems with composting raw meat are discussed below.

  1. Meat is high in protein and fat. So, it may take time to decompose compared to plant waste.
  2. Raw meat may be harboring E.coli, Campylobacter, Salmonella, and Listeria bacteria that thrive in the hot environment of a compost heap. It may spread to the compost and growing plants.
  3. Another major concern while adding raw meat to your compost bin is that it may attract vermins, flies, and other animals. Rats, in particular, will make frequent visits to your compost pile due to the smell.
  4. Raw meat in the compost pile may turn rancid and produce an unpleasant odor.

How To Compost Raw Meat?

You may use hot composting methods. Bury the meat in the center of the compost pile and mix organic matter. Maintain the ideal temperatures and keep stirring to facilitate the decomposition.

If you are an experienced composter and decide to compost raw meat, you may follow the steps below.

1. Add the meat to the compost pile

Chop the meat and bury them in the center of the pile. Use a big pile of at least 3’X3’X3’ for proper aeration and to prevent pest infestation.

2. Add more brown matter

Mix organic waste. Use more brown matter to aid in decomposition.

3. Following hot composting methods

The required temperature is between 130oF to 160oF for five days. You may repeat the cycle three times.

4. Turn the compost pile

Keep stirring the pile after each high-temperature cycle. It facilitates the heat process and adds more oxygen.

5. Collect the compost

You may collect the compost after it degrades completely. If the compost does not reach the proper temperature, do not use them.

Here is an informative video on composting meat:

What Is The Alternative To Composting Raw Meat?

You may drop the meat in the local composting facility or throw them in the garbage as an alternative to composting. Take care to seal and throw them to prevent foul smell and spread of unwanted pathogens.

If you can not compost them, you may contact the local composting facility if they would accept them.

You may also toss them in a garbage can or dumpster. Make sure you leave them in their packaging or seal them in a bag.

It may minimize the risk of handling raw meat and prevent the spread of harmful pathogens.
You should dispose of meat very soon to avoid foul smells in your home.

Tips And Considerations While Composting Raw Meat

A few tips to be followed are adding all organic matter at once, avoiding smaller piles, and using a compost thermometer.

  1. It is recommended not to use raw compost within 150 days of harvest.
  2. You may consider the following tips and considerations if opting to compost raw meat
  3. Add all the organic materials at once. It helps in warming to desired temperatures.
  4. Avoid using smaller piles as they wouldn’t warm to desired temperatures. Keep the compost pile moist but not wet.
  5. It is preferable to use a compost thermometer to check the temperature.
  6. Do not use the raw compost within 150 days of harvest. Do not spread the compost with decomposed meat.


Can you compost raw meat using Bokashi?

Yes. You can pre-treat raw meat using the Bokashi method. It is a fermentation process by microbes in a sealed bucket with Bokashi bran. You may add the fermented meat to the general composting bin later.

Can Salmonella survive in the compost?

Yes. Both Salmonella and E.coli may survive for over 50 days at about 140oF in industrial compost. It may become undetectable when the temperature decreases to 104oF in the compost curing. However, hot composting may kill much of Salmonella.

Bottom Line

Hopefully, this article has helped you decide on whether to compost raw meat or not depending on your experience and available conditions.

Let us know your story about composting raw meat.