Can You Compost Rice: What You Should Know Before Adding It to Your Compost

can you compost rice
Yes, you can compost rice in your backyard compost. Both raw or cooked leftover rice can be composted; however, in order not to encourage unwanted visitors like bugs, just a small amount of each should be put in the compost heap.

The best way to compost rice is using hot compost, which speeds up the decomposition process. You can also use a compost tumbler or covered bin.

Should Rice Be Composted?

Rice is a type of organic matter that can be added to the compost pile. However, if you compost uncooked rice, you risk luring unwanted bugs and bacteria into your home.

You should avoid composting the following foods alongside rice:

  • Bacon oil
  • Meat
  • Grease
  • Fish

Is Rice a Green or a Brown Compost Ingredient?

Composting materials are classified as either green or brown materials. Rice is difficult to place in any particular category.

Here’s why:

Cooked rice decomposes faster just like other green materials, while uncooked rice takes longer to decompose, similar to other brown materials.

So rice falls somewhere in between the browns and greens. I advise you to use cooked rice as greens and uncooked rice as browns.

How Long Does Rice Take To Decompose?

Composting uncooked rise takes up to 3 months or longer. Cooked rice will decompose much faster.

How to Compost Rice

You can compost rice using different methods, including:

1. Hot Compost Pile

A hot compost offers the atmosphere necessary for the speedy decomposition of organic waste and leftover food. Hot compost decomposes materials faster than cold compost. You can avoid some potential issues by adding rice to the hot compost pile.

For instance, the high temperature can potentially eradicate any harmful bacteria that may have been multiplying.

When added to a hot pile, rice has the benefit of driving away unwanted vermin. Rice composts best at 160 degrees Fahrenheit.

2. Worm Bin

Using a worm bin is another risk-free approach to adding food scraps or rice hulls to your compost pile.

Rice is a favorite food of worms, and they have little trouble devouring it. As they eat the food, they keep harmful bacteria from growing, which can hurt your pile.

Stick to plain rice and avoid things like meat and spices, which ruin your heap. Be sure to give any rice seasoned with sauce a good rinsing before adding it to your pile. Worms may have trouble digesting spicy foods because of the strong scents that sauces might release.

Add rice in small amounts to prevent having too much that goes uneaten. Over time, add additional rice.

3. Covered Bin

Pests are often attracted to open compost piles in gardens. Pests destroy your heap in quest of food, which is opposed to its success. You may avoid this by adding rice to a closed compost bin, keeping pests at bay.

If you can’t make hot compost or get to a worm bin, a closed bin that rodents can’t get into is a great alternative. Rodents won’t be able to get in, but odors won’t escape either.

The best thing to do is to get a raised, enclosed bin. That way, you can keep it up and out of the way.

The following are some extra measures that will assist you in getting started composting rice effectively.

  • Spread the rice. Remember that rice clusters can impede airflow and oxygen. When you distribute your grains evenly over the compost heap or pile, you create space for the grains to decompose properly.
  • Turn your compost often. By turning it often, you can keep clumps from forming. It improves circulation, which ‌quickens the process of decomposition. A consistent rotation not only distributes moisture but also brings in fresh oxygen.
  • Add some hydrated white lime. This is a white powder formed when you treat calcium oxide using water. Composting with hydrated white lime has several advantages. It speeds up the decomposition of the grains and neutralizes acids. It also has the added benefit of warding off vermin in your compost piles.

How to Keep Pests Away When Composting Rice

Plastic bins sold commercially are pest-resistant. However, rodents can tunnel beneath and access your garbage.

Putting 1/4″ wire mesh under your compost bin container can avoid this.

Another way to keep animals from getting into your bin is to keep your compost away from any food source for them, including berry trees, pet food bowls, and bird feeders.


Discovering composting as a way of life or even better, as nature’s way of recycling, Ana dedicates her time to trying out new methods of composting at home. Her goal is to share everything that she’s learned in the hopes that it will help others discover the amazing rewards of composting.

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