What Can Go in Lomi and What Cannot?

Kids watching mom add things to Lomi

Everyday waste piles up fast. With Americans throwing away about 40% of the food we purchase, this can easily get out of hand. But what if garbage was optional?

Composting is an easy and obvious solution to this problem, allowing the nutrients from your food to be broken down and delivered back to the earth. However, many municipalities and apartment buildings don’t offer a composting program, and if they do, they’re inconvenient, smelly, and messy.

Enter: Lomi, a countertop composting system that transforms your food waste into nutrient-rich dirt with the press of a button. Lomi saves the planet while saving you the mess. But what types of food and materials can a Lomi break down?

Feel free to jump ahead to get all your queries answered:

Let’s explore exactly what types of waste can be magically transformed with Lomi.

What is Lomi?

Lomi is capable of converting waste into usable dirt in just a few short hours. Designed by Pela’s team of scientists and engineers, Lomi is an innovative and affordable solution to food waste management. Unlike other composting options, Lomi can handle more than just food scraps, breaking down bioplastics, paper products, coffee filters, and more.

Lomi also goes a step further than other composting systems by creating an immediately usable dirt. Typical methods of at-home composting take weeks or months to break down, requiring regular maintenance and producing a ripe smell. Lomi does all the heavy-lifting, converting food waste into nutrient-rich dirt that can be easily applied to house plants, gardens, and lawns. No mixing, no stinky liquid.

If you’re curious about the best ways to use or dispose of the Lomi end product, check out our guide to all things Lomi dirt.


Lomi by Pela



Lomi allows you to turn food waste into plant-ready nutrients in under 24 hours. Boost your plants while reducing your waste.


What can you put in Lomi?

A depiction of what can go into Lomi

Lomi can handle a diverse range of compostable items, including most food waste and Lomi Approved products. For example:

  • Fruit and vegetables
  • Food leftovers and plate scrapings
  • Meat scraps
  • Eggs and eggshells
  • Rinds and peels
  • Grains
  • Coffee grounds
  • Yard trimmings and house plants
  • Lomi Approved bioplastics, paper products, and packaging

This list is only the beginning. Lomi is designed for convenience, meaning it can break down almost any food waste you throw at it depending on the mode. It can even handle items that industrial compost can’t! Now that you have a rough idea of what Lomi can handle, let’s get into some more details.



What are the three Lomi modes?

Three Lomi modes logos with time descriptions

Lomi has three distinct modes which all serve a different purpose. But what’s the difference between each mode, and why does it matter?


Eco-Express is Lomi’s fastest cycle, breaking down your food waste in just 3-5 hours. This mode is designed to handle all kinds of food waste from plate scrapings to meat to vegetable scraps. Eco-express is not meant to break down bioplastics. Lomi dirt from Eco-Express mode can be added to plants, but if this is your goal, follow the “Grow” guidelines to see what can and cannot be added.


Grow mode is Lomi’s longest mode and is optimized to create nutrient-rich dirt that is perfect for adding to indoor and outdoor plants. Generally, the results of Grow mode are best when fresh fruit and vegetable scraps, coffee grounds, and eggshells are added. However, items such as oats, legumes, tofu, and more are also accepted. Avoid adding highly processed foods.

Lomi Approved

Lomi Approved mode allows for the unique ability to break down certain bioplastics and paper products, but this mode is not limited to those items. Lomi Approved bioplastics, paper products, and packaging should be mixed with a variety of foods for the best result. To make it easy to know what should be added to Lomi, we have created the Lomi Approved certification for non-food compostable items that can be broken down by Lomi. You can find more details on Lomi Approved products here.

Each mode functions best when the appropriate compostable material is added. It’s important to understand what should and shouldn’t go into each Lomi cycle.

Your Lomi compost checklist for every mode

To make sure that your Lomi lives a long and prosperous life, and that you get the best dirt at the end of each batch, it’s important to understand what should and should not be added for each Lomi mode. We’ve broken it down into three categories: What can go into Lomi, what can be added in small quantities, and what should never go into the mix. 

What can always go into Lomi

Lomi loves fresh, raw, whole foods. While other organic matter can be added to Lomi (as you’ll see), these types of food waste will create the best end result. Remember to always add a diverse mix of foods for best results. These foods can be added to any Lomi mode:

A table describing all foods that can be added to Lomi

In Grow mode, Lomi is creating a natural fertilizer that returns nutrients back to the Earth. This means that less processed foods, like fruits and vegetables, generally create a better end result. These types of waste should be avoided in Grow mode, but can be added otherwise:

Table with foods added to Eco-Express and Lomi Approved modes

It is also important to understand what can go into Lomi in limited amounts and what you should never put into Lomi. Let’s dig into it.

What should be added to Lomi in limited amounts

Some types of waste are welcomed in limited amounts in Lomi, since they can alter the end result. For example, nut butters can be broken down in Lomi, but their sticky and oily nature will lead to coagulation and a strangely-textured dirt. This is why we recommend limiting the following materials to ¼ cup per cycle:

Table with foods that should be limited in Lomi

In the above list, “Lomi Approved Products” and “Lomi Approved Packaging” should all be certified on our Lomi Approved list. “Nut shells (thin)” refers to shells like pistachio and sunflower. “Peels (fibrous)” include corn husks and onion peels.

Now let’s move onto the forbidden fruit.

What should never, ever go into Lomi

Lomi doesn’t like all foods. Some items can be damaging to the hardware, create an unwanted impact on your end product, or just aren’t meant to decompose. Generally speaking, do not add liquids, oils, very hard foods, and non-organic materials to Lomi.

table with foods that should not be added in Lomi

In the above list, “Nutshells (thick)” refers to shells like walnut and pecan. “Non-organic materials” are materials like metal, glass, and plastic.

Now that you’ve learned the do’s and don’ts of creating a waste-masterpiece inside your Lomi, let’s dive into some other details.

How to create balanced compost

person holding a handful of dirt of Lomi

The quality of the Lomi end-product comes down to what you put into Lomi, which mode you run it on, and a few special tips and tricks. It’s important to remember that Lomi can only produce dirt made of whatever you feed it.

To create the most balanced product for your plants, we always recommend a blend of fresh fruit and vegetable scraps, coffee grounds, and eggshells. Whenever possible, make a diverse mix, as this will incorporate more variation of nutrients. On the flip side, the end product created from processed foods with high salt and sugar will not be ideal for growing plants. Note that walnut shells are also toxic to plants. See ‘What can go into Lomi’ above for the full list of recommended additions.

Lomi’s three modes are tailored for different uses. Use Grow mode when optimizing for your garden, as this longer time frame allows the material to fully break down. Eco-Express dirt can be added to plants, but only if the “Grow” guidelines are followed for what can go into the mix. Don’t forget to add a LomiPod and 50ml of water to jump start the development of healthy microbial cultures.

Another pro-tip to optimize your end product is to leave the dirt from one cycle in your Lomi before adding more food scraps and running Grow mode. Don’t worry, Lomi reduces the volume of food waste by up to 90%, so you’ll still have plenty of room to add your additional waste.

12 FAQs about using Lomi for home composting

Got specific questions? We’ve got you covered. 

1. Can you put meat in Lomi?

Yes! Meat can go into Lomi. All animal products (other than bones) are Lomi-friendly.

Keep in mind that for Grow mode and when optimizing for gardening dirt, we recommend a blend of fruit and vegetable scraps. While a small amount of meat won’t hurt, try to keep it limited to best-serve your plants.

2. Can Lomi compost corn cobs?

Yes! Lomi can break down corn, corn cobs, and limited amounts of corn husk. It can handle both raw and cooked corn cobs.

Make sure to cut up your corn cob before adding it to the mixture to prevent blockages in your Lomi cycle. Always tear apart corn husk and do not add more than ½ a cup as it is very fibrous.

3. Can you put pistachio shells in Lomi?

Pistachio shells can be added in limited amounts to each Lomi cycle. This means adding no more than ½ a cup per batch.

Since pistachio shells are hard, they can be partially broken down by Lomi. You may notice fragments are still visible at the end of the cycle, but this can still be added to your plants.

4. Can Lomi compost banana peels?

Yes! Banana peels can be broken down by Lomi. Banana peels can benefit plant growth because they are high in nutrients, including potassium, phosphorus, magnesium and calcium.

Lomi can handle banana, orange, and mandarin peels. Lemon and lime peels should not be added as they are very acidic.

5. Can you put paper towels in Lomi?

Paper towels can be broken down by Lomi if they are Lomi Approved. This is because some paper towels contain bleach or artificial dyes. Similarly, paper towels that have been used with cleaning products or to wipe surfaces should not be added.

Always use Lomi Approved mode when adding paper products or bioplastics.

6. Can you add egg shells to Lomi?

Yes! Egg shells are considered soft shells and can be added to Lomi. The calcium from egg shells can benefit your plants by maintaining acidity levels in the soil and strengthening their cell walls.

As with all food items, remember to combine eggs and egg shells with other foods to create a healthy mix.

7. Can you put moldy food in Lomi?

Yes, moldy fruits, vegetables, and grains can be added to Lomi. However, rotten meat is not recommended.

Keep in mind that moldy foods may cause additional odor. The good news is that mold can actually be beneficial to your plants. As always, mix the moldy food in with other items for an optimal cycle.

8. Can Lomi compost bones?

Lomi can break down soft bones, but not hard bones such as chicken, beef, pork, or lamb. Soft bones include fish bones and small, cooked chicken bones.

Hard bones should not be added to Lomi as it will cause blockages in the Lomi cycle. Bones can compost in bins, however they also biodegrade slowly in these settings.

9. Does Lomi compost plastic?

No. Do not add plastic, styrofoam, plastic wrap, produce netting, or anything of the sort to Lomi. Lomi does not break down any non-organic material.

Lomi Approved bioplastics, however, can go into Lomi! These are items that look like plastic, but are made of organic materials and are certifiably compostable. 

10. Can you put pineapple and apple cores in Lomi?

Pineapple and apple cores can be added to Lomi in limited quantities. Hard materials such as these can cause blockages in the cycle and no more than ½ a cup should be added per cycle.

Always remember to cut up pineapple cores to help Lomi break it down smoothly. Pineapple crowns and peels should also be cut up.

11. Can Lomi compost tea bags? 

Lomi can break down organic hemp and cotton tea bags. Many tea bags are made of synthetic fabrics which are not Lomi Approved. The tea bags must be made of natural materials.

To verify if your tea bag can go into Lomi, look for organic or compostable labels on the packaging, or check what it’s made of.

12. Can you put cheese in Lomi? 

Yes! Cheese gets the green light. However, cheese shouldn’t be added to a batch that you intend to use for plant soil. Those batches should always be limited to raw fruits and vegetables, egg shells, and coffee grounds.

Large amounts of cheese, such as a bag of grated cheese, shouldn’t be added to Lomi all at once.

Now that you’re up to speed on the best ways to use your Lomi, you’re ready to get started! If you don’t have your own Lomi to feed kitchen scraps to, you can order yours online today. And if you’re still unsure if Lomi really does break down this laundry list of items, check out what other people have to say. Lomi is the perfect way to easily reduce your carbon footprint, care for your plants, and create a mess-free waste system in your home. Whether you’re just getting started with composting or a Lomi-pro, we salute your effort!

Written by: Cassia Attard