Many people start backyard compost bins as a way to reduce sending organic waste to the landfill and to create beneficial mulch for their gardens. Yes, leaves, grass clippings and carrot stems are known items for composting, but there are also many unusual items you can toss into the bin. Tea bags will break down in a compost bin -- tear it open to help speed it up the process. Stale bread, pet hair, coffee filters and grounds, dryer lint, cardboard and even shells from crabs, clams, oysters and lobsters are all compostable. Just remember to cover these items with a layer of green matter like leaves or grass clippings.