Can You Compost Sand? (And Ways to Dispose of)

Although composting is an old-time method of waste disposal and creation of natural fertilizers, it’s been newly getting all the recognition it deserves. In fact, things are going so great in this direction that there are now provisions for compost bins in different regions.

The best part is that these compost bins are easily accessible by everyone, and they encourage a uniform and correct waste disposal system. So even if you’re not interested in gardening, you can still contribute your compostable waste to these compost bins.

Now, this leads to the essence of this blog post – is sand compostable? Well, this is a commonly asked question, and we’ll explore the answer sufficiently. We’ll also answer some other questions you didn’t even know you had.

So please, read on to find out if sand is compostable, recyclable, and ways to dispose of sand.

Can You Put Sand in Compost?

It may sound ridiculous to wonder if you can put sand in compost, but it’s a viable question, and the short answer is yes. You can put sand in compost. However, you have to choose a tested and trusted proportion for the mixture, as if one part is higher than the usual proportion, it may not be as effective as you expect.

There are many reasons adding sand to your compost pile will benefit you. For one, it adds bulk to your compost materials. At times, we may not have sufficient compostable materials to go around, so we can spruce things up by adding sand to the mix. However, it’s not every sand you can compost.

For instance, you shouldn’t compost sand that has trace elements of bronze or brass. These materials can be toxic to the soil and will defeat the purpose of feeding your plants fertilizers. Likewise, excess lime and sodium may also be bad for your plants, so when you’re sourcing sand to add to your compost pile, it’s best to avoid these.

Now, you may wonder how you’re supposed to gauge the sodium and lime content in sand. Well, the best way to avoid this pickle is to refrain from using sand from the outdoors. Instead, the best sand to use is horticultural quality sand, and you can get some from a nursery or garden center.

Here’s how to put sand in compost. First, you need to ensure that your compost materials are thoroughly broken down. You can use a sieve for this; ensure that only small particles make their way through it.

Then, get a large container. Next, start with the compost and put half an inch into the container. You’ll add half-inch of sand and alternate this procedure until you’ve used up your sand. Finally, you’ll have to mix the materials in this container until you can hardly differentiate between the sand and the previous compost materials. Now, it’s ready for use!

Is Sand Recyclable?

As technology advances, you’ll come to see that just about anything can be recycled. Of course, that includes sand. Yes, there are innovative ways to recycle sand.

You see, although the sand is a natural resource, it isn’t exactly renewable. We can all agree that it’s available in excess, and with all the beaches in the world, it’s only natural to think we can never run out of sand.

However, that’s a misconception. Materials like glass, concrete, paper, paint, plastics, etc., all have components of sand in them. If we continue to consume sand at this rate, we’ll eventually exceed our supply. So, yes, the world has a limited supply of sand.

That’s why there are now different ways to recycle sand. But of course, it’s different from the traditional way of recycling. This means that sand recycling companies don’t expect you to gather the sand supply at your home or garden and bring it down to be recycled.

Instead, sand from the landfills is diverted to these recycling companies, and they make it into construction materials. That way, they kill two birds with a stone by creating more space in our landfills while also providing construction companies and other manufacturing industries that use sand as an alternative to consuming sand from beaches.

Can You Use Builders’ Sand in the Garden?

Horticultural sand is the ideal sand for your garden. But, of course, it’s not expected that you’ll fill your entire garden with it; you just need enough for your flower pots and some of your other plants.

However, you won’t always have access to horticultural sand, and as an active gardener, you shouldn’t let this be a limitation. Instead, you should find ways to improvise, and one of such is to use builders’ sand.

So yes, you can use builders’ sand for your garden. It’s even relatively cheaper, especially if you have a large garden.

Now, what is builders’ sand, and what’s it made of? Well, builders’ sand is sometimes called soft sand, and it’s made of minerals, coral, and particles of decomposed silica quartz.

While this isn’t the first choice for gardening, it sure defeats the beach’s sand or what you’ll find in a sandbox. You should also note that builders’ sand contains silica, and this material irritates the lungs. As such, it’s best to wear a mask before shoveling into it and adding it to your garden.

Lastly, builders’ sand contains lime and salt, and these aren’t good for the soil when they’re present in excess. Hence, it’s best to wash the sand before using it or buy only washed builders’ sand.

Can You Put Sand in Yard Waste?

Another method of waste disposal is through yard waste disposal systems. Here, waste materials from your yard include leaves, ash trees, grass clippings, and other wastes from your garden that can decompose.

Now, these materials are gathered and toted to a general compost center, and they’re all composted for fertilizer. This is usually done on a large scale, typically by commercial industries. You can also gather your yard waste at home and compost it yourself.

If you’re wondering if sand can go in your yard waste, then the answer is no. It absolutely can’t. Sand will not decompose and will only add unnecessary bulk to the materials in the compost pile. So, unless you intend to mix sand with already decomposed materials to add bulk to it, then you should avoid including sand in your yard waste.

Even when you’re taking your yard waste to a commercial yard waste depot, you shouldn’t include sand in it.

Is Sand Good For Succulents?

If you have succulent plants in your garden, you may wonder if you can grow them with sand. Since succulents already retain their own water, they’ll need little watering compared to your other plants.

Now, when you’re considering suitable soil for succulent plants, be sure to choose the type that will provide enough water but not in excess to prompt rotting. Since succulent plants already retain water, when you plant them in soil that contains excessive moisture, it can cause their roots to rot, thereby killing them.

As such, coarse sand is excellent for planting succulents. If you’re mixing your soil yourself, you can aim for a minimum of 50% and a maximum of 80% coarse sand in the mixture. Then, you can also include gardening soil and perlite or pumice.

This combination has the perfect water content that won’t starve your succulents of water or feed them too much of it.

5 Quick Ways to Dispose of Sand

Gardeners sometimes have excess materials on their hands, which can leave you searching for suitable disposal methods. Well, in this section, we’ll provide you with several options, and you can opt for one or all if you’ve got excess sand from a gardening activity. Please, enjoy!

1. Compost It

If you’re an active gardener, then there are high chances that you have your own compost pile. Now, adding sand to a compost pile gives it bulk, and you can use this creation to improve the quality of your soil, particularly if it’s clayey. We’re also certain you know that this mixture will help your plants grow and keep them healthy.

However, when mixing compost materials with sand, be sure to go for a legitimate formulation, as they have to be proportional to complement each other and perform their functions.

Also, ensure that you use only fully decomposed compost materials, and you can double-check this by using a sieve. Finally, mix only compost materials that make it through the sieve.

2. Curbside Collection

Curbside collection is also another way to dispose of unwanted sand. You can seal the sand in a bag, label it, and drop it near your garbage can. Again, it would be best if you didn’t put it with the rest of the garbage materials, ensure it remains in a prominent position on your curb.

Please note that it’s best to indicate if the sand has come in contact with any hazardous material to ensure that it’s not mixed with uncontaminated sand. You can also show this by including it on your label.

3. Landfill Deposit

Depending on the weight of the sand you want to dispose of, you can move it down to your local landfill. If it’s above forty-five pounds of sand, it’ll be accepted at the landfills. However, you may be required to pay a small fee.

If there’s no way for you to transport the sand to the landfill, you can request pick-up service. However, you may pay a small fee for this as well, and it’s not all landfills that offer pick-up services.

4. Build a Sandbox

You can also prepare your unwanted sand for a sandbox. However, you may have to wash and even strain it for sharp objects, depending on where the sand has been or where you purchased it from. Your kids will have a fun time in this sandbox.

The best part is that by the time it’s time for you to change the sandbox, you may need a new supply of sand in your garden. Hence, you’ll be able to reuse it in your garden. But of course, you’ll also have to prepare it for garden use.

5. Driveway

Sand is excellent for your driveway during the winter. You can use it to melt the ice in your driveway if chemicals and salt are no longer effective. Sand is also an adhesive material that’s excellent for reducing friction on an icy road.


Gardeners cannot do without sand; if you’re an active gardener, we’re certain you know just how important it is. There are several things you can do with sand, and they all are directed towards improving your garden and plant yield.

We’ve shown you many uses for sand that you probably didn’t know about in this blog post. So please, read up and use this article to make gardening even more exciting and productive.

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About Rinkesh

A true environmentalist by heart ❤️. Founded Conserve Energy Future with the sole motto of providing helpful information related to our rapidly depleting environment. Unless you strongly believe in Elon Musk‘s idea of making Mars as another habitable planet, do remember that there really is no 'Planet B' in this whole universe.