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Compostable items left in rubbish? (6)


I believe the answer is:


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'compostable items' is the definition.
I can't judge whether this definition defines the answer.

'left in rubbish?' is the wordplay.
'left' becomes 'l' (common abbreviation).
'in' indicates putting letters inside.
'rubbish?' becomes 'pants' (informal term meaning poor-quality).
'l' going within 'pants' is 'PLANTS'.

Can you help me to learn more?

(Other definitions for plants that I've seen before include "Living organisms without power of movement" , "Flora" , "Places in the earth" , "Trees, shrubs etc." , "Vegetable organisms" .)

I've seen this clue in The Guardian.
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