Green Cone Solar Digester

Don’t want to compost, but still want to handle your food scraps in your backyard? Have an area in your yard that gets a decent amount of sun? Try a Green Cone Solar Digester! Green Cones are in-ground digesters that break down ALL food scraps, including meat, bones and dairy. They differ from composting in that they do not produce compost, and therefore do not require any “browns” or carbon material like leaves, paper or straw, or turning. Rather, the nutrients from food scraps are released into the soil during decomposition, and nourish the plants nearby.

The basket on the bottom is buried in the ground, enabling micro-organisms and insects in the soil to break down the food scraps underground. The cone is double-walled, which traps heat and both speeds up decomposition, as well as insulates in the winter. Once installed, you simply open the lid, add food scraps, and close the lid. That’s it! A sunny location and good or modified drainage are also critical to the process. Decomposition quickens during warm weather and slows during cold weather. But since much of the material is underground, it never stops altogether — even in VT!

ACSWMD sells them at the District Transfer Station in Middlebury for $125. For more information on the Green Cone, including installation instructions, click here.