NYC Resources 311 Office of the Mayor
Newsletter Signup Printer Friendly Email a Friend Translate This Page
Text Size: A A A
NYC - recycle more, waste less New York City Recycles NYC Department of Sanitation
Soil Incorporation & In-Soil Digestors

Share/Bookmark

Ask gardeners if they compost, and they might respond, "No, but I bury my food scraps in the garden." Burying organic material is one of the oldest methods of composting. There are many variations of this method.

The most basic is to simply dig a hole and drop in food scraps. Food scraps should be covered with at least 8 inches of soil to prevent animals from detecting their presence and digging the scraps up. Depending on your soil conditions and the material buried, it can take from two weeks to one year for the material to decompose. The decomposition time will be shorter if the material buried is chopped into small pieces and if the soil has a healthy population of microorganisms.

An in-soil digester allows you to bury your organic material without having to dig a new hole each time you're ready to bury a new load. A digester is like a modified trash can. Holes are drilled into the bottom of the can. A two- to three-foot hole is dug and the can is placed into the hole with about a third to a half of the can above the ground. Food scraps are thrown into the can, which is covered with a tight-fitting or locking lid to keep out pests. The digester can hold several months worth of food scraps, depending on the amount of scraps generated. The digester should be placed in an area that is well drained. This method of composting is anaerobic, and when the lid is opened it can produce odors. To avoid a problem with flies, food scraps should be covered with a layer of sawdust or soil. The material should take about a year to compost.

ALSO SEE:
indoor composting
outdoor composting
composting equipment
how to compost

back to top | back to other ways to recycle food scraps

Site Map

Copyright The City of New York Contact Us Privacy Policy Terms of Use