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Green Cone Digester

The Green Cone Digester is a tool you can use to reduce the majority of your food waste. The digester breaks down food waste through the addition of a powdered form of bacteria.  The bacteria can process most household food waste including:

  • fruit and vegetable scraps
  • raw and cooked meat or fish
  • dairy products
  • bread and pasta products

The model of digester we sell is the “Green Cone Digester”. You can buy the Green Cone Digester at local Home Hardware Stores for $65.00 plus tax. Call first to confirm availability.

Occasionally, the EWSWA will have a sale on the digesters. The best way to learn about any sales or discounts is to sign up for our e-newsletter.

Setting Up Your Green Cone Digester

This unit works best in the sun. Try and find a sunny location in your backyard with good drainage for the digester. The digester comes with a basket which must be buried in the ground. The Green Cone Digester has four main parts: a basket, a inner liner, an outer cone, and a lid. It should also come with a manual as well as hinges for the lid, and activator (which is the powdered form of bacteria).

You will also need a kitchen catcher. A kitchen catcher can be a bucket, pail, or even an empty ice cream container. Place your food scraps in your kitchen catcher. When it is full, take it out to the digester.

What Goes in the Green Cone Digester?

The Green Cone Digester takes almost all food waste scraps and leftovers:

  • Fruit Scraps (e.g. orange peels, banana peels, watermelon rinds)
  • Vegetable Scraps (e.g. potato peels, celery, carrots, etc.)
  • Beef, Poultry and Fish scraps (cooked or raw)
  • Dairy products
  • Bread and Pasta Products
  • Coffee Grounds and Filters
  • Tea Bags
  • Egg Shells

What Doesn’t Go in the Digester?

  • Corn cobs (these take a very long time to digest and will fill up the basket too quickly – don’t place corn cobs in the digester)
  • Metal
  • Wood
  • Plastic
  • Glass
  • Paper
  • Straw
  • Grass cuttings
  • Hedge clippings
  • Bulk oil
  • Household chemicals

How Does the Digester Work?

You will add food waste and the activator into the Green Cone Digester. The bacteria will start to ‘digest the food waste and convert it into water. The digester  will also produce a small amount of digested food waste. The water will drain into the surrounding soil through the holes in the basket. The food waste will accumulate in the basket until you have to remove it. The leftover food can be dug into the garden as a fertilizer. It will take about 5 years before you have to remove any leftover food in the basket.

You will not create any final product (e.g. compost) with your digester. The digester’s only purpose is to reduce food waste.


Check the internet for resources and ‘how-to’ videos on using and installing the Green Cone Digester.

Troubleshooting FAQS

If you have not added any food during the winter, you may need to add more activator. The digester needs active bacteria to perform properly. You can contact the Essex-Windsor Solid Waste Authority for more activator. We sell extra activator.

Corn cobs take a very long time to break down. It is best if you don’t place corn cobs in your digester.

Place one-third of the activator package in the digester to start. Make sure you put food in the digester before you add the activator. Once a year, add another third of the activator package to the digester. It is best to add the activator in the spring.

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