Use of home food digesters to reduce household waste

Marie Harder, Ryan Woodard

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


European and UK legislation has led local authorities to implement waste prevention programmes and assess the options available for diverting waste from final disposal to landfill. Food waste is part of the waste stream where significant diversions can be made, with an estimated 6·7 Mt of such waste thrown out by UK households each year. One option available for managing food waste is the green cone (GC) food waste digester. The unit is installed at household level and is designed to accept all food waste including meat, fish and processed food. The unit heats up through solar gain and the waste in the GC is converted into water, carbon dioxide and a small amount of residue. This paper describes a project that directly investigated changes in waste by householders after they started using a GC food digester. A statistically significant reduction in waste was found, at a 99% confidence level, in households using a GC food digester. An average reduction of 2·1 kg of waste per household per week (from 11·2 to 9·1 kg) was seen in a sample of 68 new GC users compared with a sample of 1446 control, non-users.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)69-73
Number of pages5
JournalProceedings of the ICE - Waste and Resource Management
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - May 2009


  • local government
  • waste management and disposal
  • landfill


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