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Green Cone Waste Digester


Green Cone is an innovative food waste disposal unit that is incredibly simple to use.

Just dig Green Cone in to a sunny, well-drained spot above the water table. Add waste food, sprinkle accelerant if required, and let nature do its work.

Natural beneficial micro-organisms will consume all your food waste, even bones, leaving only water, carbon dioxide and a tiny organic residue.

For anyone who does not have the time to compost, Green Cone is the ultimate waste food disposal solution. Most Green Cones produce so little residue that they will need clearing only once every few years.

Base diameter:
38 cm
Depth below ground:
42 cm
Height above ground:
70 cm
Lid diameter :
28 cm
Total height of cone:
110 cm
Volume of basket:
80 litres
8.5 kg

How easy is the Green Cone System to use?

Very. In your kitchen fill the Green Cone caddy with all your organic kitchen waste. When convenient, empty the caddy into the Green Cone in your garden.


Where should I put the Green Cone itself?

In a sunny, close-to-hand spot like a flowerbed or vegetable plot. Do not put your Green Cone in a cold, dark, wet place as it will not work properly.


Can I use chemical activators as well?

No. Chemicals can kill or disrupt the bacteria breaking down the food waste. If activator is required only use the natural Green Cone accelerator powder.


Can I use my Green Cone to dispose of animal excrement?

No, Adding animal excrement could spread toxicara when you use the residue on your garden.


How much food waste can I put in my Green Cone?

Provided your Green Cone has been correctly installed, three-quarters to one kilogram of food waste can be disposed of in your Green Cone each day. This amount is typical of that produced by a family of four. The precise quantity of waste digested by your Green Cone each day will depend upon the ambient temperature, the population of bacteria and the mix of food waste you produce, where just like us the Green Cone responds to a balanced diet of vegetables, fruit, fish and meat!


Can I put garden waste in my Green Cone?

It is better not to. A traditional compost bin or heap is better at handling garden waste such as grass cuttings.


Do I have to turn or mix the contents in my Green Cone?

No, just put all your food waste into the Cone and forget it. Your Green Cone does all the hard work for you.


When and how often should I empty my Green Cone?

In a well operating Green Cone the waste residue will only need to be removed every few years and certainly no more than once a year. It requires emptying when the residue builds-up to about 10 cm (4") below ground level and shows no signs of reducing.


Will my Green Cone work all year round?

Yes. Your Green Cone works 365 days a year. The level of food waste may rise during winter but should drop down when the weather gets warmer. If it slows during very cold periods use the natural Green Cone accelerator powder.


Why is there a bar across the top of the Green Cone?

The bar across the mouth of the Green Cone provides some rigidity in storage and transit. Its original purpose was to prevent small children climbing into the Green Cone. Turning the new catch on the lid now serves the same purpose and the bar may safely be removed using a hacksaw to allow large scraps and carcasses to be put more easily into the Green Cone.


How do I get more accelerator powder?

Additional accelerator powder can be purchased by contacting Great Green Systems Ltd using the free phone number 0800 731 2572.


How do I clean the caddy?

The filter should be removed by snapping off its holder and the caddy hand washed in warm soapy water.


Can my Green Cone stop working?

Problems may occur if the advice on locating your Green Cone given in this booklet is not followed, namely:

- It must be in a sunny spot in your garden and not a shady area.
- The surrounding soil must be well drained and not heavy clay or chalk.
- The black basket must not be below the water table or in an area where water gathers.

If these instructions are not followed the digestion process could turn anaerobic (without oxygen) and the food waste will appear wet and slimy. The only solution is to reinstall your Green Cone in accordance with these instructions.

In periods of cold weather the digestion process may slow down due to lack of natural bacteria. This would be evident by the level of waste in the basket not decreasing. Under these circumstances the addition of the natural Green Cone accelerator powder should restore the bacteria population and restart the digestion process.


What about methane?

Food decomposing in the presence of oxygen in your Green Cone produces very little methane.


Will the Green Cone attract flies?

The Green Cone is a sealed unit and when properly installed emits no smells. It does not therefore attract flies. However, the eggs of fruit flies are already in the skins of many fruits and can hatch out in the Green Cone. Similarly, if food or food waste is not kept covered prior to going into the Green Cone, eggs may be laid by a house fly/blue bottle. These would also produce maggots and flies in the Green Cone. Good housekeeping is therefore important. Should flies become a nuisance they can be eradicated by using an air borne fly killer (given the enclosed space inside the Cone a little squirt kills the flies very quickly), which will not kill the bacteria. An organic product called "Flyko - fly and wasp killer" made by Agralan is recommended. This can also be obtained directly from Great Green Systems Ltd using the freephone number 0800 731 2572. Under no circumstances use liquid fly killer inside the cone.


Does the Green Cone attract vermin?

If correctly installed, your Green Cone will not attract vermin. By ensuring that the top of the black basket and the bottom lip of the green outer cone are below ground level any smells will be filtered out by the surrounding soil. It is also important not to spill food near the Green Cone.

If you suffer from rats in your garden, you could be unlucky with a rat run crossing the Green Cone. If you think there is a chance of this happening you should obtain a special "wire wrap" from Great Green Systems Ltd.


What is the Green Cone made of?

It is made of a durable plastic that resists attack from the elements including extremes of temperature and is expected to last for around 10 years or more.


Does my Green Cone come with a Warranty?

If your Green Cone is 10 years old or less, Great Green Systems Limited will replace any faulty or missing parts. This excludes ordinary wear and tear and damage caused by misuse or accidents. Individual parts can be purchased if required - please complete our 'Contact Us' form, and one of our team will be happy to assist.


If your question is not covered in this section, please contact our customer help line on 0800 731 2572 (UK only)


The more care you take installing your Green Cone the greater its efficiency.

The Green Cone converts food waste primarily into water and carbon dioxide. The water produced must be able to drain freely away otherwise the Green Cone will become anaerobic (without oxygen) and cease to work. It is therefore vital to install your Green Cone in an area of good drainage - or create good drainage by putting gravel (or small stones,small pieces of broken terracotta pots, small pieces of broken bricks) under the basket.

Under no circumstances must the base of the basket be below the water table or where water gathers.

Sunny Spot

Choose a location

Choose a sunny spot in the garden.


Avoid the Shade

Avoid installing your Cone in the shade as the lack of sun will affect its efficiency.


Prepare the Ground

If your soil drains well dig a hole 80cm (32') wide and 60cm (24') deep.

When you have dug the hole, pour a bucket of water into it, if the water disappears within a few minutes you have good drainage. If the water remains for more than 15 minutes you have poor drainage and will need to enlarge the hole.

raised bed

Alternative Ground Preparation

If you live in an area of heavy clay or chalk dig the hole 80cm (32') wide and 70cm (28') deep.

If you cannot dig deeper due to heavy clay or cannot obtain good drainage, mix some of the soil from the hole and/or compost with gravel, stones, broken bricks or broken pots to aid drainage, and use to fill the hole below the cone.

Alternatively make a feature of the cone in your garden by planting your cone in a raised bed made of wood (as per photo) or stone/bricks.

cone in hole

Install the Cone

Place the assembled Green Cone in the hole. Ensure the top of the black basket and the bottom lip of the outer cone are below ground level.

fill in hole

Refill the Hole

Backfill the gap around the cone with the mixture of the soil, compost, stones etc you saved when digging the hole until the bottom lip of the Green Cone is fully covered.

cone installed


Your Green Cone is now installed!


Please Note

The soil level will drop after installation and with heavy rain. Check periodically ensuring that the bottom lip of the green outer cone is fully covered.

green cone parts

Green Cone assembly

Takes All Household Waste

The Green Cone is a four-part injection moulded unit comprising a basket installed below ground and forming the base for an upper assembly consisting of a black inner cone and a green outer lidded plastic cone. The diameter of the outer Green Cone is 59cm at its base and 28cm at the lid end. The in-ground food waste digestion chamber is 42cm deep and the Green Cone stands less than 70cm above the ground.

The Green Cone takes all household food waste, including vegetable scraps, raw and cooked meat or fish, bones, dairy products and other organic kitchen waste e.g. tea bags, bread etc. The Green Cone comes with a 5 litre kitchen caddy for collecting and carrying household food waste to the Green Cone.

green cone parts

Healthy Bacteria

Healthy Bacteria

The patented design of the unit utilises a solar heating effect between the inner and outer cones to promote air circulation, which facilitates the growth of beneficial micro-organisms and the desirable aerobic digestion process. The household food waste is converted into water, carbon dioxide and small amount of residue that will only need to be removed every few years in a well operating Green Cone.

In a healthy working Cone the food waste will be covered in a blue/gray fur, this is the bacteria doing it's work. While you can see the bacteria you do not need to add accelerator powder. When the level of bacteria starts to disappear add some accelerator powder.

green cone parts

Accelerator Powder

Helping the Bacteria

Your Green Cone is supplied with accelerator powder and an application jar. Where the Green Cone is situated in a position that does not enjoy a full days sunshine, or when there are long periods of cold weather, the digestion process may benefit from the application of this powder.

Do not use any other type of activator in the Green Cone as it could kill the bacteria.

Empty the contents of the sachet into the shaker jar, then shake a small amount of the powder on the food in the caddy before emptying the food waste into the Green Cone.

It is also beneficial to use the powder for the first few weeks after the installation of the Green Cone to encourage the growth of bacteria.


You must assemble your Green Cone before installation


To assemble your Green Cone, you will need these tools

screw driver
philips screwdriver
Philips screwdriver
Flathead screwdriver

Contents of the Green Cone fixing kit

x 1
x 1
x 1
x 2
x 2
x 9


The 6 easy steps to assemble your Green Cone 

Step 1

Place the ribbed side of the hinge on the inside of the lid. Screw the hinge onto the lid through the pre-drilled holes using the two male and female studs.

Do not over tighten the studs as you could crack the lid.


Step 2

The bar across the opening of the green cone should be removed to allow large food scraps to be empied into the cone.

The crossbar can be removed with a small hacksaw or cutters. (See Frequently Asked Questions)


Step 3

Attach the twistlock to the outer Green Cone through the two pre-drilled holes using the two 8x5/8 screws.


Step 4

Place the lid on top of the Green outer cone, Part screw the hinge to the Green outer cone using the three 10x5/8 self tapping screws. When using these screws pre-drilled holes are not required.

Place the black three holed backplate in place while you tighten the three screws from the outside of the cone.


Step 5

Place the black inner cone on top of the basket.


Step 6

Place the green outer cone over the black inner, line up the holes on the green outer with the "u" shaped slots on the black inner then screw together with the 6 remaining 10x5/8 screws.

Now you have installed your Green Cone...'re ready to start using it!


What can I empty into the Green Cone?

- Fish

- Meat

- Poultry

- Bones

- Bread

- Pasta

- Soup

- Curry

- Fruit including peelings

- Vegetables including peelings

- Dairy produce

- Cooked food scraps

- Crushed egg shells

- Tea bags

empty caddy

Kitchen Waste

Starting with your kitchen caddy, keep it on your work surface, start placing all your food waste in the caddy and remember with the sealed lid and filter you don't have to run out to the cone every five minutes to empty it, wait till it is full and make just a couple of trips a week.

caddy shaker

Accelerator Powder

For the first few weeks after installation of the cone sprinkle some Accelerator powder on to the food waste in the caddy before you empty it into the cone. This will help to encourage the growth of bacteria

Do not use any other type of activator on the Green Cone as it could kill the bacteria

Where the Green Cone is situated in a position that does not enjoy a full days sun, or when there are long periods of cold weather, the digestion process will benefit from occasional application of this powder.


The Green Cone is designed to handle:

1 full waste caddy every 1-2 days in the summer months.

1 full waste caddy every 2-3 days during the winter months.

Remember to add Accelerator Powder every time you empty the caddy during the winter months and as required during summer.

empting caddy

The Waste Caddy

When the caddy is full empty it into the cone, and let nature do its work

food in basket

Healthy Bacteria

In a Healthy working Cone the food waste will be covered in a blue/gray fur, this is the bacteria doing its work. While you can see the bacteria you do not need to add accelerator powder. When the level of bacteria starts to Disappear add some accelerator powder.


Dealing with Household Waste

The Green Cone is an integral part of dealing with your household waste. It takes your cooked and uncooked kitchen food waste, including: meat, fish, bones, dairy products, vegetables, fruit, peelings, etc.

The only exceptions are bulk amounts of food related materials that require a very long time to breakdown, namely: cooking oil/fat and the hard shells of nuts and seafood, such as oysters and crabs.

Remember the Green Cone is not a composter and will not deal with garden waste. Below is a list of other items you cannot put in the Green Cone:

- Metal

- Wood

- Plastic

- Glass

- Paper

- Straw

- Grass cuttings

- Hedge clippings

- Bulk oil

- Disinfectant & bleaches

- "Special treatment items"

Other household waste (i.e. non-kitchen food waste) must not be put into the Green Cone but disposed of according to local authority guidance.


Compost or Recycle?

Recycle non-biodegradable materials such as metal, wood, plastic and consumer items such as batteries, mobile phones, etc.

Compost straw and garden waste such as grass and hedge clippings. (Use a composter)

Special Treatment (see guidance provided at recyclenow): Petroleum based liquids, solvents, paints, chemicals such as bleach, household cleaners, insecticides, etc., Medical and pharmaceutical waste such as dressings, medicine and drugs, Sanitary items such as disposable nappies.



Your Green Cone needs very little maintenance. As noted in the section on instalation, it is important to ensure that the top of the basket and the bottom lip of the outer green cone are below ground level and always fully covered with soil.

In a well operating Green Cone very little waste residue will be produced. Should the residue build-up to ground level and not decrease, the upper cones can be removed to access the basket. The residue can be dug into any suitable area of ground.