Distributors / Implementing Organizations
The system is open-source and it can be implemented by anyone.
This product can be locally manufactured following the following steps: a) Build the box: The process starts by building a 1 m x 1 m x 1 m box using wood planks. The planks of minimum length 1 m and varied width and thickness can be assembled using nails, wood screws, and hand tools. b) Start the base: Place the box on the ground in an open space preferably outdoors (e.g., yard, parks, farms, or urban gardens). Place tree branches inside the box at the base to build support for organic waste. The space formed by the branches will allow draining rainwater. c) Gather organic waste from your garden: This type of waste will form the first layer inside the box, on top of the three branches. Press this layer of waste using an earth rammer or stepping on it. The goal is to get very well-compressed organic garden waste. d) Gather organic waste from your kitchen: Build the second layer forming a "nest" with organic waste from the garden and place organic waste from your kitchen inside the "nest." e) Cover the kitchen waste: Using another layer of garden waste, cover the kitchen waste very well, and compress the material until getting a compact compound. f) Repeat the process until reaching the top of the box. g) After a month, remove the planks and start a new bale.
Intellectural Property Type
User Provision Model
Users can build their own Silva Digester Bundle by following the instructions published at this website
Distributions to Date Status
Input requirement (volume and frequency)
1 m³ or ?500 kg and 180 days
Production capacity (kg output per kg input)
1 kg output per 1 kg input
Percentage of nutrient recovery
Complementary treatment needed
The digester bundle uses a box made of wood planks. The dimensions of the box are 1 m x 1 m x 1 m and the size and thickness of the wood planks can vary. Wood strips can be used to join planks. Large plastic containers can work as an alternative to wooden boxes.
There is no technical support provided and users are expected to maintain the product on their own.
Wood planks can be replaced with plywood or any other kind of solid board.
Manufacturer Specified Performance Parameters
According to the designer, the 1 m³ wood box allows users to process up to 500 kg of organic waste (combined garden and kitchen waste at a 50/50 proportion). After six months, the compound is transformed into approximately 150 kg (330 lbs.) of organic fertilizer.
Vetted Performance Status
The Silva Digester Bundle was tested at the "Villa del Socorro" neighborhood in Medellin (Comuna 2), Colombia but the results were not reported. However, the website shows images of the process of working with the community. Testing performed by a research team from "Universidad de Antioquia in Medellin", Colombia, to analyze the physical, chemical, biological, environmental, and sanitary aspects of 1 m³ digested bundles reported the following results:
- pH between 6, 11-8, 9
- Humidity 30.1%-67.3%
- Minimum internal temperature 25°C, maximum internal temperature 57°C at an ambient temperature between 19-24°C
- No ammonia, methane or hydrogen sulfide during the sampling process
- No rodents, flies, or domestic cockroaches found
- All decomposition process carried out by fungi, bacteria, and decomposer arthropods
- At the end of the process, 76% of the 1 m³ bundle was converted to compost
No known safety hazards are related to this product.
Complementary Technical Systems
Academic Research and References
Ossa-Carrasquilla, L., 2016. Aplicación de la tecnología de las Pacas Biodigestoras para el tratamiento ecológico de los residuos orgánicos de la Universidad de Antioquia. Tesis de grado, Universidad de Antioquia.
Ardila Delgado, J., et al., 2015, Descomposición de residuos orgánicos en pacas: aspectos fisicoquímicos, biológicos, ambientales y sanitarios. Producción + Limpia, 10(2): 38-52.
Compliance with regulations
Several videos (in Spanish) with tutorials on how to build a digester bundle can be found on Youtube.