Updated on January 16, 2024


Created on September 3, 2020

Silva Digester Bundle - Paca digestora Silva (One-cube-meter Silva digester)

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An organic waste compression system.

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Product Description

The Silva Digester Bundle is an organic waste compression system designed to produce organic fertilizer. The system works by fermentation instead of rotting organic waste. The system was designed by Guillermo Silva, a forest technologist based in Colombia.

The system has been implemented in Colombia. However, the designer states it can be applied anywhere if there is organic waste.

The system has been implemented in Colombia. However, the designer states it can be applied anywhere if there is organic waste.


Target SDGs

SDG 3: Good Health and Well-Being

SDG 12: Responsible Consumption and Production

Target Users (Target Impact Group)

Household, Community

Distributors / Implementing Organizations

The system is open-source and it can be implemented by anyone.

Competitive Landscape

Direct competitors include Rotary Drum Composting, Vermicomposting, and NADEP Composting.

Manufacturing/Building Method

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 the designer website.

Distributions to Date Status


Input requirement (volume and frequency)

1 m³ or ?500 kg and 180 days


No additives

Production capacity (kg output per kg input)

1 kg output per 1 kg input

Production duration


Percentage of nutrient recovery


Complementary treatment needed


Design Specifications

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.

Product Schematics

Technical Support

There is no technical support provided and users are expected to maintain the product on their own.

Replacement Components

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
The same investigation implemented a survey on 101 people from the community and the results showed an elevated perception of the system as "healthy, easy-to-handle, and useful technique to develop recreational and teaching/learning activities." The engineering school and Centro de Extension Academica at the  Universidad de Antioquia in Medellín, Colombia, have investigated about digester bundles and organized workshops to train students, faculty, and staff to build and replicate the system.


No known safety hazards are related to this product.

Complementary Technical Systems


Compliance with regulations


Evaluation methods

The Universidad de Antioquia in Medellín conducted monitoring of pH, humidity, weight, temperature, volume, leachate, gases, microorganisms, arthropods, and rodents were carried out. 101 members of the educational community were surveyed. Database and analysis were performed using Epi-Info and Excel.

Other Information

Several videos (in Spanish) with tutorials on how to build a digester bundle can be found on Youtube. The instructions can be found here. Large plastic containers can work as an alternative to wooden boxes.

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