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Burying organic food waste can make your garden flourish

Garden maintenance can drastically improve the look and value of your home. Burying a large portion of your food waste in your garden can improve the consistency of your soil to help your garden flourish. Not to mention getting rid of a stinky bin! It is a preferable practice over placing food waste on a compost pile - let’s be honest, compost can be a mission and it may invite an unwanted rodent population.

Burying food waste is done all over the world, and although the techniques vary, the basic concept remains the same.

Dig-and-drop composting

Firstly, dig a hole (approximately 40 to 60 cm deep and as wide as you want it to be) in an area where you feel that your garden needs the most help. Once this is done, drop in food scraps including peels, chopped ends, organic leftovers, eggshells, mould-free spoiled vegetables and even tea bags or coffee grinds. Then, replace the soil over the scraps and press the soil to level it out.

This technique is called dig-and-drop composting. It is a successful solution for the busy gardener because it eliminates the need to harvest the compost. The organic matter decomposes and enriches the soil to provide nutrients for surrounding plants. You might find that the simplest way to do this is to collect food scraps from your kitchen in a bowl or bucket. Once you have collected enough scraps, bury them in your garden trenches.

Things to remember when burying food waste

Digging around plant roots should be done with caution. To avoid damaging the root systems of your plants, dig the hole several centimetres away from the crowns of the plants. Dig the hole at least 25 cm deep so that there is plenty of soil covering the scraps to keep animals away from the smell.

Do not bury meat or dairy products. This is a guaranteed way to attract dogs, flies and rats to your backyard. These animals could potentially cause damage to your plants. When you bury food waste in your yard, it encourages the growth of rich, water-saving root systems in your plants. It also forms an underground band of nutrient-rich humus that all plants love.

This is a two-birds-one-stone method of organic gardening. Not only does it help your garden to flourish, but it also allows you to get rid of food waste in a useful and environmentally friendly way. If you need help with your garden maintenance, IWESCO offers once-off or routine gardening services across South Africa. Please contact us for a quote or to get more information about these services.


IWESCO offers specialised cleaning and waste control services to industrial and commercial customers in South Africa. These services are aimed at minimising our customers’ impact on the environment. Our services also include pest control, garden maintenance, fogging and disinfecting. Our staff are highly trained to offer the most professional services. IWESCO is a Level 2 B-BBEE supplier with ISO 14001 certification for environmental management.

We are a one-stop shop for all your contract cleaning and waste control needs and have a national footprint. Our head office is located in Tshwane but we can provide services to any industrial and commercial client in the major metropolitan areas around South Africa, including Johannesburg, Cape Town, Durban, Port Elizabeth, Mbombela and more.

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