Anaerobic compost. Minus the putrid smell and slimy mess.



An open-sourced manual on community scale anaerobic composting

project timeline

June 2019 —


Sheldon Levet



In April 2019 our team was introduced to Beneficial Anaerobic composting by Biologix. For most of our composting journey we have be firm users of purely Aerobic methods (using oxygen dominant organisms) and done everything possible to stay away from anaerobic conditions.

As we began reading about the benefits and potential of BAM composting we got very excited and have begun experimenting with it in our system to iron out the bugs and determine some best practices in our system.

Some of the benefits we have heard about are:

  • Faster composting process (as fast as 6 weeks!)

  • Only 1-2 turns are required, not 2 per week

  • An odorless process

  • Higher compost returns - most aerobic systems reduce to 20-30% of the input volume

  • Higher carbon sequestration due to very low CO2 and CH4 generation



This project will be conducted at our Hospital Road composting site and will take around 6 months. We will be experimenting with various recipes, turning systems, water/carbon additions to determine the best system. We will be getting the resulting compost lab tested and compared to our other methods to determine its quality and biological make up.

We will also be experimenting with the brewing of the anaerobic biology and best practices for their culturing. We plan to be able to provide these inoculums to composters that wish to use this system.

At the end of the research we will open source all the research data and produce a manual for community composters, along with running a workshop here in Wellington to demonstrate the process


Project Timeline:


June 2019

Recieved funding form WCC to begin the project

First compost pile created


July - Sept

Experiment with the first compost piles and assess their outputs



Build a number of piles based on the best recipes and techniques from the previous phase


This project was made possible by

  • Wellington City Council (Waste Minimization Fund)

  • Biologix