Is dirt biodegradable? (3 reasons why dirt is eco-friendly) 

The article will discuss the biodegradability of dirt while also focusing on questions such as 

  • Is it organic?
  • Can it be added to the compost pile?
  • What is the relationship with recycling?
  • Is dirt eco-friendly?

Is dirt biodegradable?

When it comes to the relation of dirt and biodegradation, it can be stanced that dirt is naturally occurring and maybe organic in nature. However, this is not the case all the time. 

Therefore, we can conclude that dirt, more or less, is biodegradable because it may be organic in nature. More than that, it is naturally occurring and is not made from synthetic chemicals or processes.

What is meant by ‘dirt’?

Therefore, let us start with the basic question of what dirt is in the first place. Dirt is often regarded as dead because it does not contain any organic content by default. However, there are scenarios by which dirt may have elements such as 

  • Sand 
  • Clay 
  • Pebbles 
  • Rocks
  • Silt 

To answer the question on the organic nature of dirt, it can be stanced that dirt is not organic in nature. However, the soil is. There is a discrepancy between dirt and soil. 

Difference between dirt and soil?

When you work on plants, let us say. You work with the soil. The brown, textured, and granular material that you use as bedding for plants is the soil. However, let us say you work with the plants using a white t-shirt. 

The stains that you get on your white shirt after working on plants are what dirt is. It is not life, but instead, remains of life. 

However, since dirt is the remains of life, there are some exceptions as well. Dirt may have some organic content inside, but not by default. 

Can you put dirt in the compost pile?

Yes, dirt can be added into the compost pile to boost up the process. Composting is the process of converting organic waste into compost. Compost has many advantages.

It can be used as a natural fertiliser. This can lead to advantages such as better production, more yield, and increased water retention profiles. 

However, the question that remains is whether you can put the dirt in the compost pile. To be able to answer the question, we need to go back to what makes dirt in the first place. 

If we recall the contents of the last section, we will remember that dirt contains organic material, along with pebbles, sand, and rocks. 

Given these materials, that make up dirt, it can be said that dirt can be added in the compost pile as it will act as a booster shot of organic material and this would actually result in increased composting speed. 

How to?

The what and why have been discussed. Let us, therefore, rummage on the how question. Below are some steps that you need yourself to be mindful of. 

  • Select a suitable place for composting 
  • The place should be accessible as well
  • Shred the compostable material into small pieces to improve the efficiency and yield of the composting process
  • Add dirt, if you like, as a boost of organic material 
  • Make alternate layers of green and brown material. There should be aerators at the start of the pile. 
  • Be sure to continuously mix up the pile so that there is proper aeration. 
  • Also be sure to provide the right external conditions such as pressure, sunlight, and aeration 
  • Mix up the pile every week 
  • Compost should be ready in 5-8 months 

What is the relation between dirt and recycling?

There is no direct relationship between dirt and recycling because there is no way to recycle dirt. However, there is no indirect relationship that needs to be shed light upon.

It has been established that dirt may contain elements such as pebbles, rocks, and silt. Therefore, when these elements make their way to recycling machines, they can lead to mechanical failure. 

This not only will affect us from an economic point of view but will also affect us from an environmental point of view because repairing or getting a new recycling machine means the consumption of resources, which in many (if not most) cases will be non-renewable resources. 

Therefore, it is advisable to make sure to properly segregate dirt from recyclable materials. For example, if you have dirt on your clothes and you plan on having your clothes given to recycling centres, it is best to have your clothes washed or cleaned so that the said complications may be avoided. 

Can dirt be considered eco-friendly? (3 reasons) 

  • Yes, one will not be shy to call dirt eco-friendly because dirt is not made in labs. It is sourced or derived from nature and more, it may also have organic content in it. 
  • Further, it can also be said that dirt and soil can be added to the compost pile to speed up the process and give an organic boost. 
  • Other than that, dirt is also linked to boosting your immune system and leads to decreased incidence of allergies and asthma. 
  • In light of these points, it can be stanced that dirt is not harmful to the people and planet as such. In fact, it is the glue that adheres people closer and proximal to the planet. 


It is concluded that dirt is generally biodegradable because it may be organic. More than that, it is naturally occurring and is not made from synthetic chemicals or processes. 

Dirt and soil can be added to the compost pile to speed up the process and give an organic boost. The article also discussed steps on how to add dirt in your compost pile. A relationship between dirt and recycling was also developed. 


  • Kyrikou, I., & Briassoulis, D. (2007). Biodegradation of agricultural plastic films: a critical review. Journal of Polymers and the Environment, 15(2), 125-150.

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