Find answers to frequently asked questions about Dillo Dirt™.
Q. Do you have a Donation Program?
A. Dillo Dirt™ is donated to programs benefiting the citizens of Austin including public schools, parks, and nonprofits.
Q. Is Dillo Dirt™ safe to use in my vegetable garden or for landscaping?
A. Dillo Dirt™ meets federal and state "unrestricted use" criteria, which includes use in vegetable gardens and landscaping.
Q. Why not landfill instead of recycling?
A. Treating and recycling biosolids (or sewage sludge) and yard trimmings is very beneficial to the soil. It is more cost-effective to recycle than landfill these materials.
Q. What about metals in the sludge?
A. Biosolids (or sewage sludge) does include small quantities of metals that travel through the sewer system. The EPA and the State of Texas have established acceptable levels of metals to protect public safety. Austin has a very aggressive and successful "pretreatment" program that monitors the wastewater quality and controls industry discharges into the system.
Dillo Dirt™ (and the biosolids we apply to farm land) contains far less metals than the allowable maximums for "unrestricted use." Some of these metals, including zinc, molybdenum and chromium, are essential nutrients for plants and animals (and humans). Please see the table related to the metal contents of Dillo Dirt™.
Q. How do I use Dillo Dirt™?
A. Please see www.austintexas.gov/department/dillo-dirt-uses-and-application-rates for details on the use and rate application of Dillo Dirt™.
Q. How are my yard trimmings used for Dillo Dirt™?
A. All residential yard trimmings in Austin are collected curbside by the City and used to produce Dillo Dirt™ compost. Materials other than yard or tree trimmings (e.g., plastic) cannot be used in the composting program.