Soil spiked with diesel oil was mixed with biowaste (vegetable, fruit and garden waste) at a 1:10 ratio (fresh weight) and composted in a monitored composting bin system for 12 weeks. Pure biowaste was composted in parallel. In order to discern the temperature effect from the additional biowaste effect on diesel degradation, one recipient with contaminated soil was hold at room temperature. while another was kept at the actual composting temperature. Measurements of composting parameters together with enumerations and identifications of microorganisms demonstrate that the addition of the contaminated soil had a minor impact on the composting process. The first-order rate constant of diesel degradation in the biowaste mixture was four times higher than in the soil at room temperature, and 1.2 times higher than in the soil at composting temperature. (C) 2003 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.