Composting Without the Hassle or Smell
Different composting options are available to reduce food waste without the hassle or the smell.
Compost is the natural decomposition of organic materials such as leaves, grass clippings and kitchen waste and is a great way to use food scraps to minimize food waste. Composting also helps reduce climate change as it diverts organic material from entering the landfill, where it would break down and release methane. Methane-producing microbes are not active in the presence of oxygen found in the aerobic process of composting.
In the garden, compost helps improve soil health and reduces the need for chemical fertilizers as it produces essential nutrients for plant growth.
Composting at home is simple. If you have enough space, you can start composting using tumblers, piles on the ground, or stationary bins. The resulting product can be used directly on your lawns or gardens. Depending on the type of organic materials you compost, decomposing can take up to 6 months. If you don’t have the space, many cities have weekly pickup services for yard debris, food scraps and food-soiled paper products. The compost will decompose and be used in parks and gardens.
The reason some people avoid having these types of composts at their homes is the fact that you sometimes have to deal with strange smells, fruit flies or even pests and animals digging through your compost piles.
Because these options take time and effort for the material to be usable, US startup Mill has created the ultimate solution to composting food waste and reusing the contents of this waste. The company has developed a bin that slowly heats and mixes any food waste, dehydrating the contents and shrinking the scraps. The benefit is that the bin doesn’t have to be emptied as often. Once the bin is full, the contents can be put into a prepaid box and sent back to the company.
The company is working to turn the dried-up material into a commercial chicken feed ingredient. The bin is estimated to use around 1 kilowatt-hour (kWh) of daily electricity. Over multiple weeks of usage, this is about the same amount of energy per day as an energy-efficient dishwasher. The company also estimates that you can reduce about a half-ton of greenhouse gas emissions per year with their bin.
The Taihi bin is another innovation that turns food scraps into compost for the garden and liquid fertilizer for household plants. This bin relies on a Japanese method called bokashi which uses fermentation to decompose waste and leaves no smell behind. The process uses an activator liquid sprayed from small vials on the unit’s tip. The liquid contains micro-organisms which help with the composting process. This system doesn’t need the waste to be turned and doesn’t rely on specific conditions or combinations of waste.
Composting at home is highly beneficial for our planet. Not only can you reduce your greenhouse gas emissions, but you can also have access to natural fertilizers, which will enrich your plants. Even by opting for a bin by Mill or the Taihi bin, you are doing your part in reducing waste and helping the planet.