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Nature · Economy

Compulsory food waste recycling. The future?

June 26th, 2013
in:Nature, Economy
by:Itai Lahat
located in:USA
tags:eco furniture, eco-footprint, eco-friendly components, environmentallly friendly, United States of America

New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg has become a controversial figure with his approach to a healthier, more sustainable city, but his latest venture already seems to have a decent number of residents on board. His administration recently launched a pilot program to encourage New Yorkers to compost their food scraps, in the hope of eliminating waste and putting scraps to good use.

The mayor’s plan is to hire a composting plant to compost 100,000 tons of food scraps every year, which is about 10% of New York City’s residential food waste. The program will be voluntary at first, but within a few years it may be mandated and fines could be given to those who don’t take part. New Yorkers already pay fees if they don’t recycle paper, plastic, or metal.

But there is another option for food waste composting: the DIY one. And the leader in this field is a small American company called naturemill. The NatureMill Automatic Composter is a small plug-in device that heats waste to speed decomposition and automatically mixes everything so you don’t have to. Since it’s designed to be housed indoors, it can save users the step of collecting scraps in pails that then must be carried out to a compost bin. The newest model comes in eight colors; it also boasts a „heavy-duty“ mode to handle large loads after, say, a dinner party.

This composter works without worms, bugs, or trash odours: instead, natural compost cultures consume the food quickly. They produce a mild aroma like sourdough bread, mushrooms, or straw. The secret is in the two chamber design. “Add food at any time into the upper chamber. Heat, mixing, and oxygen help the natural cultures break down the food within days – before odors develop. Push a button to transfer to the tray below. It will continue to compost there for another week, while you fill the upper chamber again”.

According to the company, you can expect about 6 Liters of finished compost every two weeks, depending on your actual usage. Seventy percent of the initial food disappears into thin air, as the cultures convert it into water which evaporates. What’s left is a concentrated compost fertilizer. This wonder that can eliminate 50% of your home trash, ranges in price from 249$, to 399$, depending on the size.

Image credit: naturemill

Article written by:
Itai Lahat
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