Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create an account.

JAZ

New composting options

Recommended Posts

I've always thought about composting, but have never found an option that wasn't either a lot of trouble, or really gross, or both. But I recently saw this new product which seems like it might be a good answer. We don't have space for it now, but we're planning (after a kitchen renovation) to have a whole counter to dedicate to appliances, so we could probably fit one in. Has anyone used this? Or is there anything similar out there (that is, small, easy to use, and not stinky)?

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

At that price, it'd better do the gardening, too. My plastic bucket will work just fine for me at 2.99.

 

  • Like 1
  • Haha 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
46 minutes ago, kayb said:

At that price, it'd better do the gardening, too. My plastic bucket will work just fine for me at 2.99.

 

 

But what I'd give for the counter space!

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Composting is a simple process. You sure don't need that.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Honestly, if you have a garden, all you really need to do is make a 2 foot diameter cylinder out of something like chicken wire and tall stakes, anchor it in the ground, and toss things into it. Occasionally, it helps to keep tabs on the ration of brown/green stuff you're adding. Tossing a little soil on top with a shovel helps keep flies away. And, lining it with some plain newspaper can help keep stuff in, but that's about it. Do it for a couple of years, then move the cylinder someplace else in the garden and use the compost. All the other stuff you see online is generally about speeding things up or optimizing for pH or other content. My parents did it this way and we never had a problem. They live out in the country and we never had any issues with wild animals, at least none that we noticed.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Depends on the goal. Do you want something that's concentrated and can be placed strategically. Or are you okay with the default, scrap about the garden. Nothing really wrong with any option.  And there are a gazillion in between. It depends on what YOU

want.

Please don't invest in an expensive contraption.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

According to the lab analysis shown on their site, the finished compost is relatively high in sodium - not surprisingly, given that it'll process finished foods seasoned for the table - so you'll have to be wary of using too much in any one place (the lab recommends an 18-20:1 ratio of soil to compost, to mitigate the sodium levels).

 

As for the cost-benefit equation, that's entirely up to you. From what I've seen on their site the only consumable is filters, which will cost you $50/year in Canada (presumably less in the US).

 

I don't compost personally at the moment, because my garden is a half-hour drive from home and we have municipal green-bin composting. My little bucket collector works fine for me, because the "smell factor" determines how long it stays on my counter...when the GF has a yen for lobster, for example, the shells go out PDQ. It works for me, but of course everyone's situation is different.

 

If you're fine with the price tag, it appears that the machine does what it says it will.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

looking at the video - this is not composting.  this is simply drying/dehydrating food scraps.

I wonder what those shrimp shell smell like when you water the plant . . .

 

also an interesting hoot - at the video opening look at the size of the pail and the volume of material that poor soul is struggling with . . .

compare that to the size of the ittybitty device bucket.   I see a falsisity in motion . . . .

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, chromedome said:

According to the lab analysis shown on their site, the finished compost is relatively high in sodium - not surprisingly, given that it'll process finished foods seasoned for the table - so you'll have to be wary of using too much in any one place (the lab recommends an 18-20:1 ratio of soil to compost, to mitigate the sodium levels).

 

 

Where did you find that? I don't see it, but maybe I'm missing something obvious.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I looked up their main site.

 

Click through from "The Science Behind the Magic" (a phrase that made me think of Young Frankenstein). :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, AlaMoi said:

looking at the video - this is not composting.  this is simply drying/dehydrating food scraps.

I wonder what those shrimp shell smell like when you water the plant . . .

 

 

I was wondering about that too.  The pieces look fairly large, up to an inch or more - too big to stir into potting soil, and if I used them as bark chips on my flower beds, how would they look & smell after a few months of rain?

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My compost bin is a collection of four pallets slipped over reinforcing rods driven into the ground. One pallet is left loose so it can be moved to allow the compost to be turned or moved. I haven't used any yet. It gets all my veggie scraps and trimmings, as well as the clippings from the yard. I turn it once a year, in the fall, and next year, I think it'll be ready to use. I may go to the wire cyinlinder within the garden next year; would be easier. Or move the pallets there.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

if you have a woodworker handy - half-Lincoln logs make a dandy bin - much easier to move around/relocate.

 

 

DSC_4004s.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The ad is careful not to use the word compost. It makes a "soil amendment".

 

Looks like you could do the same thing with a dehydrator or a Breville Smart Oven Air.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Im also a fan of pallets.

 

in my area they are free for the asking.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, rotuts said:

Im also a fan of pallets.

 

in my area they are free for the asking.

 

Since Los Angeles is a major port, pallets are like gold here.  An entire industry is centered around re-habbing them for re-use.  Also Pinterest projects have made them trendy. Have to be careful also about the chemicals if repurposing. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

that's true

 

I grew up in the Bay Area

 

I used to hunt for palates to set up a few composting bins for my mother

 

there were none to be had anywhere.

 

I also used them to make ' cribs ' for staking my wood for the wood stove.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I should explain why I'm interested in this appliance. I don't have space for a compost bin; we have a patio that's large enough for a few potted herbs or maybe a tomato plant. Even if we wanted to turn the patio into a compost bin, we would not be allowed to. My interest is for environmental reasons. I don't think we waste a lot of food, but there are always ends of vegetables, meat scraps, and the like. If I can turn them into something useful, it seems like a good thing. The area where we live doesn't offer a compost service as do some cities (and probably never will -- ours doesn't even provide recycling services) -- if that were an option, then a bucket on the counter would work.

 

So if this recycler works -- even if it doesn't make perfect compost -- I figure it's the best option for my circumstances. It seems like it's that or the trash.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, JAZ said:

My interest is for environmental reasons.

 

I am wondering:

That device uses electricity (1000 watts per hour). This 1000 watts per hour is additional indoor heat and moisture, which your air conditioner will need to remove using a lot more than 1000 watts of electricity. It takes a lot of material and energy to manufacture. It takes energy to transport to the store and to transport to you. It needs replaceable filters. You need to wash it once in a while. And, after the unit dies, you have to dispose the whole thing into the environment. 

 

dcarch


Edited by dcarch (log)
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yup - recycling can be a minefield. It sounds great but you have to consider all the associated costs/options. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, JAZ said:

...I don't have space for a compost bin; we have a patio that's large enough for a few potted herbs or maybe a tomato plant.

....

1 hour ago, JAZ said:

 

So if this recycler works -- even if it doesn't make perfect compost -- I figure it's the best option for my circumstances. It seems like it's that or the trash.

 

I definitely appreciate your desire to keep food waste out of the landfill.  Despite my skepticism, it seems like a great idea to be able to process your own scraps.  If you can afford it and it makes you feel good, than why not?

 

But on the other hand, if your garden consists of a handful of potted plants on the patio, will you end up with far more of this compost/soil amendment than you can use?  Say you have a gallon of food scraps per week, and it shreds/dries them down to a quart.  After 3 months those pots are going to be heaping.  What are you going to do with the other 40 quarts generated the rest of the year?  Will you still be stuck with extra food scraps (though "composted") that need disposal? 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wonder if you could accomplish the same thing by putting food scraps in the food processor and then drying in either a dehydrator or the oven? More trouble than I'd care to go to, but then, I do love my detached house and yard/garden.

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 6/26/2018 at 2:17 AM, JAZ said:

I should explain why I'm interested in this appliance. I don't have space for a compost bin; we have a patio that's large enough for a few potted herbs or maybe a tomato plant. Even if we wanted to turn the patio into a compost bin, we would not be allowed to. My interest is for environmental reasons. I don't think we waste a lot of food, but there are always ends of vegetables, meat scraps, and the like. If I can turn them into something useful, it seems like a good thing. The area where we live doesn't offer a compost service as do some cities (and probably never will -- ours doesn't even provide recycling services) -- if that were an option, then a bucket on the counter would work.

 

So if this recycler works -- even if it doesn't make perfect compost -- I figure it's the best option for my circumstances. It seems like it's that or the trash.

 

Have you considered a bokashi bucket? They're about the size of a small waste bin.

 

I have two that I keep outside, letting one ferment while I fill the other, and cycle them that way. There's no smell.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

Ever consider setting up an indoor red wiggler bin? I've found that the time for finished compost is shortened. No odors, easy to maintain, and it creates thousands of pets. Hard to name them all, or really know who is who, but it works.

 

As a bonus it gets most kids real excited and most adults wondering about your sanity.

 

The worms are also good food for aquatics in the home.

 

https://www.epa.gov/recycle/how-create-and-maintain-indoor-worm-composting-bin

 


Edited by CentralMA (log)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×