Archive for September, 2010

Testing week 1 complete

Posted: September 23, 2010 in Uncategorized

Here is the quick and dirty on the new composter… ūüôā

This thing is certainly making compost fast (check out the picture).

Inside the composter

I have put an average of 600 grams of scraps in it daily for 2 people Рthe maximum rated is 5,000 grams per day so this thing has way more capacity than we are using.

Weigh Scale

I am putting 100% of our food scraps in there; greens, skins, egg shells, avocado pits, compostable coffee cups, bread, muffin disasters, etc.  and it all looks like dry compost now.  However, it does not seem to like corn husks РI hear these are tough to breakdown Рwe will see in a few weeks.

Energy used in 7.3 days = 8 kWh * $0.06 per kWh = $0.48  so we are on track for spending $2.00 this month in additional energy used Рpretty cheap for the value added.

Energy Meter from Canadian Tire ($22)

I discovered you do not want this thing right inside your apartment or house as the exhaust, although not really offensive, does smell Рmy wife says sort-of like yeast.  I put it on our covered deck.  It comes with a hose (see picture) so you can direct the flow of air away (which seems equivalent to a blow dryer on low speed).  It comes with a window attachment like an air conditioner if you have to put it inside.

Exhaust hose shooting into neighbors condo

The biggest plus?  Since I put 100% of our food waste in it, as opposed to about 50% with the worm bin, the garbage bin fills up less, and does not smell anymore Рall dry, non-recycleable stuff.  I used to empty the bin, not when it was full, but when the rotting smell started.  This was followed by an embarassing trip in the elevator to the trash bins downstairs as people gagged along the way.

With the energy meter you can clearly see how much and when energy is used when the fan is on (15W), when the blades turn (65W), and when the heater turns on (280W) – I like to know this – for no practical reason.

Stay tuned for next week’s pictures of harvesting our old worm bin – which we donated to a worthy new vermi composter.

10-4, Compost Boy


Let the testing begin!

Posted: September 15, 2010 in Uncategorized
Welcome composting fans -to my blog site.  What is the point of this blog?  I am conducting a 6 month test of a new technology (new to North America) of an on-site, in-vessel, high-temperature composting unit for your condo, house, or business that is bigger, better, faster and stronger than my current worm bin (or your back yard composter).
To make a long story short, I came up a composting business with a few friends a few years ago and developed a business plan with classmates for one of  my MBA courses.  Coincidentally, an in-vessel composting company is just launching in Canada and they are letting me test out one of their apartment sized composting units.  Why would I want one of these things?  What is the advantage vs. worm composting or backyard composting?  It is less finicky, automatic and takes just about everything you can imagine Рeven dog poo Рand makes it way smaller by  turning it into compost.

On my condo deck

This composter¬†will reduce the weight and volume of your food waste up to 95% (as most of the weight is actually water) which means¬†the garbage truck¬†comes to your house¬†95% less (not to mention you are taking ownership of your own organic waste and properly disposing of it).¬† Or, if you can use the compost in your garden, none of your¬†organics will¬†go to the landfill.¬†¬† My worm bin is pretty good, but it is always too wet, you can only put certain scraps in it, and the worms stop eating in winter as it is pretty cold on my deck.¬† So I wanted a composter that kept a certain temperature year round, could take almost anything (cooked or uncooked), and mix itself.¬† I am going to test this unit out over the next 6 months by weighing everything I put into it, observing what happens to the food scraps, and measuring the amount of energy it uses for the heater, fan¬†and mixing motors.¬† By the way my apartment is Bullfrog¬†Powered so any¬†energy my wife and I use is from wind¬†.¬†¬†The manufacturer says you get compost in about 24 to 48 hours, it uses¬†minimal energy, and the racoons can’t get into it (at least I think they can’t).¬† Let’s just see what happens over the next few months.¬† Stay tuned for progress updates.¬†

Signing off – Compost Boy