An Ottawa-based company is trying to change the way households across the country dispose of food waste with innovative technology that speeds up the composting process to a matter of hours. Food Cycle Science has signed up about 20 municipalities across Canada to pilot its FoodCycler, a small food waste recycling machine the company claims can reduce the weight and volume of food waste by 90 per cent.

CEO Bradley Crepeau says the company tries to help communities that don’t have easy access to some of the more traditional organics programs, such as curbside pick-up available in more densely populated cities. “We’re working with remote, rural and Indigenous communities at this time, but we really aim to scale that to be a solution, or at least part of the solution, for any municipality and community across Canada,” Crepeau said.

Each FoodCycler unit can easily fit on a kitchen countertop and comes equipped with a 2.5-litre bucket for food waste. Through a process of drying, grinding and cooling, the FoodCycler aerates food waste without producing methane gas and turns it into compost within four to eight hours. “The unfortunate reality is that food waste is very harmful to the environment. It’s one of the largest emitters of greenhouse gas emissions,” Crepeau said.

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Author: Robin Miller, CBC
Image: Jean Delisle, CBC


Letter to the Editor

“This news item talks about a product that claims to make compost in “four to eight hours”.  This claim contravenes all peer-reviewed compost science and compost industry norms.  Composting is a biological process that is governed by the rates of bio-oxidation that aerobic bacteria can produce.  Even in perfect laboratory conditions, acceptable stability requires retention times well in excess of 10 days for most applications.  Publishing these kinds of claims results in significant confusion in our industry; One doesn’t have to look far to find facility failures that were the result of developers buying into unscientific process models.”

—-Tim O’Neill, President, Engineered Compost Systems