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I do not have time to do a good job composting so the "Food Cycler Platinum Indoor Food Recycler" seems like a good idea despite its price. Does it release CO2 or methane? Does it consume so much electricity that it is worst than just making a pile outside and leave it to decompose for a year (or two)? What happens when I add it to my garden soil? Can I add it to my composting pile? Thanks!

I was asked to put a link, price, photo and an explanation of how it works:

LINK. https://www.nofoodwaste.com

PRICE: $299 at Amazon as of Jan 21 2019

PHOTO: https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/41gGsb%2Bn42L._SY300_QL70_.jpg "Food Cycler"

METHOD: As far as I see it dehydrates and sterilizes material with heat and vibration, and removes odor with a carbon filter

  • What do you mean "do not have time"? After an initial startup delay, composting doesn't take any time. You have an ongoing stream of finished compost ready for use. – Jean-Paul Calderone Mar 6 at 13:40
  • @jean-paul-calderone. Yesterday I emptied my composter in the back yard after several years of collecting stuff. I got about 50% of roots and 50% of great soil. A lot of work! It will be great to understand how to stop the roots to take over the bin. But I am over the food composter now-my question above (not a god product it seems). – Dani Mar 25 at 19:20
  • If you want to do slow composting (pile it up and ignore it) then start a new pile every year. After you have two or three piles going, then every year you'll also have a pile that you can use the material from. If you want to do fast composting, do the same thing but on a 6 or 8 week cycle instead of a 1 year cycle. Slow composting isn't really any work, it's just time. Fast composting is a lot of work - you have to get the mix of C and N right, get the moisture level right, and turn the pile at least a handful of times at the right time. – Jean-Paul Calderone Apr 2 at 13:58
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Based on the information on the product site, I would say no, the Food Cycler is not a good option for composting. Its method of operation prevents actual composting. Instead, it is primarily a mechanical homogenization process ("Agitators quietly break down the food waste into small particles") combined with sterilization ("sterilizing the by-product entirely"). Thus, no actual composting occurs.

Composting is defined as a biological process so any process that involves sterilization of the material is, by definition, something else.

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Personally, I have been using a wormbin for the past (almost) 4 years. You need to keep an eye on the worms once in a while, but usually it is a good option: you waste no energy, your organics decompose fine, and you can easily use it to enrich your soil.

On the other hand, you cannot compost anything in a wormbin (no meat or animal residues; very restricted amounts of citrus fruits, etc.), but the food cycler accepts all sorts of organics and the decomposition is way faster: about 1 or 2 days; depending on what you put in the wormbin, it can take a few days or a few months.

I do not have a food cycler, but have been researching as well to get it, and I guess it can be a good option if you don't want to sort your organics into "what goes into the wormbin" and "what does not".

Some people have their compost pile in the back yard without worms, where they put all sorts of organics too. Since I live in an apartment, I don't have enough space to test this method, but I hear it can be hardcore -- some people even use their urine to sort of catalyse the decomposition process.

There is also the anaerobic decomposition, in which you put your organics into a plastic bag, close it, and let it sit for months. This option is the one which produces the biggest amount of methane, because it stays airtight. Also, the final smell can be pretty bad.

All in all, there are several composting options, but my top pics would be the wormbin and/or the food cycler - even if it uses more energy (which I do not have the necessary knowledge to tell you if it's a lot or not, to be honest).

Good luck!

UPDATE: Soon another option will be available, the Zera Food Recycler.

  • Thank you @Malu, let's hope somebody else knows some more about the Food Cycler. Cheers! – Dani Feb 4 at 5:08
  • Hi @Dani, I am very eager to get this food cycler too. Reading in detail, apparently, in only 3h most of the process is done. Would be nice to check with the manufacturer the efficiency of the product. I couldn't find this information anywhere. :/ – Malu Feb 4 at 15:25
  • Hi @Malu, reading the reviews in Amazon discouraged me quite a bit. It seems that this just dehydrates the material and that is not a very robust machine. I think it comes from South Korea and therefore the repair, maintenance, and customer service is non-existent. – Dani Mar 25 at 19:18
  • Hi @Dani, I don't think it only dehydrates the material but the other problems seem quite a bummer. Nonetheless, look what I recently found: wlabsinnovations.com/pages/zera -- I am editing my answer to incorporate this new gadget. – Malu Apr 1 at 21:31

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