Compost, as the result of composting is the foundation of eco-friendly living, because it will always get mentioned by any environmental news media. There is a good reason for that, because composting means we give back to the nature some part of things that we took but not used.
Even though it is one of the easiest ways to give a thank to the nature, but a lot of people ignore it or forget it in the first place. The reason is mostly because they think this thing require hard work and determination to succeed.
What we knew, composting process requires a lot of time. That’s right, because we didn’t have anything that can speed up the process. Concerning about it, a startup company tried to develop a machine that can speed up the composting process.
They didn’t kid around about their mission, because their machine could speed up the process up to only 24 hours! How can and how important this report is? Here, in this article we are going to talk about it.
The Landfill Problem
We have serious food waste problem all around the world, and to make it seem more serious this is just a part of bigger picture. Organic waste is the bigger problem that we all facing nowadays, thanks to our semi-unlimited consumption of natural resources.
There is nothing wrong in us consuming natural resources, because we need it to live in this planet. What makes thing a little bit off is how we give back to our nature as a thank you gift after it gives its best to support us alive.
We cut trees down without replacing it and we pile up organic waste in the landfill without paying any attention to how it would be. You might think that in the landfill every organic waste will biodegrade naturally, but that’s not always the case.
Because it is so packed in there, a lot portion of waste cannot biodegrade in the landfill. As a result, it just piles up there and wait for anaerobic biodegradation to happen slowly. This process can make a single leaf biodegrade as slow as a plastic sheet in normal condition.
Adding compost to the landfill can be a good solution to speed things up, like we have written in one of our articles before. And this machine can help us to get a lot of compost in shorter amount of time, thanks to its incredible ability.
Adding The Compost to Landfill
Why adding compost to landfill should be considered as a solution? Landfill needs to cover its surface with soil to cover the smell, airborne debris, and prevent vermin. Mostly, amended soil is used as the cover, but recently some researchers suggested compost as the replacement.
“A lot of state and local regulations don’t recognize ‘alternative daily cover’ as a beneficial use. But our work shows that using compost as alternative daily cover at landfills is competitive, and often superior, to the use of compost as a soil amendment in terms of its environmental benefits,” said James Levis from North Carolina State University.
From simulations, the researchers found that using compost as daily cover outperformed its use as a soil amendment in almost 100% of the simulations. Additionally, daily cover also did more to reduce acidification in 77% of simulations and reduced global warming potential 63% of the time.
“Our work shows which variables are relevant when determining whether using compost as daily cover in a landfill will reduce global warming potential, as compared to using compost to amend soil,” said Mojtaba Sardarmehni, the author of the study. “Our work also highlights the circumstances that make one process more environmentally attractive than the other.”
The Machine We Are Talking About
So, if we want to finally use compost as daily cover of landfill to make it eco-friendlier, we must need a lot of compost to do that constantly. Or else, it will not be as effective as expected and cannot bring the positive change to the environment.
Thus, it is time to talk about the machine that can change food waste into compost in just 24 hours. The composting machine is an innovation brought to realization by Maeko, a startup company based on Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
The machine is able to produce compost in anaerobic environment, after crushing the waste and agitates it. That’s the reason why this machine is called Munchbot, because it basically munches the waste and spit it out as compost.
Furthermore, the machine also uses bio-enzyme filtration to prevent bad smells from escaping to the surrounding air. It results in a compost that is ready to use in just a day, instead of two years. Yes, natural composting process can even take up to two years to make it usable.
Calculation found that using this machine to recycle 1 ton of waste is equivalent to the work of 398 trees in absorbing greenhouse gas emission. And for your information, this machine is not like many industrial composters. It is small scale composter that can be used at home.
Malaysia produces around 15,000 tons of food waste every single day. Compared to other kinds of waste, it accounts for almost half of the entire domestic waste in the country. And most of the waste goes directly to the landfill and stays there.
From that total food waste, around 60% of it comes from households. It shows that household food waste takes a big portion in Malaysia’s domestic waste which is around a quarter of the entire domestic waste in the country.
The development of Munchbot is based on that data, and the aim of this machine is to reduce as much household’s food waste as possible. Not only that, the final product of the machine can be used for fertilizers to improve the quality of soil in your garden directly.
Up to the moment that this article is written, Maeko and this Munchbot machine has converted more than 7,000 tons of food waste into compost. Not only for landfill daily cover, that much compost can even be used to fertilize a forest!
Why don’t we just support such innovative idea?