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*** Compost Accelerator - Product Survey ***  RSS feed

 
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Hi all,
Firstly thank you for opening this thread!
Today I'm simply asking for two minutes of your time to complete the survey below, as I'm currently working on a project surrounding composting.
I'm aiming to produce a solution which can fully decompose food waste in 21 days, which will eliminate the need for a food waste bin.
This aims to reduce the households carbon footprint and also generate 'free compost'.
I'd very much appreciate it if you'd spare two minutes of your time to complete the attached survey.
If you'd like to know more or have any questions you'd like answering, please do get in touch.
Many thanks for your time.
Sam Giles

Composting Survey
 
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Any details that you can share about your solution Sam, or is it a bit early yet?  Thanks.
 
Sam Giles
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Greg Martin wrote:Any details that you can share about your solution Sam, or is it a bit early yet?  Thanks.


Hi Greg, thank you for your response.

This projects primary focus is to provide communities in developing countries a way of transforming household waste into a useful resource, or income.
The solution will be constructed mostly using locally sourced materials including used plastic barrels, plastic tubing and requiring only basic hand tools to assemble.
When used to its full potential, the solution will generate great quality fertiliser within 21 days. It does this using a few key principles:
Aeration - Daily movement/mixing to ensure bacteria circulates through waste.
Temperature - Between 30-50 degrees C ensures thermophilic reaction occurs. This kills any pathogens in the animal and human waste.
Odour Control - Using sawdust/wood shavings, any odour produced by the waste is contained. This is particularly important where human/animal waste is being composted. This will also prevent methane from being produced.
If the following principles are applied, households will be able to produce around 30kg of compost per month. In Mumbai, India, this would have a value of $10, which is equals the average monthly income. Alternatively this fertiliser can be used to grow their own vegetables, which would save them money as well as being an educational tool.

The short survey I've included in my original post relates to the idea of having a secondary market, which would allow those in western countries to adopt the same principles in order to remove the need for food waste bins.

I hope this helps. Let me know if you have any other questions or ideas and I'd happily discuss these further.

Many thanks

Sam
 
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Hi Sam.

Do you know how your method compares with methane-based anaerobic digesters that produce methane and usually process animal and human wastes? How is your way superior, or is it because it will strictly handle kitchen scraps?

-CK
 
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I took your survey.  What advantages does your way of composting have over a rotating composter turned daily?
 
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Sam Giles wrote:The solution will be constructed mostly using locally sourced materials including used plastic barrels, plastic tubing and requiring only basic hand tools to assemble.
When used to its full potential, the solution will generate great quality fertiliser within 21 days. It does this using a few key principles:
Aeration - Daily movement/mixing to ensure bacteria circulates through waste.
Temperature - Between 30-50 degrees C ensures thermophilic reaction occurs. This kills any pathogens in the animal and human waste.
Odour Control - Using sawdust/wood shavings, any odour produced by the waste is contained. This is particularly important where human/animal waste is being composted. This will also prevent methane from being produced.



Daily mixing of compost, as in a rotating tumbler like many people in the US have, seems to be less effective that a bin shovelled over just once in a while. I've seen a lot of people online say that their compost tumblers just desiccate the stuff and it doesn't compost well, though probably many others are using them successfully. Sure, mixing does incorporate air, which is bad if it never happens, but it also has destructive effects on the composting process, like not allowing fungal mycelium to form, not allowing the middle of the mass to get as hot as it should, and maybe other beneficial composting organisms don't love being mixed up every day. You really should test this out with various conditions, materials, containers, and ambient temperatures and humidities before you go out telling people somewhere else to do it.

Sawdust and wood shavings are one of the only waste biomass materials available here, so I have a lot of experience with them. The wood shavings don't necessarily break right down in the first cycle of composting, and may remain in the compost, but actually that has not seemed to cause us any trouble here. I've got lots of wood shavings in my garden soil, which was a full load of toilet compost last year, from toilet usage the previous year. The toilets were using soil and shavings and autumn leaves as cover material. I made the garden bed in July and planted lots of seeds, and they've done great so far, which no further compost or fertiliser applied, only a thin organic mulch.

Sam Giles wrote:In Mumbai, India, this would have a value of $10, which is equals the average monthly income.



Hmm, you haven't been in Mumbai anytime in the past few decades, I take it? Not since it was called Mumbai? $10 would be one to two days' wages for a day labourer, and nowhere near the average monthly income, since some of the world's richest individuals live in Mumbai, and lots of others in Mumbai are earning a comfortable sum.
 
Sam Giles
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Chris Kott wrote:Hi Sam.

Do you know how your method compares with methane-based anaerobic digesters that produce methane and usually process animal and human wastes? How is your way superior, or is it because it will strictly handle kitchen scraps?

-CK


Hi Chris,
To put it simply, this method will prevent the production of methane, which should make it better for the environment.
It will also not require power, which was a critical design element for the project.
This solution will also be constructed using locally sourced materials (hopefully recycled), and therefore will be available to a wider audience.
Many thanks
Sam
 
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hau Sam, it would seem that you have not perused all the composting literature when researching this idea since it sounds like trying to build a better mousetrap that has already been nearly perfected.
I applaud your wanting to do something faster and better but science has already found that things piled up in a correct manner decompose quickly all on their own and they also kill off the pathogens when the "hot" method is used.

Using a liquid to "speed up" decomposition is very much unnecessary to break down composting materials.
I can do it in 14 days not 21 with an already on the market tumbler or tower, which needs no "additive" liquid.

Usually people who compost have to take measures to reduce the amount of liquid that comes off a well built compost.
Tumblers only need to be turned once per day and create good, usable compost in 14 days.
Heaps are usually turned once per week and if they were constructed properly they need a simple misting as they are being turned, the open heap method produces good compost in under 30 days.



I wish you luck with your endeavor but most of the world has been making compost for many, many years with out the need to spend money on anything. (the possible exception is some of the African countries).
It will be interesting to see how such a product does in the market.

Redhawk
 
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