A smart indoor composting machine that optimizes naturally occurring processes, therefore enabling a simple environment friendly waste management in apartments and offices.
Today in most developed countries 35% of municipality waste is organic and could be recycled. Unfortunately instead of recycling, in most cases they end up in landfills, where they are generating greenhouse gases, and increasing municipality expenses (collection, transport, maintenance). Furthermore, many items that are marketed as compostable, such as single use compostable cutleries, barely ever make it to their intended facilities and in most cases they end up in landfills inside a plastic bag.
While there is an increasing awareness among environmentally conscious young professionals, there are no efficient and affordable solutions available for their lifestyle. Traditionally, composting is done outdoors, where the process takes weeks or months depending on environmental factors and the composition of the pile. It usually emits bad smell, and attracts pests. Such solution is not suitable for the dense urban areas.
Our solution can bring composting indoors to apartments and offices. With the built-in IoT sensors, we can precisely control the most important parameters (heat, moisture, etc.), and optimize the environment for the naturally occurring microorganisms for creating compost in a rapid and odor-free manner. The controlled environment enables us to process inputs such as compostable cutleries, which are now commonly used in offices and restaurants.
The resulting chemically stable material can be used as fertilizer or thrown into the garbage, where it would take significantly less volume, and would not release greenhouse gases.
The innovation consists of an electrical (IoT sensors collecting data and enabling the optimization algorithm), a mechanical (grinding and mixing), and a microbiological aspect.
The process consists of two stages: grinding, and composting. By grinding the organic waste, we can reduce particle size and speed up the composting stage. In the second stage, IoT sensors and actuators are used to optimize the naturally occurring decomposition process. Our team, that consists of three engineers (electrical, environmental and mechanical), is currently developing our first Proof-of-concept device.
The device benefits the direct users, their local authorities and of course the global environment as well. Users can benefit from a simple, odor and insect free garbage bin, that enables them to reduce their carbon footprint and enjoy all the benefits of composting without having to have access to a garden. Municipalities can benefit from reduced garbage volume, therefore reduced costs of collection and treatment, and reduced overall carbon footprint of the city.
Furthermore, potential partners, such as manufacturers of compostable single use items, can benefit from ensuring their users that by buying their items, they can really divert plastic from landfills.
Compresso can be used in any indoor environments such as apartments, offices, restaurants, etc. While we believe that there are many possible applications for such system, currently our primary goal is to process household organic waste, paper, and compostable cutleries. As an initial step, we are focusing on a device that can serve high-tech companies who are making an effort to reduce their office's environmental impact. Such companies have probably already made the switch from single use plastic to compostables and they are already separating their garbage, however they don't have a solution yet for recycling organic waste. The resulting compost could be collected or used on site as organic fertilizer.
In the future, we are planning to examine several possible applications such as: treatment of bioplastics (PLA) or even treatment of compostable diapers. Furthermore, the measurements collected by the IoT sensors could help us give insight to the compost process and to build algorithms to predict parameters (such as C:N ratio) that are currently not possible to measure with non-invasive sensors.