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Debunking 6 Food Waste Recycling Myths

Alrighty, soil-lovers! Today we're going to be debunking some common myths about food waste recycling that you may have already come across.

Debunking Food Waste Recycling Myths

Myth 1: Food waste recyclers are "electric composters"

Food waste recyclers are not composters*. Compost is created by bacteria breaking down organic matter into soil. Food waste recyclers like the FoodCycler® are appliances that break down organic matter using aeration and pulverization, stripping away the moisture content of food waste and grinding it down to a fine powdery material.

Composters use bacteria, whereas FoodCycler uses a mechanical process to break down food waste into a garden-ready soil amendment!

Myth 2: Food waste recyclers produce compost or dirt

Food waste recyclers do not produce dirt or compost. Instead, the FoodCycler breaks down food waste mechanically (not with live bacteria), leaving behind dry and lightweight by-product that retains many of the nutrients of the original food waste, but very little of the bacteria or pathogens.

However, FoodCycling your organics actually makes them easier to integrate into your garden soil or compost pile, and speeds up the breakdown process once integrated. This is because, once FoodCycled, your food waste is free of moisture and the dense fibres contained in some food wastes have been broken down - all of which would otherwise prolong the composting process.

food waste recycling myths debunked

Myth 3: Food waste recyclers use energy and are made of plastic, so they're worse for the environment than just sending food waste to landfills

You may have heard this argument online before, and, while untrue, it comes from a valid perspective.

Composting naturally is a fantastic method of recycling your food waste: composting properly doesn't generate methane gas, and very little CO2. It produces a nutrient- and bacteria-rich by-product that nourishes your garden.

However, FoodCycler is a great alternative to composting if you don't have the space, time or know-how to start a compost pile in your backyard. Climate Partner published a third-party Life Cycle Analysis (LCA) of the FoodCycler manufacturing process and its lifetime use, and this is what we found:

Based on data collected on the FoodCycler Eco 5 , the FoodCycler is a carbon negative product when compared to landfilling. One FoodCycler used for one year, emits net -541 kilograms (-1,192.7 lbs) of CO2e - this means that using the FoodCycler over its 7 year expected life is equivalent emissions sequestered by 4.5 acres of forest in 1 year.

FoodCycler Myths Debunked

Myth 4: Food waste recyclers use a lot of energy

The FoodCycler Eco 5, our largest food waste recycler, consumes approximately 1 kilowatt hour of energy per cycle. The graph below illustrates the average energy consumption of household appliances: the FoodCycler consumes less energy than most other kitchen appliances! The energy used by the Eco 5 is offset - and then some - by the CO2e it diverts by processing food waste that would otherwise produce methane gas in landfills.

Graph Content:

Energy consumption of common household appliances over an 8-hour cycle compared to the FoodCycler™ Eco 5. Wattage values for appliances are samples only; actual values vary depending on appliance age and features. The lifespan for all appliances is 7-14 years.

Source: https://www.energy.gov/energysaver/appliance-energy-calculator.

Myth 5: Food waste recyclers are gimmicks that will just end up in landfills.

Electronic waste is definitely a consideration when purchasing any new appliance. It's the unfortunate reality that all electronics have a shelf-life, and that landfills usually bear the brunt of electronic waste. However, quality products with intentional and science-backed design have much longer shelf lives than other appliances.

The FoodCycler Eco 5 is designed to be entirely modular and easily repairable. If repair isn't possible, the unit can be easily taken apart so that the individual parts can be isolated and recycled by an electronics recycling depot. With a failure rate of less than 1%, unrepairable units are few and far between!

Myth 6: Food waste recyclers will take up too much space on your kitchen counter.

Many people live in small urban spaces without much room to store large, unwieldy appliances. However, our compact FoodCyclers are made with this limitation in mind! While the units themselves is approximately the size of a breadmaker, each one comes with a removable Grinding Bucket that can sit on your counter and collect your food scraps throughout the day, or until you're ready to run a cycle. This option makes adding food waste to your Bucket even easier than throwing it in the trash!

Conclusion

You made it! Throughout this blog, we've debunked some common misconceptions about food waste recyclers. To summarize:

  • Food waste recyclers are not composters and they do not produce compost; however, they can speed up the break-down process in garden soil or compost, and provide a nutrient-rich, almost completely bacteria-free soil amendment for your garden.

  • Using the FoodCycler actually offsets way more CO2e than it generates and is actually a carbon negative product compared to landfilling!

  • The FoodCycler uses less energy than most other kitchen appliances.

  • FoodCycler has an extremely low failure rate and is almost completely repairable. Further, the vast majority of the materials used to build it are themselves recyclable when processed at an electronics recycling facility.

  • The FoodCycler is a compact product with a removable Grinding Bucket that can sit on your counter and collect food while you cook!

We hope this has helped explain some things about food waste recyclers like the FoodCycler, and food waste recycling in general.

Have any questions? Reach out to us today at info@foodcycler.com!

 

A Note on Terminology

The FoodCycler® is a countertop electric food waste recycler that breaks down food scraps through a mechanical process into a dry, lightweight by-product that can be used in gardening applications as a fertilizer. The FoodCycler® and other electric food waste recyclers are not composters, nor do they produce compost or soil as they do not require additional microbes to break down food waste with bacteria. However, the term "electric composter" has been used to describe electric food waste recyclers.