In a bid to avoid ‘landfill zero’, SA company Earth Probiotic has developed an automated food-waste composting machine than can process up to 5 000 kg of waste per month.
According to the Infrastructure News and Service Delivery website, the Earth Cycler can be used by hotels, universities and office parks, and has already been implemented at sites across the country. On a national scale, 40% of landfill waste is organic, according to a CSIR audit.
Apart from attracting pathogens and pests such as rodents and flies, and polluting water sources, landfilled organic waste rots, resulting in the production of methane, which is 23 times more damaging to the environment than carbon dioxide, according to the UN.
The energy-efficient Earth Cycler relies on ‘natural aeration and bacterial action’, and can be powered by solar energy. Operators of the machine are guided through a loading procedure that measures the amount of food waste added. The machine then directs the minimum carbon requirement for effective composting. Designed for robustness and ease of use, the machine is almost completely automated. The Earth Cycler also offers additional services such as remote management and live data capability. It can display food waste volumes processed, CO2 and landfill airspace saved, as well as potential carbon exposure.