It’s a shame that an estimated 20 percent of landfills are filled with biodegradable food waste, but frankly not everyone has the space for a conventional compost heap, much less the time (and hassle tolerance) needed to drop off food scraps at a place that’ll compost them for you. The Zera Food Recycler promises to change all that.
A surprise hit at this year’s CES, the Zera is sort of like a dishwasher for composting. It can take in about 95 percent of household food scraps, including meat and dairy. When it’s full—typically holding a week’s worth of food trash—you press a button. Come back in 24 hours, and the waste has been transformed by the device’s mixing blades, heat, oxygen, and a natural decomposition additive into ready-to-use fertilizer.
The garbage-can-sized Zera is the brainchild of inventors at Whirlpool’s WLabs, who launched the product earlier this month on Indiegogo. The campaign, which will support the device’s first factory run, has already raised more than $305,000.