After growing up in Ethiopia—where very little waste was thrown in landfills—now U.K.-based designer Ben Cullis Watson saw an opportunity to address the country’s trash problem, attempting to “change people's perceptions of waste and make it as 'sexy' as possible.” His secret weapon? A kitchen composter that uses the Japanese method of bokashi to decompose food scraps into organic plant fertilizer.
Watson’s Taihi composter has a sealed, double-lid design to trap smells. The user simply adds their food waste into one of the gadget’s bins. When it’s full, they inject a replaceable vial of bacteria into the system, kickstarting the two-week fermentation process. The system produces both liquid fertilizer (for house plants) and solid fertilizer that can be used in a garden or in potting soil.
While the Taihi isn’t as fast as, say, the 24-hour composter from Whirlpool, it’s relatively unique in its fermentation method. Most kitchen composters rely on worms, high heat, and turning mechanisms to decompose the waste.
Watson’s design won him the New Designers Joseph Joseph Brilliantly Useful Award, and the Loughborough University grad is currently exploring production options.