There are several ways to compost food waste with each having benefits and drawbacks. Your favorite system will depend on your circumstances but to get an idea of which one you would prefer, here are 5 food waste recycling options:
1. Compost machine
This is the easiest, least mess and least nuisance method of composting. You simply place your waste in a device like iCompost, add a Compost Activator, and then press START. The machine then dries, sterilizes and grinds your waste before cooling it and allowing the substances in the compost activator to stabilize the material. There is no need to worry about odour, liquids, vectors or vermin because the food waste is sealed until the compost is ready. Composting doesn't get easier than this! The only drawback is that the outputted compost isn't as high quality as a compost which has matured for 3 months in a conventional process, nevertheless, your soil will benefit from the organic matter that you are constantly feeding it. Some may say that its electricity usage is a drawback, but we've proved that the benefit of it making composting hassle-free (so that more people take it up), outweighs the drawback.
2. Collection service
The next easiest option is a collection service which collects your food waste weekly and gives you back compost made from your waste. This is a great solution but it can occasionally cause discomfort due to the liquids which come out of the food waste being kept for a week. We've been doing this method for 3 years but we've come to realize that the food waste is 90% water so we're actually just trucking around water which doesn't seem right. We think the future in 1000 years doesn't look like society moving waste around, so we think technology is the next logical step so you might as well jump on the band wagon now.
Vermicomposting is using earthworms to eat your food waste and produce a biologically rich compost known as vermicompost and is the highest quality of compost that can be made. However, it can be difficult to do at home because you need to be picky about what you can feed to the earthworms, such as only raw, vegan waste, and you need to take care of them like a pet. This would mean that you still need to throw a portion of your waste in the bin, which is still better than all of it going to landfill, but we think we need to work towards zero waste to landfill. Nevertheless, having an earthworm farm at home is a great educational opportunity for kids to learn about soil health.
A pre-composting process mainly advantageous for cooked food and animal products. It is a bucket where you collect your food waste, and inoculate it with Bokashi microorganisms. The Bokashi pickles the waste, preventing rot and odour, and speeds up the proceeding composting process. The drawbacks are that it can smell quite bad even though it's not supposed to, and you need to bury the waste when full which can be difficult in small gardens and with dogs. Nevertheless, it is gaining popularity and many people have used it successfully around the world.
5. Compost pile
The most basic method of composting is by adding your food waste to a compost pile mixed with garden waste. The pile needs to be at least 1m high to generate enough heat, and needs to be turned and watered regularly. Pets might be curious to investigate the smells of the composting food waste, and in urban areas rats tend to be attracted to live in the heap due to the warmth. Fruit flies tend to linger around the heap so it's best to have it a distance from your house. Nevertheless, it's the cheapest and 'closest to nature' method of composting.
Which ever method you choose, doing something is better than doing nothing so try to get started somewhere!