The common black dome of the urban composterÂ handles a significant amount of urban green waste and raw vegetable material from the residential kitchen.
But even with the urban recyclingÂ economy of the binner and municipalities who pick up plastic and glass recycling, the problem of what to do with food waste remains a roadblock to the self-cleaning modern home.
Despite the possible benefit of urban animal husbandry in disposingÂ of leftovers, a city-approved backyard resurgence of the magical animal that turns leftovers and other food waste into bacon, ham, chops, andÂ sausages seems unlikely. Uneaten food canâ€™t be recycled or re-used and ends up headed straight for the landfill.Â
Spurring Jeff Malmgren to seek answers was the problem of what to do with the poo? The appearance of a small white dog in his life,Â along with his new partner, got him thinking about just how much crap goes in the garbage.
His search for a solution led him to the Green Cone food waste digester. A plastic coneÂ that sits in a hole in your backyard and turns food waste into nutrient-rich water and a sludge pile that has to be emptied every couple of years.
Anyone with a backyard can use a Green Cone. Some users are claiming better gardens from the nutrient rich liquid that is absorbed by the surrounding soil. Malmgren cautions however, that Green Cones used to deal with animal feces need to be safely away from food growing areas.
The Green Cone breaks down discarded food through an aerobic, macrobiotic, solar-powered process fueled by the sunâ€™s rays on the black outer casing and a starter seeding of the waste-eating bacteria.Â Green Cone proponents hope to follow the British example, which saw municipalities funding the cones, while non-profit organizations handled local distributionÂ
for a portion of the funding.
Where to get one:
Greater Victoria Compost Education Centre
Surrey/White Rock â€“ Metro Vancouver
Huron Park, Ontario