(Bloomberg Businessweek) —
It takes a year, according to experts in organic fertilizer, for food scraps to fully break down into usable compost. The process can be sped up by adding organisms both micro (bacteria, fungi) and macro (earthworms, insects), and yet even then it can be a six- to eight-week process. But the $499 Lomi, which at 16 inches wide and 12 inches tall has a relatively compact footprint, can do the job of transforming your apple cores and coffee grounds into nutrient-rich soil in less than 20 hours. Insert a small pod that contains microorganisms, and a heat sensor and blade inside the Lomi will do the work of nature—just a lot faster.
• If you want to create compost the time-honored (and time-intensive) way, stainless-steel garbage can manufacturer Simplehuman offers a minimalist 4-liter, $50 compost caddy that comes with a convenient magnetic docking bracket that can attach to the brand’s trash receptacles.
• For outdoor spaces, the $1,000 Jora Compost Tumbler 400 can hold as much as 106 gallons and, because it’s insulated, reach 160F. This higher temperature results in fast, efficient and more thorough composting.
• A potentially more fun and kid-friendly way to get the family involved is the $110 5-Tray VermiHut Plus worm compost bin. Fill a tray with worm bedding, food scraps and, of course, worms, and they’ll eat up your leftovers and leave behind highly nutritious organic material. Worms sold separately.
For all the good that composting does for the environment, the act of maintaining a bin indoors—at least in the past—meant living with fruit flies and odors of rotting food. But the Lomi is equipped with a dual-activated carbon filtration system, which eliminates funky smells and traps harmful gases. It holds 3 liters at a time, and in our tests the bucket for scraps would fill up after about three days of morning coffee and home-cooked meals. At 20 pounds, the Lomi isn’t quite a countertop device, and the heat emitted means it’ll ideally occupy a mudroom or outdoor terrace. But time saved makes this composting contraption a game changer. Watching waste that would have gone to a landfill mixed, hours later, into garden plots feels almost like magic. $499
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