Kitchen gadget converts food scraps to compost in a claimed 48 hours
Using a compost heap is a great way of putting food waste to use, but that waste can take several weeks or longer to become compost – in the meantime, it may stink or attract pests. The indoor Kalea device, on the other hand, is claimed to produce compost in just two days.
Created by a German team of "material scientists, engineers, and hobby gardeners," Kalea is about the size of a kitchen garbage can and it sits (appropriately enough) in the kitchen. As users generate food waste – including meat, fish or dairy products – they deposit those items in a lidded bin on top of the device.
Once activated via the press of a button, Kalea starts by dropping the waste from the bin into a chamber where it's shredded and dried. Once that process is complete, the organic material is dropped into a second chamber where it's tumbled.
According to the designers, the temperature, humidity and aeration in that chamber are optimized to accelerate the metabolism of microorganisms already present in the waste. This reportedly causes those microbes to break the material down much quicker than they would in a regular compost heap.
The resulting compost is dropped into a removable bin in the bottom of the device, which users pull out and empty into their garden or planters. Although there's apparently not much of a smell involved in Kalea's composting process, replaceable air filters are used to catch what odor there is.
Some readers may recall a similar product that we covered in 2017, known as the Zera Food Recycler. It isn't related to Kalea, which is presently the subject of a Kickstarter campaign. A pledge of €549 (about US$645) will get you one, when and if it reaches production. The planned retail price is €899 ($1,056).