Turn Food Scraps Into Fertilizer In 24 Hours
Zera Food Recycler is an in-home composting appliance that allows families to reduce their food waste without resorting to an outdoor compost pile
Home appliance manufacturer Whirlpool Corp. has designed a way for customers who don’t have access to an outdoor compost pile to recycle food scraps in their own homes. The company said its new Zera Food Recycler can break down a week’s worth of a family’s food scraps into fertilizer within just a day.
The main goal of the appliance is to reduce food waste. According to Whirlpool, Zera is capable of reducing an average family’s production of food waste by about 400 pounds over the course of a year.
To use it, all consumers have to do is scrape the excess food off their plates and pans into an opening on top of the device. The machine then aerates the scraps and introduces a plant-based additive, and the composted product eventually drops into a tray at the bottom of the unit. Over the course of 24 hours, the device reduces the volume of food scraps by two-thirds, according to Whirlpool.
“Zera is one of the first products from our global innovation lab—WLabs of Whirlpool Corporation—which fast-tracks products to market that address previously unsolved and real consumer needs,” said Brett Dibkey, Vice President of Integrated Business Units at Whirlpool, in a press release. “Zera has been designed to help families recycle household food waste, help reduce landfill waste, all while enhancing their own lawn and garden.”
Zera also allows families to compost their food all year long, a benefit to those living in climates where outdoor composting is not possible during the colder months. A fairly small appliance—the unit is less than three feet tall—Zera is intended to blend into consumers’ food preparation space.
The device is set to debut at January’s Consumer Electronics Show, after which it will be market-tested through a crowdfunding campaign at a price of $699, according to TreeHugger.com. The eventual estimated retail price is $1,199.