Bye bye fertilizer, let your waste work for you.

Surprisingly, the two largest components in a landfill are food and paper, both biodegradable substances. In fact, statistics clearly show that nearly 50% of all municipal solid waste is consistent of only food and paper products. The EPA clearly states that food waste is the #1 least recycled material.
The problem with landfills pertaining to food and paper waste is the lack of oxygen, which so happens to be a principle partner in promoting degradation. Thanks in part to a population explosion and the lack of landfill space costs are skyrocketing for waste removal. This can only mean higher taxes and higher fees for everyone. A bright inventor and waste removal expert has developed upon an old idea and created a more simple solution for the home and office environment to eliminate food scraps the smart way.

Welcome Nature Mill, invented by Russ Cohn through a series of stinky trial and error R&D stents. The Nature Mill is an indoor composter for the unwanted pounds of food discarded daily. IT works like this: You can deposit food scraps into the unit at any time, up to 120 lbs per month. For the most efficient results only discard small pieces of food or cut it up accordingly. Freshly disposed food scraps rest in the upper chamber under a high temp composting condition. The process involves mixing air flow, moisture and heat to break down the food efficiently. The high temp conditions destroy odors, seed germination and pathogens. The compost is sifted into a lower chamber via a trap door where the waste continues to compost.
In the past, composters let out the foul smell of rotting foods but the cultures that the Nature Mill creates can consume waste quickly and without the odors. The aroma produced is mild, similar to sourdough, wet straw or mushrooms. The odor can be further reduced by balancing the chemistry within by adding the provided small bits of sawdust and baking soda to reduce the acidity. A small fan continually draws fresh air into the chamber providing a consistent flow of oxygen to the cultures. Add a highly effective carbon filter and a constant 140 degree Fahrenheit sauna environment and you have a solid odorless indoor unit. The filter is only in need of replacement once every 4-5 years at the mere cost of $8 or simply a dollar if you buy the carbon yourself.
The unit is sleek and small, easily set up in any kitchen, garage, and laundry room or break room for effective management of food waste. It will fit inside standard cabinet sizes and it even comes in a variety of fancy colors. If you have no spare room it can even work efficiently outdoors, through thick and thin it is a weather proof unit capable and ready to help you tackle your waste. The only down side to the unit is that it consumes power, it plugs into a socket and requires the juice to keep it going.
Roughly every two weeks, or when the indicator light bears its signal the cure process is completed and the removable curing tray in the sub compartment is ready to be disposed of. The composted material left over is a rich mixture of concentrated compost fertilizer for your planter or garden bed. From the initial dump into the receptacle to the cured compost discharge nearly seventy percent of the waste will have disappeared into thin air.

Nick Aster is a new media architect and the founder of has grown to become one of the web's leading sources of news and ideas on how business can be used to make the world a better place.

Prior to TriplePundit Nick worked for Mother Jones magazine, successfully re-launching the magazine's online presence. He worked for, managing the technical side of the publication for 3 years and has also been an active consultant for individuals and companies entering the world of micro-publishing. He earned his stripes working for Gawker Media and Moreover Technologies in the early days of blogging.

Nick holds an MBA in sustainable management from the Presidio School of Management and graduated with a BA in History from Washington University in St. Louis.

8 responses

  1. The idea is frankly brilliant, but I would be concerned about electricity consumption. An outdoor composter takes no energy inputs, but this thing plugs in. Anyone have one hooked into a Kill-A-Watt?

  2. The article stated that the unit consumes 5 kw hours per month, after checking that with the product website it seems to be true, a mere $.50 per month. Very low power consumption for a truly beneficial product like this. Love this product, great post!

  3. I just watched a show on the History Channel called Modern Marvels and the Nature Mill was part of the program as well as another interesting product by Pacwind for convertinf wind to electricty…Anyway, the composter used next to nothing in elecric. I thought I’d share that. if you are interested in the idea of wind power checkout great stuff!

  4. My ‘verminator’ – a plastic box with drainage and earthworms, does the same sans electric connection, and eats all my waste paper, including newsprint and junk-mail without a burp! Granted, it needs emptying which involves separating the worms from the castings every so often, but it does not smell, and the final product grows great veggies the next season! Lots of reasons for preferring a dry process without worms, but the verminator is the fastest and most eco-loving of the two, though probably not the most convienent!

  5. I purchased my Nature Mill directly from the company about a month ago…
    It has malfunctioned and failed to transfer every single time since the first day I bought it ($400.00 “Pro Edition”). The first fix from the company was to manually dig out the compost, find the broken latch and they emailed me instructions on how to put it back together. Unit failed again the following day, company says I need ugrade latch kit and spring plates which they ship me. Here I am three weeks later with my upgrade kit installed and I say to my self, self let’s try it out before we fill the old bin with crud this time. So unit goes into transfer mode and latch breaks out and slingshots across room ( had top open to see). Company refuses to refund due to notice on website that if it is used at all they will not take return. My argument is that it has not been used because it has never functioned correctly not once even with factory recommended upgrade (which I find curious since I ordered it directly from the factory and they didn’t install the upgrade for me????) This company had a great idea buy very poor execution and I suspect that is why they have the ridiculous policy.

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