This start-up has developed a way for businesses to quickly compost food waste

Good News Notes:

When food waste goes to landfill it releases methane, a greenhouse gas more potent than carbon dioxide. One way to make sure your leftovers aren’t left to rot like this is to put them to use by turning them into compost.

Properly composting food waste can significantlyreduce the amount of methane it releases into the atmosphere. But with conventional methods, it can often take between six and 24 monthsto produce compost that’s ready to grow plants.

If that sounds like a long time to wait, how about 24 hours instead? That’s what a start-up in Malaysia is offering after developing a new composting technique.

Maeko, based in Kuala Lumpur, has invented a machine thatproduces compost in an anaerobic environment in which the temperature and airflow are closely controlled. The machine crushes the waste and agitates it to speed up the process – resulting in a bio-organic compost that’s ready to use within a day.

What’s more, there are none of the unpleasant smells normally associated with rotting food. The Maeko machine’s ventilation system uses bio-enzyme filtration to eliminate odours as it breaks down all types of food waste, including bones and egg and seafood shells.

As well as itsrange of industrial composters – aimed at shops, restaurants, hotels, schools and more – Maeko is introducing the appropriately namedMunchbot, a small-scale portable composter for home use.

Recycling 1 tonne of food waste using its rapid-composting method, rather than sending it to landfill, preventsgreenhouse gas emissions that would otherwise take 398 trees a year to absorb, Maeko says.

By providing onsite composting solutions for all kinds of businesses and homes, Maeko says its goal is to help “close the loop” of sustainability, ensuring that waste food goes back into farms and gardens as fertilizer to grow more food.

Malaysia generates15,000 tonnes of food waste every day, which accounts fornearly half of all domestic waste, and Maeko says much of it goes to landfill.

But food waste is a global problem. A new report from the United Nations has found that across the world almost 1 billion tonnes of food waste are generated a year – nearly twice the amount previously estimated.”

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