With These Electric Composters, Reducing Your Carbon Footprint Just Got Easier

Vitamix FoodCycler FC-50
Courtesy of Vitamix

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If you’re an environmentally conscious person that’s ever left food scraps on your plate or counter after cooking a meal, you’ve probably felt a twinge of guilt as you scrape it into the trash. After all, food scraps make up a large amount of what we throw out — combined with yard waste, almost 30%. Compost is an organic material derived from this food and yard waste — you can add it to soil to help plants grow, which is why it’s useful for both amateur and professional gardeners who don’t like chemical-based fertilizers. Municipal composting is available in some locations, but it’s impossible to control the nature of the end product. Using an at-home composter is a great way to minimize that waste.

The CEO of Pela, the brand behind the new electric composter Lomi, shares, “Recycling food and other organic waste into compost provides a variety of environmental benefits. Using compost helps grow healthier plants, reduce landfill, save water, improve soil properties and decrease need for chemical fertilizers.”

While there are plenty of compost bins and manual compost machines on the market (usually powered by a tumbling motion), most are space-consuming, smelly, and not as effective as electric alternatives. They might have a higher price tag, but here’s why an electric composter is a much better choice for a range of lifestyles.

  

What Are the Benefits of Composting?

While many people are reluctant to buy a new kitchen gadget that takes up counter space, an electric composter has tons of benefits — especially if you have any plants.

While all kinds of composters help you live more sustainably, some might argue that an electric composter is better for a few reasons. First, it can break down ingredients that aren’t regularly compostable, like bones, meat and fish. An electric composter is an ideal indoor alternative if you live somewhere that’s too cold to compost outdoors, or if you live in an urban area where outdoor composting isn’t an option.

Investing in the best electric composter can also help you minimize your carbon footprint even further by reducing methane emissions, which composting bins and piles release into the air. Thanks to the aeration process in an electric model, this methane is eliminated.

When you take the trash out, it’ll be much less stinky. Plus, it gives you practically unlimited access to recycled soil, which is a major perk for home gardeners. Ultimately, going electric is faster, more compact, and more versatile than a traditional composter.

  

How Does an Electric Composter Work?

An electric composter might work differently from a traditional one, but that doesn’t mean it’s harder to operate. For many of them, it’s as simple as pressing a button, closing a lid and waiting a few hours.

An electric composter consists of:
Hopper – Where added wastes are held before they’re composted
Motorized wand – A mixing wand that continuously turns the mixture
Heater – Dehydrates content and speeds up composting
Carbon filter – Absorbs the smell of the food
Air pump – Introduces oxygen to feed microorganisms in your soil
Cure tray – Collects final compost products
Drip tray – Collects leftover liquid

Pro tip: Save the liquid in your drip tray as a nutrient-rich alternative to regular water for plants.

Most electric composters undergo the same process. They use heat, aeration and pulverization to reduce the volume of food waste, just like a regular composter. First, the composter employs a drying process, which kills plant diseases and pathogens. Then, it grinds your scraps into a compost pile, breaking down the volume even more into tiny, powdery particles and fertilizer. Finally, it cools the contents to room temperature, so you can handle it safely. The steps are as follows:

  • Food waste is placed in the machine.
  • Food waste moves to a chamber where heating, mixing and aerating occur, shrinking it in size.
  • Final food waste is deposited into a cure tray where it becomes fertilizer.

Some models only mix and dehydrate, while other machines utilize enzymes, which can affect the speed of food decomposition.

However, unlike normal compost piles, the end result with a food cycler ends up 100% dry and sterile. And unlike normal compost methods, an electric version greatly reduces the emissions and odor of food waste, completing the composting process much faster than non-electric models.

  

Things To Consider When Buying an Electric Composter

  • Size: Most electric composters are appropriate for counter or cabinet storage, but if you have a tiny kitchen, measuring beforehand is a good idea. The higher your want the capacity to be, the larger your composter will be.
  • Time: Usually, these machines take up to eight hours to do their business, but it can take some electric composters days to make fertilizer. While they’re all faster than conventional composting methods, certain models take as little as three hours. Most of them also make some noise when operating, so this is another factor to consider along with the runtime.
  • Capacity: Two to five pounds is the average amount of food waste an electric composter can process. If you have a very large family or lots of roommates, consider a high-capacity model.
  • Aeration: This is arguably the most important part of the process, allowing your food to break down minus the methane. The aeration structure should be spacious.
  • Price: You won’t find one much cheaper than $300, and the pricier ones can cost up to $1,000. Be sure to research whether you’ll need to purchase additional enzymes or additives to use the machine.

Previously, composters were limited to those with yard space. But an electric composter allows you to partake in the activity, even if you live in a condo or small apartment. Whether you’re looking to improve your green thumb, store organic waste, or reduce odor in your house, this is a low-maintenance, all-season solution that’s well worth the price.

  

1. Vitamix FoodCycler FC-50

BEST OVERALL

The Vitamix FoodCycler FC-50 is the most popular electric composter available online, cutting waste by up to 90%. With a sleek design, flawless performance and ergonomic handle, this compact food cycler only takes up a cubic foot of space and has a spacious capacity inside. LED lights alert you to the different processing stages (processing takes four to eight hours total), and the electric composter can be placed anywhere in your home. Their carbon filtration system ensures that odors are completely invisible.

Vitamix FoodCycler FC-50 Courtesy of Home Depot
  

2. Pela Lomi Electric Composter

RUNNER UP

After only being available for pre-order, this innovative electric composter is finally available for purchase, and the hype is real. With a sleek and modern look, it’s significantly easier to run than other electric composters, with just one button to initiate a cycle. This makes it accessible for the whole family and can help parents teach kids about the benefits of composting. Just fill, press, and take out your new soil. The Lomi has three modes: Express, Eco and Bioplastic, which makes this the first home composter to break down certified compostable plastics.

Pela Lomi Electric Composter Courtesy of Pela
  

3. BeyondGREEN All-Electric Pet Waste and Organic Waste Composter

BEST FOR PET OWNERS

This addition to composting technology can be used indoors and outdoors, culminating in a high-nitrogen compost that can be used in your garden ASAP. Not only does this machine break down yard waste and food scraps, but it breaks down beyondGREEN waste bags (and pet waste as well). The double-chambered system composts waste in the top chamber while curing the compost in the bottom chamber. This Energy Star certified composter has a four-gallon weekly capacity and is made from recyclable material.

BeyondGREEN All-Electric Pet Waste and Organic Waste Composter Courtesy of Beyond GREEN
  

4. Tero Wifi Connected Automatic Composter

BEST DESIGN

Tero’s futuristic-looking food cycling device is available in a basic model, as well as an upgraded one with a WiFi connection, so you can control and monitor your composter from afar — even the real-time progress of a current cycle. In terms of detailed data and stats, the Tero is in a class of its own. Its speed, user-friendly controls and elongated yet compact shape allow you to maximize space. The interior bucket and blade are dishwasher-friendly.

Tero Wifi Connected Automatic Composter Courtesy of Tero
  

5. Compostology GG-02 24 hour Automated Composting System

BEST SPLURGE

While Compostology’s 24-hour system is definitely at the higher end of most budgets, it’s also one of the most impressive options out there. Using Acidulo microbes, heat, and rotation to compost the contents, it has a 90% reduction rate, which means it doesn’t need to be emptied as often as countertop alternatives. While it does take a full day to run, this system can handle over eight pounds of waste a day and is ideal for large households and small businesses.

GG-02 24 hour Automated Composting System Courtesy of Compostology
  

6. Digital Zakka Food Recycler Waste Bin Composter

BEST HIGH CAPACITY

This Food Recycler Waste Bin Composter is known for its large capacity — according to the brand, you can go an entire week without emptying it. That being said, it also takes up more space and can’t be stored on the countertop. Still, it’s smell-free, and ideal for those who might not have the time to change it out as frequently. If your priority is a larger capacity that you don’t have to manually tumble, consider this electric composter. 

Digital Zakka Food Recycler Waste Bin Composter Courtesy of Digital Zakka
  

7. Reencle Kitchen Composter

BEST TOUCHLESS MOTION SENSOR

The Reencle Kitchen Composter is one of the latest creative solutions that’s available for pre-order and is a larger alternative than countertop composters. It’s about the size of a trash bin, and to operate it, food waste is placed with a packet of microorganisms that help break edibles down. Combined with a mastication function, it takes about 24 hours to break down food and even has a touchless sensor so you can keep your hands clean.

Reencle Kitchen Composter Courtesy of Reencle
  

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