Organic Waste Converter "Hands-free Food Waste System" May Work Better Than Composting

organic waste converterAbout 50% of the waste in the UAE is organic. A new converter launched at conference aims to reduce this amount by 90% within a day.

For years, composting has been considered as the environmentally best method for  disposing of organic waste material, especially ones like the NatureMill Urban Composter, we wrote about in January. But it now appears that there may be an even better way of turning food and other organic wastes into usable compost material in less than one day, as reported in an article in Dubai’s Khaleej Times. The “Hands-free Food Waste System” which runs silently on electricity, and has been used successfully in Norway for over a year, was presented during the  Middle East Waste Summit (MEWS) 2010 in the UAE Emirate of Dubai. There, 49% of its waste material is organic, especially food and other organic material from hotels, restaurants, and catered affairs such as conventions and exhibitions.

The device is being marketed by a joint venture between EnvironPac, Norway, and a company named Excel Industry Co. LLC. As compared to composters, which take up to two weeks to create usable compost from organic waste (even with air circulators, like the NatureMill device) the “hands free food waste system” presented at the MEWS conference is said to reduce 90% of the waste’s original mass within 18 hours after being put into the “the large cuboid facility that consists of compartments which ensure organic waste is converted into an environment-friendly, reusable content with the push of a button.”

The final product, after undergoing a drying and sterilization process, is a very fine and pliable compost material that can be used in gardens, on lawns, and for agriculture. This is a vast improvement to the way this waste material is now disposed of in Dubai and other UAE locations, where landfills have been the usual destination for this kind of waste material.

The potential for such a device, not only in the UAE, but other parts of the Middle East as well, is enormous. Most countries in the region use either landfills or simply dump waste materials into the sea, as has often happened in countries like Lebanon, where we wrote that “garbage trucks dump straight into the sea.”

The device would also be good for helping Israel find a better solution to its increasing waste disposal problem, that is now being consigned to large landfills in the country’s southern regions following the closure of large “garbage mountains” like the former Hiriya garbage mound near the coastal city of Tel Aviv.

And since half of it is organic in nature, this new device that was presented at the MEWS summit in Dubai may prove to have a two-fold use as it will also provide more topsoil for agriculture.

Good top soil is a commodity that appears to be in short supply in this region; and mycorrhiza fungus is being considered as a way to make existing high saline soil more suited for agriculture. So in the end, all that food being thrown out into landfills in Dubai can now be put to good use as soil improving compost.

Image via dnorman

::Khaleej Times

More articles on composting and waste disposal problems in the Middle East:

NatureMills Urban Composter is Good for Even City Balconies

Lebanon’s Sidon Garbage Dump More Serious Than Just the Smell

Former Hiriya Garbage Mound Now Slated for Public Park

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  1. We will arrange to take up the operation and will interact with the residents for source segregation and the segregated waste will be transferred to OWC room by the housekeeping staff.
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