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"24-hour Fully Automatic Composting", Why does the term "Automatic" not fit in

Updated: Mar 16

Currently, state governments are encouraging the purchase of composters on an urgent basis. Some states have even set deadlines for large apartments and hotels. The ultimate result will determine if it’s suitable for plants or used as fertilizer in agricultural fields. Using this "24-hour compost" without live microbes in it on agricultural fields would be catastrophically damaging.

Composting is a biological process that takes more than a day to complete. The process must be finished in its natural timeline, taking at least 30 days but continuing even after that when mixed with the soil. At most, the 24-hour process can reduce the material to an amount that is suitable for either landfilling or further treatment.

Why using this substance as "compost" is detrimental to the soil and any plants that rely on its nutrients? Let's explore this further.

Food is wasted from the transportation and processing stages all the way to distribution. Even when selling the product, some wastage has been noticed. Up to 40% of food is wasted in households and the commercial sector during consumption. Huge amounts of food being wasted result in economic losses, hunger, and environmental issues. Discarded food waste rotting in landfills can release methane, a potent greenhouse gas, and thus have an adverse effect on the environment. Under sustainable resource management, the idea of waste is wealth is embraced, so organic food waste composting is heavily encouraged. This involves decomposing food items such as fruits, vegetables, grains, eggshells, and dairy products into smaller particles using natural methods. Composting organic food waste reduces its effect on multiple industries. For example, cutting down methane production from landfills helps lower the greenhouse effect and processing compost reduces the need for pesticides and synthetic fertilizers which naturally balances the pH levels of the soil.

Composting organic food waste requires a specialized microbial community. A variety of microbial species, form the microbial community and interact with one another within their shared environment. Microorganisms break down food waste into smaller particles before it gets composted in the process of food waste composting. Microbes play an important role in determining the maturity of compost, as their composition changes throughout composting. Composting improves the soil's structure, texture, and aeration, as well as boosts its water retention capability. The most basic elements are combined to form compost, also known as humus. With composting, the pile of waste will gradually shrink in size.

For successful composting, you'll need helpful components such as humus, nutrient-rich compost, organic waste, and oxygen. Microorganisms are crucial in the composting process as they help transform organic material into the stable matter with carbon-rich fiber and humus full of nitrogen and phosphorus. Composting consists of two steps: 1) breaking down organic material via microbial activity and 2) transforming the material.

The first stage of the composting process starts with the microbiome which increases the activity and initial temperature, breaking down most biodegradables while adding stability to remaining organic materials. During composting, the composition of bacteria, fungi, and protozoa within the microbiome can vary based on temperature, moisture content, C/N ratio, and other organic materials. At this stage, biodegradable compounds and oxygen are used, while pathogens, weeds, and toxins are removed. The products of composting are leachate, CO2, and heat.

During the second stage of humification, the process of decomposition continues until the organic matter is transformed into stable humic substances. As the temperature drops, microbial activity decreases.

Composting is an environmentally friendly approach to solid waste management that minimizes the amount of waste sent to landfills while recycling organic materials to create nutrient-rich soils. Surveys suggest that compliance increases when penalties are enforced. Composting has been identified as a way to significantly lessen waste levels by 2030, in keeping with Sustainable Development Goal 12 (SDGs), which focuses on Responsible Consumption and Production. It is believed that this practice contributes toward good health and sustainability.

Let's compost responsibly!


Founder & CTO, riteways

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