A food waste digester will dispose of all biodegradable kitchen waste, cooked or uncooked, such as meat, fish, bones, bread, dairy products, vegetable peelings and fruit.
There are three main types of digestor, the Green Cone, the Green Johanna and the Hotbin. They are installed in the garden and look very similar to normal compost bins. All use natural processes to break the food down without producing methane.
The Green Cone is a small food waste digester which needs to be partially buried in the ground in a sunny, well drained part of the garden.
The unit uses solar heat to raise the temperature of the waste in an underground digestion chamber. The surrounding soil insulates the chamber. Food waste is broken down into water and carbon dioxide and a little organic residue. Accelerator powder can be added if needed to speed up the process.
You can put about three-quarters to one kilogram of any cooked or uncooked food waste into the Green Cone each day, which is the average amount produced by a family of four. It’s not intended to be used for garden waste.
The Green Cone works all year round. As it produces very little waste residue it should only need to be emptied once a year at most, usually much longer.
This is a really good system if you just want to deal with food waste (or dog/cat poo) and don’t want to produce compost. It’s easy to set up, very simple to use, rarely needs emptying, and will dispose of most cooked and uncooked food waste.
This is a more expensive option, but in my view it’s the best of all. It’s a very simple, easy to use compost bin which will dispose of all food waste and garden waste too. It will recycle the kitchen waste produced by a household of up to five people together with the compostable waste from an average garden.
The unit must be installed in a shady part of the garden and is designed to be filled with two parts food waste mixed with one third garden waste. If you don’t have much garden waste, other carbon rich material such as leaves, sawdust, cardboard or straw can be used.
Waste is broken down by micro-organisms in a hot composting method producing good rich compost. When average temperatures drop below 5°C a thermal jacket is available to maintain food waste recycling all year round. No accelerator powder or chemicals need to be added.
There are two doors at the base to easily remove the finished compost which is ready after about four to six months, depending on the time of year and temperature.
The Green Johanna is available to buy from Amazon Marketplace
The Hotbin is a highly insulated 200 litre capacity bin designed to operate at between 40 to 60 degrees C. The makers claim it will compost kitchen and garden waste 32 times faster than a traditional cold bin, producing finished compost in 90 days or mulching compost in 30 days.
It will take all cooked and uncooked kitchen scraps, pet waste, and general garden waste including grass clippings. To operate at high temperatures a Hotbin needs regular feeding with the correct proportions of waste mixed with shredded woody waste and/or torn up corrugated cardboard, or shredded paper.
Many people love these bins, but we found ours to be a bit temperamental and needing much more attention than a Green Cone or Green Johanna.
Available to buy on Amazon Marketplace.
Larger scale food waste composters
These are available for schools, restaurants and commercial food waste – for example see Ridan Composters