An Estonian student company launches a home composting pilot project

A former Estonian student company, Wastefox, is launching a home composting pilot project in the Estonian capital, Tallinn, saying it’s the largest of its kind in Europe.

The project, called Rohering (“the Green Circle” in Estonian), involves 150 fast composters to be distributed to the residents of Tallinn. The project is being carried out by Wastefox and the Tallinn Waste Centre.

Based on the results of the pilot project, the company plans to create a method for distributing high-speed composters to EU governments next year that will help them meet the union’s goals to recycle 50% of municipal waste, the company said in a statement.

Most composters are distributed among randomly selected private houses in the Haabersti neighbourhood in Tallinn.

Decomposes food up to 10 times faster

“For four months, the Tallinn Waste Centre will continuously weigh mixed municipal waste bins from the participating households to determine if the amount of biowaste in the municipal waste has decreased after the distribution of the composters. Households have to pay a €25 entry fee to join the project,” the company said.

Produced and developed in Estonia, the Wastefox fast composter decomposes food waste up to 10 times faster than conventional compost heaps, the company claims. “The waste is not accessible to animals, does not emit odours from the composter and works with organic microbes that accelerate the decomposition process,” the company asserted. The end product can be used to fertilise plants in the garden, it added.

Up to 500 litres of biowaste transformed into humus

Researchers of the Estonian University of Life Sciences have contributed to the development of the composters. “An accelerated process in a composter allows a 50-litre (13.2-gallon) composter to transform up to 500 litres (132 gallons) of biowaste into humus per year. The heat needed to decompose the waste is aided by the special insulation around the box. The resulting humus can be used as a fertiliser in the garden.”

The pilot project takes place within the framework of the European Climate-Kic City Challenge, the leader of European climate innovation, which was announced in 2018 by the Estonian NGO, Cleantech Forest, that promotes green innovation.

Wastefox was founded in 2016 as a student company to manufacture indoor waste bins. In 2017, the company also won the title of the Best Estonian and European Student Company.

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