Sunday, January 17, 2010

New Toy: Indoor Composter

One day, while unemployed, I was watching Martha (yes...I watched Martha while unemployed...sue me), and they showed a fantastic product called the NatureMill indoor composter. It's a mechanical device with a heater, a mixer, and an air filter designed to make home composting a reality for those who live in apartments and garden-style condos. It's odor-free and, because it's heated, you can even add meats to it, which you can't do with an outdoor or worm-based composter.

I thought it was an awesome idea and wanted one immediately. Unfortunately, they run about $300...a lot to pay for an over-glorified electric trash bin designed to rot food (which food will do on its own). That, and when you're unemployed, it's hard to justify buying silly "toys."

Anyway, I'm now gainfully employed and I was lucky to receive a good amount of cash for Christmas, so I finally splurged and ordered it. Yes, I realize the economic savings probably will never add-up, but I am excited that I can do just a little more for the environment and that I won't have to spend any more money on fertilizer and someone else's ground-up chicken bones for my container garden this year. Heck, I may even end-up with enough to give away to friends and family for their gardens.

The composter just came in yesterday and I just set it up in the dining room (I currently have no more suitable location). It's sitting there with a bunch of food scraps in it, humming away. Supposedly, I'm to leave it alone for 48 hours and then I can start adding more. I'll definitely be posting more info about it as I use it.

In the interim, here are some thoughts:
  • The entire device, while it looks like plastic in the photos, is actually made of a hard Styrofoam with some sort of plastic-like finish. From a distance, you can't tell, but up-close, it makes it feel rather chintzy. I hope it holds-up to wear and tear.
  • The air fan is a bit loud at the moment. Everything I've read says it should quiet down as the device breaks in and gets its groove on.
  • I'm not supposed to put paper or coffee filters in and I found that odd. I did some digging and found a user manual from an older model that had instructions for such additions. Looks like paper is tempermental to break down in such a small unit and a lot of paper is coated or contains toxic ink. My guess is they just said "no" to avoid the constant customer service calls. Once I get used to it, I may try one or two coffee filters since we use the all-natural, unbleached ones and see what happens.
Wish me luck!

Disclaimer/CYA Statement - The photo above was "borrowed" from NatureMill's website and I'm considering it "fair use." Since I'm promoting their product, I do hope they won't sue me. However, I'm happy to take it down if there's a problem.

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