Courtesy Converted Organics
Imagine a big composting machine that processes food waste by the ton. It’s not only bigger than the compost heap you have stirring in your backyard; it’s faster, too.
That’s the idea behind Converted Organics’ high-temperature liquid composting technology. The Boston-based company takes food waste from grocery stores, restaurants and processing facilities around Boston, New York and New Jersey and turns it into an eco-friendly fertilizer that gardeners can use in their backyards.
Unlike your backyard compost pile, where dairy and meat products are a big no-no, Converted Organics accepts all types of food waste, including fruits, vegetables and meats.
“Meats have high nitrogen compounds from additional protein,” says Rob Bayless, the company’s vice president of manufacturing, explaining why taboo compost additives are a key ingredient to the Converted Organics mix.
Contrary to backyard composting methods, they then liquefy the food waste. This not only breaks down the material to keep it from producing that nasty odor associated with decomposing garbage, it allows oxygen to more easily enter the mix, explains Bayless.
Air is inserted into the liquefied food waste, making way for the tiny microbes that will digest the waste into fertilizer. During this process, the liquid compost is heated to temperatures above 130 degrees Fahrenheit, sterilizing it from dangerous pathogens, such as E. coli and salmonella.
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