Did you know that food comprises approximately 20% of space in landfills and that the average family produces over 400 pounds of food waste every year? Although composting is a great way to reduce your waste footprint, it’s a cumbersome process which takes weeks to complete. The Zera is a food recycler that is designed to seamlessly fit into your kitchen and reduce food waste by two-thirds.
This is done by turning waste into fertilizer (for outdoor use only) within 24 hours. It’s designed to handle a variety of food waste including meat and dairy – both of which aren’t practical to compost using traditional methods. It can’t, however, break down large bones and pits. To use it, users first open the lid, insert the Zera additive pack, and then add food until the bin is full. Users then slide the lid closed and push the start button to begin the transformation process. After 24 hours, the fertilizer is ready for use.
The Zera additive is made from coir and baking soda in order to facilitate the conversion process. Coir itself is produced from coconut husk which is a rapidly renewable resource. The additive pack case is made from paper so the bag packaging can also be used in the machine. The Zera food recycling process is different from traditional composting in that the recycler automatically controls the moisture, heat, and air in a controlled environment which is kept from pets or wildlife.
There’s also a companion mobile app which enables users to start/pause the device remotely, receive notifications when cycles are complete, view composting progress, lock/unlock the device, view informational videos, and unlock achievement awards for recycling. The app also shows the status of the filters and water within the apparatus. Users also have the option to watch DIY informational interviews.
The food recycler won the CES Best of Innovation Award for the Eco-Design and Sustainable Technologies product category. They also received Honoree awards for the Tech for a Better World product category and Home Appliances product category. The Recycler is 11″W x 22″D x 33.75″H, weighs 118.6 pounds (53.8 kilograms), has a usable volume of 8.4 liters (enough for a week of waste) and currently starts at $999 USD, which is 17% off the $1,199 MSRP. Each purchase includes a starter Zera additive pack and air filter. Early bird purchases also include a free one month supply of additive.
The fertilizer storage bin is priced at $39 USD, a six-month supply of additive packs costs $50, and a one-year supply of air filters costs $80. The estimated shipping date for these products is May 2017.
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