This entry was posted on 19th November 2023.
The Reencle food waste composter is an innovative device that breaks down kitchen scraps into nutrient-rich compost using a combination of bacteria, heat, and activated charcoal. It offers several advantages over traditional composting methods, including ease of use, minimal odor, and efficient decomposition.
Although it can't handle all kitchen waste (no large bones or fish guts!), it's well designed and easy to use, uses bacteria to turn waste into compost, and is ideal for someone who wants to compost but doesn't have a garden.
In the machine, you'll find that it comes with a type of bran that contains bacteria. The bacteria are bacilli - which are also found in compost heaps. To activate the bacteria, you add water, turn it on and leave it for 24 hours.
Then start by adding some very soft, easily digestible foods such as rice or bread. You can expand this to a wider range of foods later. As you add the food, a paddle inside the machine stirs it into the bran, where it is broken down by the bacteria inside. The bran also contains activated charcoal to provide extra oxygen for the micro-organisms. At the same time, heat is applied at 50-60°C - perfect for the composting bacteria, which break down organic material quickly.
It all sounds very much like composting, and the fact that it takes 21 days (and you leave the compost to mature after that) suggests that it will be a much more viable product than dehydrated food. This is helped by the guidelines on what you can put in. These tend to be things with higher levels of sugar, starch and simple proteins. You can compost tougher materials such as bones, but this will slow down the decomposition process.
How much power does it use?
Whether you're thinking about personal costs or the environment, you'll probably want to know how much power the device uses. Reencle says that the device uses 1.25kWh per day. You should calculate for yourself based on the prices for electricity on your bill.
How fast Reencle do the job?
How fast depends on the food. For example, soft bread disappears in a few hours. More dry materials take longer, even for some days but eventually disappears.
How much compost do you get?
Not a huge amount! The total amount of compost is about 5% of the food waste you add. That's to be expected, of course. Food waste holds a lot of water, and the bacteria also consume some of it. But while it's great for potting plants, don't expect to mulch your vegetable garden with the end product.
Is the compost any good?
Tests from Reencle shows high levels of nitrogen and organic matter - both important elements for the soil. Germination rates have sodium levels were low (a good thing, as high salt levels can affect plant health).
- Nitrogen 2.95%
- Organic matter 87.84
- Moisture 6.61
- Germination rate 77.47
- Sodium 1.67
How do you get rid of the compost?
The material in the composter contains activated carbon, which provides oxygen for the bacteria, so how this would affect the composting process if it was removed from the compost. Reencle advise is to just scoop out some of the compost and not worry about the charcoal, as oxygen is also provided via the air filter. You can also choose to sieve the compost.
How do you use the compost?
Firstly, you should allow it to mature before using it. Reencle recommends that you leave it for 5 days before using it. Compost usually needs to mature for months before it's ready to use (at least with plants) but Reencle fasten this process in a very different way. Still we would recommend giving your compost a little bit more amount of time to mature and you become confident in it.
Ease of Use: The Reencle composter is incredibly simple to operate. Simply add food scraps to the device, and the internal mechanism will take care of the rest. No need to worry about turning or maintaining a separate compost pile.
Minimal Odor: Unlike traditional composting methods that can produce unpleasant smells, the Reencle composter effectively controls odors, ensuring a pleasant indoor environment.
Efficient Decomposition: The combination of bacteria, heat, and activated charcoal in the Reencle composter accelerates the decomposition process, turning food scraps into compost in as little as 21 days.
Suitable for Indoor Use: The Reencle composter's compact design makes it ideal for indoor use, allowing users to compost conveniently in their kitchens or apartments.
Produces High-Quality Compost: The finished compost produced by the Reencle composter is rich in nutrients and beneficial for plant growth. It can be used to enrich potting mixes, fertilize gardens, and improve soil health.
However, it's important to consider some potential drawbacks before purchasing a Reencle composter:
Electricity Consumption: The device does consume a significant amount of electricity, which may be a concern for those looking for eco-friendly options.
Limited Compost Output: The amount of compost produced is relatively small, making it more suitable for small-scale composting needs.
Food Restrictions: The composter is not suitable for all types of food scraps, such as large bones or meat scraps.
Overall, the Reencle food waste composter offers a convenient and effective solution for individuals who want to compost their kitchen scraps without the hassle and limitations of traditional outdoor composting methods. While its electricity consumption and limited compost output should be considered, the device's ease of use, odor control, and efficient decomposition make it a compelling choice for indoor composting.