Composting is increasingly popular, and many state-run programs have made it easier than ever to reduce food waste. Yet despite the growing accessibility of composting, 50 million tons of compostable waste ends up in American landfills at the end of each year. Scientists in organizations like the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change have found that food waste has a substantial carbon footprint, accounting for approximately 10% of global greenhouse-gas emissions. As research shows that wealthier countries like America carry a significant brunt of this responsibility, the choice to compost is increasingly political. But what would lead consumers to make that choice?
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In hopes of answering this question, Canada’s Anvy Technologies created an eco-friendly composting system called the Sepura Home. While traditional garbage disposals send food waste straight to the sewer, Sepura Home redirects it to a clean, simply designed compost bin. A separator device within the product uses a patented electromechanical auger to send food straight to the collection bin without altering the sink’s plumbing. The Sepura Home is easy to install and features an adjustable body that can fit securely under 95% of sinks. A carbon filter cover, gasketed sliding door, and air vents keep the odors of food scraps from leaving the bin and stinking up the kitchen. The Sepura Home also features several functions that take the unpleasantness out of emptying the bin, like a large bucket that’s easy to carry and LED lights that indicate when it’s filling up.
Since this product is the first of its kind, its design required intensive research and cutting-edge innovation. This involved interviews with people who interact with sinks in a variety of ways, from builders and plumbers to homeowners. Thanks to their insight, the Sepura team was able to design a product from several different approaches that were integral to its function. The resulting system is easy to repair, install, and maintain, with a robust structure designed to last at least a decade. More than anything, Sepura’s design team knew their mission required building a product with a long life.
“We didn’t want to design something that was meant to prevent food waste from going to landfills but that itself would breakdown and quickly end up in a landfill,” Sepura said in a printed statement. “That’s why we selected materials, such as ABS for the main enclosure, that could handle the harsh environment under the sink. We also didn’t want to use components or electronics that would become outdated and out-speced.”
The Sepura Home is commendable for making sustainable practices more accessible to the general populace in order to reduce food waste. A product that takes the work, inconvenience, and unpleasantness out of a sustainable practice like composting might be all it takes to encourage more people to participate. Socially conscious designs like this one will hopefully inspire more consumers to think critically about how they engage with waste in their everyday life.