Published on September 10th, 2011 | by Karen Lee
The Muncher; Garbage Eating Industrial Composting Machine
Wouldn’t it be great if garbage did not end up in landfills or was not incinerated? Wouldn’t it be great if a mountain of solid waste went into a composting machine that turns it into plant food in hours and not years?
If a company called Ecologico-Logic had its way, it just may be possible to compost garbage into nutritious mulch and we wouldn’t have to worry about garbage clogging up landfills or polluting the air.
Ecologico-Logic, a green technology company, has unveiled a prototype of a state-of-the-art waste reduction system – known as “The Muncher”, a waste management system “that is far faster, greener and more cost-effective than any waste management technology currently in use. Its primary purpose is to reduce the weight and volume of all organic and many types of inorganic waste.”
How does the Muncher work?
The Muncher composts a high-volume of solid waste by its powerful mechanical method and by utilizing “naturally occurring aerobic (oxygen-breathing) microorganisms in a patent-protected process that greatly accelerates waste digestion while doing no damage to the environment.” The system takes up about 2000 square foot of space and processes a 50 ton of garbage per day.
That’s a lot of garbage that gets composted in such a short amount of time!
Read this detail description of how the machine works but basically, the aerobic (oxygen loving) bacteria eats up the waste material in matter of hours. Through a biological, physical, and chemical patent-pending process, it composts the solid waste in a hours, not months or years, as it would if left in landfills.
From this trash,
To this mulch in an hour!
Why it might he helpful to the environment?
It seems like the system is the most efficient waste management system that exists today since it converts solid waste into valuable nutrient rich plant food in less than an hour. But besides the accelerated process, it cuts down on emission of methane and other toxic gases, besides eliminating foul odor from having solid waste sitting in landfills, which contributes to greenhouse gas. It can reduce the volume of solid waste by 75 to 80 percent to mulch, which is a great conversion rate from garbage to useful plant food. And since it eliminates the need for transporting garbage to landfills, it reduces the energy costs and carbon prints associated with transportation of waste.
Reduction of solid waste is a big advantage with the Muncher but to produce plant food that can be used to fertilize plants seems like an ideal solution to many of our planet’s problem, not to mention, creating economic opportunities for waste management operations, whether they are public and private.
Look at these plants: the one on the left is treated with mulch from the Muncher and the one on the right is grown without the mulch. See the difference?
Mohammed Memon, the Chief Operating Officer and co-founder of Ecologico-Logic states “We think this new technology is a game-changer,…it has the potential to completely transform the 50-billion-dollar-a-year waste management industry and really help clean things up. We’re in active talks with a number of cities and privately owned waste management companies, here and internationally.”
So if this machine is so beneficial, why haven’t we seen them all over the world? I spoke to Mohammed Memon, the Chief Operating Officer and co-founder of Ecologico-Logic to find out more details.
Interview with Mohanned Memon, the COO of Ecologic-Logic
1. Why haven’t the waste management facilities and companies utilized this type of technology before?
The process up to now has been too slow to be cost effective. Although the aerobic reduction process has been around for many years, it simply cost too much to run a system versus the benefit derived. The Muncher processes waste quickly enough to be cost-effective, and is now being considered by disposal facilities and other entities.
2. Is it cost effective?
Yes, the Muncher is cost-effective and can save companies a lot of money just on the diversion aspect, but it also generates a whole new revenue stream based on the saleability of the by-products.
3. What incentives do waste management companies have in using this type of machine? It will cost them money to use this technology, won’t it?
The advantage they have is that they will reduce their dependence on landfill, generate new revenue streams, benefit the environment, reduce operating costs, and even reduce the size of waste pickup vehicles in the long run.
4. Who will buy the compost and sell? Is there be an end user market for the Muncher’s mulch?
The compost can be sold directly to agri-business, as well as to the end consumer through nurseries and home improvement stores. For example, companies such as Agromin are currently selling compost from green waste processing in Southern California, and there are many other facilities running similar projects.
5. Is it available right now for companies to buy?
The system is available to buy, but is not quite as simple as that. With a large, industrial piece of equipment such as the Muncher, each site has to be engineered for the system, the various parameters defined, and the system then tailored to the customer’s needs. For example, one customer may be processing 50 tons of green waste per day, while another may be processing 500 tons of mixed waste per day.
The Muncher is currently available only for municipalities and I can see the system being used in every transfer stations across the country but a smaller residential system for gardeners and home owners would be amazing!
For more information and demonstration video, go to Ecologico-Logic
[Landfill Image by D’Arcy Norman used under Creative Commons via Flickr and all other images by Jacob Dickinson used with permission via Ecologic Logic]