Composting is an awesome way to get rid of fruit and veggie scraps and gain rich garden soil. Yet there’s still many food scraps that can’t be composted, like meat and bones. Compostec’s Green Cone solves that problem, drawing on the power of the sun to digest all manner of food waste.
The Green Cone is made of mostly recycled plastic, and is meant to be used in a backyard. Users dump food scraps into a basket hidden by the cone, which acts as a digestion chamber while also allowing worms and other helpful microorganisms to travel inside and aid the composting process. Then it goes a step beyond traditional worm-fueled composting methods. The “double-walled solar cone” absorbs heat from the sun, which circulates oxygen in the digestion chamber to hasten the breakdown of organic materials. In warm weather, the Green Cone can digest two pounds of food waste every day. Compostec also offers an accelerator powder for colder weather.
Where does all that food go? According to Compostec, over time it’s absorbed as “nutrient rich water.”
The solar digester can handle fish, bread, or dairy products alongside food that’s usually tossed in a compost like coffee grounds or egg shells. Compostec recommends keeping large amounts of coarse matter like corn husks out of the Green Cone or it will fill up too rapidly, although in small quantities they still can be digested. They recommend not placing grass clippings in the Green Cone.
The Green Cone costs $139 CAD, or about $109, but some cities have started subsidizing the cones for their residents instead of offering curbside collection. Ontario’s Oxford county provides Green Cones for $40 to reduce the cost and environmental impact of curbside collection.
There’s just one downside: it doesn’t produce that dark nutrient-filled soil that a traditional compost bin does. For that reason, some gardeners maintain traditional compost piles with veggie and fruit scraps and put the rest of their food waste into a Green Cone.