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Archive for the ‘Green Cone Composters’ Category

What about?

Rats

For the most part, vermin isn’t an issue with the Green Cone. Properly installed, with the lip of the upper cone just below ground level and covered with soil, the system effectively eliminates odor and also acts as a barrier to intrusion. It’s pretty much impossible to gnaw through the cone, as there’s nowhere to get a tooth hold.

In areas where there are rat infestations, they can get more aggressive, burrowing underground to chew through the basket itself. So there’s a sturdy wire mesh ‘rat basket’ that is totally pest proof that you can buy to solve the problem. If your area has an ongoing issue with rats, or you just want to be sure, it’s an easy effective insurance policy.

Bears

The Green Cone was invented in bear country, in Northern Ontario, and has been tested pretty extensively both there and in Vermont. Bears haven’t been a problem, for three reasons. The below ground digestion reduces smell, and once the process is fully working and the mold colony is well established the overall odor is minimal. With much of the cone and most of the weight underground, it’s extremely stable and can’t easily be knocked over. And its shape, lack of edges and slippery surface make it impossible to grab onto by the average bear.

Raccoons, dogs, and other animals

It was the raccoon that led to the addition of a latch in the Green Cone design – they’re smart and tricky and they were drawn by the bits of food that sometimes miss the cone. But they don’t have thumbs. There are still plenty of original cones in Ontario and the eastern US with bricks on the lids. And no problems reported with animals of any sort.

Flies

Flies may be one of the trickiest issues to deal with when using your Green Cone. They lay their larvae on the food waste before it goes into the cone, and then can breed there. There are a number of natural remedies that can be used, some of which work better on some species than others, and best results come from spraying the waste itself when it sits in the caddy on the counter instead of what’s in the cone.

Poor Drainage

If there is a high water table, you’ll need to take some steps to ensure that the cone works properly. Building a mound on a base of drainage rock and enclosing the soil in some way is an effective solution.

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Why use a Green Cone? What is the Issue?

The problem is that there are a whole lot of people in the world. And we make a whole lot of garbage! In western countries like Canada, the US and the UK, it’s estimated that the amount is in the range of 3/4 of a tone per year – per person.

And a big percentage of that, about 25% or more, is food waste. We’ve gotten pretty good at figuring out ways to deal with glass, metal and many types of plastic, at least taking them out of the waste stream and an eventual home in the landfill. But food waste is an ongoing issue. It doesn’t break down in the landfill quickly; it attracts vermin and creates health issues, often even before it gets picked up from residences. It’s heavy and messy to haul. And it stinks.

Governments at every level know this. In some countries, like Sweden, it’s against the law to throw organics – any food waste at all – into the waste stream, and they make the penalties tough enough that there really isn’t a choice. Others are starting to limit the overall amount of garbage each family can put out, or just make people pay for collection. There are calls for centralized composting and waste-to-energy facilities that can deal with all of this stuff for us, and for some sectors – businesses, restaurants, big institutions, and multi-unit housing – they may be a necessary solution. But that kind of solution still means picking the stuff up and hauling it around, it may even mean shipping the garbage further, and it adds infrastructure and potentially more specialized trucks. With the help of Al Gore, David Suzuki and a bunch of other people, we’ve finally figured out that any solution that keeps pumping green house gas isn’t really a solution at all.

Home composting is one way that people can help. It can deal effectively with plant based organic materials, and it provides a great source for rich garden fertilizer. But you can’t put meat, bones, dairy or any animal source organics in the compost, it will attract vermin, so you need to separate that stuff out before you compost. Composting takes some care, you have to make sure there’s enough garden waste – grass and leaves – mixed in to keep the process moving, and you have to stir and turn the compost on a regular basis. For people who want the end result, it’s all worth it, but a lot of people start out with the best intentions and find that it’s just too messy or too much work.

Food waste digestion as a home treatment with the Green Cone isn’t a silver bullet. But this is the way to take food waste out of the potential garbage of every household that has a back yard, and it’s a clean easy process.

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How does it work?

The Green Cone food waste digester looks kind of like a home composter but is much more. It takes all types of food waste – meat, dairy, bones, vegetables and even animal feces – it basically allows you to take everything from the kitchen table and dump it directly in.

You don’t need to turn it, or empty it more than once every few years.

Using solar heat in combination with macro bacterial activity, it breaks the waste down aerobically into nutrient rich water that is absorbed into the soil, and a very small amount of residue. As an enclosed system, it doesn’t attract vermin or any other animals. It’s easy to install, the hardest thing is digging a shallow (2′) hole. All it needs are decent drainage and sunlight. A Green Cone can accommodate all of the food waste of an average family of four or five. It’s a solution that can deal with the waste where it’s generated, and that’s just the best possible option.

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The Green Cone was invented over twenty years ago in Canada.

 There are Green Cones still functioning perfectly across the country and in the US. In the UK, where the product and process have made their home for most of the last decade, it’s been accepted by a growing number of local governments as the way to deal with the ever increasing problem of food waste. It’s as effective in getting rid of waste as any other process, including central composting and waste-to-energy solutions, and way better than the landfill. And you don’t have to save the stuff up for collection. Even better, nobody has to haul it – from the curb to the truck or across the city.

 The product and process have been tested by independent consultants and universities. It does what it’s supposed to do.

 The hardest thing about installing it is digging the two foot deep hole. And once it’s in, you don’t have to sort your food waste, you don’t have to dig it in, or stir it or turn it. You just dump it in the Green Cone, and it does the rest.

www.greencone.ca

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