Food compost bin concept turns food waste and cardboard into fertilizer

Our eating habits have changed drastically over the past years, especially after the recent boom in food delivery services. Unfortunately, this isn’t always for the best as it has encouraged unhealthy lifestyles and increased the amount of waste we produce. Of course, there are services that try to remedy that with healthy food options and more sustainable packaging, but those don’t always result in a reduction of how much we throw out at the end of the day, or even after each meal. Human food doesn’t have to go to waste, especially if it can be converted into food for other living creatures like plants. That’s the idea behind this compositing device that transforms not just your meal but also its packaging into something to keep your plants just as healthy as you.

Designer: Byeonkyu Park

That salad you didn’t finish might come in cardboard packaging, but the moment you throw it in the bin, it stops being healthy for the planet. Sure, both materials will decompose eventually, but not only will that take time, it also misses out on the opportunity to use those for something more beneficial in the long run. After all, they can turn into fertilizer, but only if they’re actually treated in a proper manner, which usually involves taking them to recycling or composting centers.

Toggle is a device concept that lets you cut off the middleman and do all of that at home, and it works by using both edible and inedible parts of your meal delivery. It utilizes “green” materials like food waste mixed with “brown” materials like paper and cardboard or even wood, pretty much the things that your food came in. In other words, nothing is wasted, unless your meal is wrapped in plastic instead.

The device doesn’t simply mix these two groups into some disgusting slosh. One part of the machine has a shredder to reduce cardboard and wood into tiny bits, while another is a grinder that cuts up the food waste. The components are heated to reduce the volume of the waste and turn the mixture into something almost similar to the soil you will dump it on. The result is homemade fertilizer that you can use for the plants you’re growing both indoors and in your backyard.

While the process of handling waste might sound and look icky, Toggle is designed to hide those details as much as possible. In fact, it’s made to look more like a stylish and sophisticated can, just one that deftly handles the food you would have thrown out indiscriminately. In addition to safety mechanisms to protect kids in the house, the concept device is made to look discreet, attractive, and easy to use. It’s meant to encourage a more responsible lifestyle that goes beyond just eating properly, making sure that your plants and the planet can also benefit from your healthier lifestyle.