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IF WASTE BECOMES A RESOURCE: ECODYGER’S ‘GREEN’ RECIPE


IF WASTE BECOMES A RESOURCE: ECODYGER’S ‘GREEN’ RECIPE

Transforming organic waste into dry deposits in just a few hours, reducing the original volume by up to 90%: this is the “green” solution to the problem of urban waste put forward by Humidea. It is called EcoDyger and comes in a domestic or professional version, suitable for restaurants and public places.

The idea came from the desire to find an environmentally advantageous solution to the problem of solid urban waste, which is generally disposed of between landfills, incinerators and recycling. However, of all the waste produced, a large part is organic waste, and Humidea’s goal is to turn it into resources, making the residual products optimum for use as natural (and therefore not chemical) fertilizers. Humidea, based in Comignago (prov. of Novara) on Lake Maggiore, is a company formed by several Italian entrepreneurs who combined their decades of experience in the fields of metal and plastic moulding, automation, design and textile machinery in order to design and create EcoDyger.

The way it works is simple: the organic waste is split into two parts, 80%-90% becomes a liquid residue and the remaining 10%-20% a dry residue, and both can be used as fertilizers. The liquid can also be disposed of through the normal mains water system, while the dry residue can be disposed of as normal dry waste. In practice, the wet organic waste is loaded into a watertight basket (which has a different capacity depending on whether it is a home or professional model). It is then undergoes a combined action treatment that allows the whole liquid component to be released, and then automatically funnelled into an appropriate container for storage and retrieval. At the end of the cycle, all the solid and dry component of the waste is collected into another container for storage.

EcoDyger can handle virtually any type of organic waste, from mollusc and crustacean shells to meat, fruit, vegetables, pasta and chicken and rabbit bones. The only exceptions are large bones such as pork knuckle or marrowbone. It must be connected to the electrical grid in order to work, but it does not have to be connected to the water mains. In terms of energy consumption, the domestic version (EcoDyger Mini) consumes 2.1 kw/hour per cycle, and each cycle lasts around 3-4 hours (rising to 6-7 for the professional Pro version). Over two kilos of organic waste can be treated in each “domestic” cycle, which corresponds to 12-16 complete meals, whereas the professional cycles can treat over 20 kilos of waste, i.e. 120-180 complete meals.

Among the advantages offered by EcoDyger, it is worth noting that by using this method no organic solid waste is released into the sewage system, and it also promotes the regeneration of soil through the use of the residues as natural fertilizers. In fact, in this respect, the large-scale production of fertilizers could become a business in itself, and the solid residues could be used to produce pellets or the like to be used as a fuel.

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