The Food Cycler brings speedy compost to the countertop

/ Updated: February 28, 2014 2:08 PM PST
Food Cycle Science

Promising to reduce your carbon footprint at the touch of a button, Food Cycle Science announced its first in-home composter this week, the Food Cycler: Home. With an approximate size of 1 cubic foot and claims of an odorless drying process that takes just 3 hours, the Food Cycler is designed to be a convenient alternative to traditional composting methods.

Of course, that level of convenience doesn't come without a cost. In the case of the Food Cycler: Home, that cost is an MSRP of $499, though Food Cycle Science says that the device will actually sell for $399 at big-box retailers when it ships out this May. Consumers eager to get their hands on a unit can also preorder one through the Food Cycler's Indiegogo campaign, where Food Cycle Science is promising to ship backers one of the first 150 Food Cyclers made in North America, along with an extra set of filters, for a pledge of $399 or more.

Using the Food Cycler looks simple enough: just deposit your food waste in the machine, seal the lid, and press the power button. That's it. In a matter of hours, you'll have a small basket of nutrient-rich soil amendments. Once the unit is emptied out, the basket can go straight into the dishwasher for easy cleanup.

Food Cycle Science

The Food Cycler is capable of composting common food waste like citrus rinds, coffee grounds, and scraps, along with things like bones, pits, and shells (Food Cycle Science even claims that it can handle an entire McDonald's hamburger). Once you've started a cycle, the machine uses a combination of heat and agitation to quietly sanitize your compost and break it down into smaller particles, with a carbon filtration system designed to eliminate odor. The Food Cycler requires no extra water or chemicals, and doesn't need to be vented or drained. All you'll need is an electrical outlet.

$399 is an awfully high price compared with outdoor composting systems, which tend to cost between $100 and $200, not to mention simple in-home canister setups, which can cost as little as $30 or less. And of course, frugal consumers willing to wait a little longer for their compost to break down can always just form a pile in their backyard. Still, ecoconscious consumers looking for a convenient in-home option (one that would work even in the smallest of apartments) might be intrigued by what Food Cycle Science is bringing to the table here.

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Where to Buy

Food Cycle Science Food Cycler: Home

Part Number: CNETFOODCYCLERHOME

MSRP: $499.00

See manufacturer website for availability.