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B B

Dimensions 52 cm high x 52 cm deep x 31 cm wide Capacity 56 kg of organic waste per month Temperature External: use in an indoor or outdoor environment that is between -19C and 49C; Internal: maximum of 61C Compost Production Rate one full bin of compost produced in 1-1.5 weeks, once the start button is pushed Compost Composition a high-nitrogen, ready-touse compost perfect for gardens, potted plants, trees or lawn Structure Make-up 100% of external structure is made of recycled plastics; internal structure is made of stainless steel components that are at food-grade; external structure is completely waterproof Installation plug into a basic power outlet (keep outlet dry) Financial Savings depending on trash collection providers, one may be eligible for discounted trash collection rate; no need to buy any more soil or fertilizer; reduced water consumption due to the high water retention of the compost Power Consumption 6 kwh / month (similar to the power consumption of a basic night light), which translates to approximately 50 cents per month, depending on local electrical rates; power consumption is reduced through the aid of the top solar panel, but only if used outside Cleaning and Maintenance wipe down the BB exterior and drip tray with a moist, warm cloth; do not wash the BB interior with soaps or chemicals, so as to avoid affecting the interior bacteria cultures; replace the air filter every six years Cost base price of $199 (standard model)

The Basal Bin


Oh, how the world changes.

The essential urban-electric composter

basal :of or constituting a foundation or basis; fundamental; essential ~ World English Dictionary

Introducing the Basal Bin (BB): the worlds first urban-electric composter? Yes, you heard right. An urban-electric composter. Composting is often deemed an activity meant for the farm, school yard and/or backyard of the single-family home. Furthermore, composting has been stereotyped for being dirty, smelly, time consuming and arduous; an activity not usually associated with the big city.

With the use of the BB, composting is conveniently brought to the urban locale. Whether you live in an apartment, condominium, single-attached or single-detached home; composting is now a viable waste-recycling alternative in the urban setting. No grime. No smells. No two-month waiting times to get a miniscule amount of compost. The BB is not your ordinary composter. Before you jump to conclusions and declare the BB the greatest product idea in the history of all ideas, let me first explain how it works and why it helps the environment. How It Works:
Like any other composter, one would simply place organic material into the BB through the top-lid access point. As soon as material is added, the front electronic display shows how much (in kilograms) compost will be generated from the material that was just added. The front electronic display will also show the time (in hours) it will take for the BB to decompose the material. When the BB is full and ready to begin the composting process, a red light will appear on the front panel indicating that no more material should be added. Hit the start button, and your off! Throughout the duration of the composting process, the front electronic display will show how much time (in hours) the BB needs to complete the process. Not only this, but one can also link the BB to their smart phone device, so as to receive daily notifications (via text messaging) of where the BB is at in the composting process. During the composting process, the BBs internal heater heats (maximum of 61 C) the compost, thereby speeding up the formation of bacteria. Bacteria is a key ingredient in breaking down organic matter and producing compost. As the organic material is heated, it is also aerated (or oxidized) with the use of the material churner. The material churner is powered by a small on-board motor, and is similar in shape to a trough. The heating and mechanical aeration is what makes the BB exceptionally fast at composting. The total composting process should take a maximum of 1.5 weeks, depending on the type of organic material being decomposed, internal pH levels in the BB, and external temperatures. The organic waste that is produced during this week, is simply placed in the secondary holding container until the BB is finished the composting process. When the BB is finished the composting process, a green light will appear in the front electronic display notifying the user that compost has formed and is ready to be emptied from the BB. At this point, one would un-hitch the front latch, pull the compost container out from the front, empty the container, place the container back in the BB, close the front hitch, and start to fill the BB once again with organic material that is being stored in the secondary holding container. It should be noted that during all times the BB is being used (whether merely holding organic material or proceeding through the composting process), air is constantly being filtered. By doing so, the formation of unsightly smells is avoided. This air-filtering feature allows the BB to be stored and used in an indoor environment. Just before the BB is put through its first composting process, one would have to add 1 cup of wood shavings (a small bag of wood shavings would be provided with the BB upon purchase) and a teaspoon of baking soda. The purpose of the wood shavings is to create an initial consistency in the organic material appropriate for composting. The purpose of the baking soda is to control initial acidity levels in the organic material. Empty the bottom drip tray (which the BB sits on) each time the compost container is emptied.

The essential urban-electric composter

The BB helps solve four primary environmental problems: Problem 1 Reduction in the Urban Heat Island Effect (an effect that can cause an urban environment to be 2-3C warmer than its surroundings) It is believed that as more urban households start to use the BB, a surplus of nutrient-rich compost will develop in the urban setting. Such a surplus would act as a catalyst for new rooftop gardens and green roofs (both intensive and extensive), thereby providing a final use for the surplus compost. As the B.C. Institute of Technologys The Facts and Myths about Green Roofs indicates, rooftop gardens and green roofs are proven to reduce the Heat Island Effect by providing shade, intercepting solar radiation, and/or cooling the urban air through evapotranspiration (p. 28). Problem 2 Unsustainable food growth and distribution Coinciding with the solution to Problem 1, the surplus compost that results from use of the BB, will also act as a catalyst for new community gardens and urban farms. An increase in the number of such productions will bring food production closer to the end consumer, which, in turn, will help in limiting lengthy and unsustainable food shipments (i.e., oceanic and cross-country). In addition, reliance on the large corporate-ran farm productions will be reduced. These corporate-ran farms are commonly known for consuming large tracts of land, degrading the soil quality, contributing (i.e., farm equipment releasing greenhouse gases) to global warming, and, overall, being unsustainable (Food Inc., 2008). Problem 3 Groundwater contamination from leachate (a contaminated, watery substance formed from rainwater trickling down through organic waste in landfills) The BB reduces the amount of organic waste that goes into traditional landfills. By accomplishing this reduction, less leachate is formed. Less leachate translates into a reduction in the potential for groundwater contamination, especially in landfills that lack a sufficient clay and/or engineered layer (Statistics Canada, 2008). Problem 4 The release of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere With typical waste pick-up and disposal, large trucks and industrial equipment is used to pick-up the organic waste and bury it in the landfill. Such trucks are usually run on a petroleum product, which when combusted releases CO2 into the atmosphere. CO2 is a major greenhouse gas. As the Spring 2008 edition of Statistics Canadas EnviroStats points out, burying organics in landfills...creates an environment where they decay without oxygen, thereby producing methane. Methane is also a major greenhouse gas, and is more potent than CO2.

BB Speifications

Basic Appliances: Fridge, Stove, Oven, Dishwasher, Microwave, Basal Bin!


Garrett R. Newman g2newman@uwaterloo.ca