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Understanding electric composting machines as a potential household food waste management strategy

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Version 2 2024-05-22, 17:57
Version 1 2024-05-17, 14:28
journal contribution
posted on 2024-05-22, 17:57 authored by Hannah DeFelice, Kaitlin Stack WhitneyKaitlin Stack Whitney

Household food waste is a significant problem in the US, with billions of dollars of food waste being generated by households each year. In addition to financial loss, food that is disposed of in landfills and through incineration also contributes to greenhouse gas emissions. Composting has long been one method of dealing with household food waste, but traditional composting methods may not be feasible for many households, including those living in the city, in apartments and those with physical limitations. Newly created electric household composters are being advertised as a potential solution to these barriers, but little research has been done into the effectiveness of these machines. This study tested two different brands of electric household composters to determine their usability and effectiveness at reducing food waste and resulting greenhouse gas emissions. Our study found that while electric household composters did reduce the mass of food waste there were still limitations in their feasibility as a large-scale solution to the problem of food waste.


SRS RN: Multiscale RECIPES (Resilient, Equitable, and Circular Innovations with Partnership and Education Synergies) for Sustainable Food Systems

Directorate for Engineering

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Food-Fueled is an undergraduate research journal centered around food-related topics as an extension of American University’s RECIPES project. Funded by the National Science Foundation, RECIPES brings together over 40 researchers working at 15 institutions in order to advance the science needed to make our wasteful food system more sustainable, equitable, and resilient. Food-Fueled aims to publish works on food-related issues ranging from policy to food science, to personal narratives about the influence of food, nature, and agriculture. This work was supported by NSF Grant # 2115405 SRS RN: Multiscale RECIPES (Resilient, Equitable, and Circular Innovations with Partnership and Education Synergies) for Sustainable Food Systems. Findings and conclusions reported within Food-Fueled are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation. This article can also be found at the following website: All journal content can be found at the following website:





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