22nd Jan 2022
San Bruno-based startup Mill is offering up an innovative waste-management system to help families manage their kitchen scraps efficiently – and address a huge food waste crisis in the USA.
The startup offers a membership system, in which members will receive sophisticated green waste bins. People can put their food waste in the bin without worrying about odor or building a compost station.
Technology embedded in the waste bin can shrink and dehydrate food scraps. That turning the waste into small, dry pieces, allowing people to use the waste container without emptying it for several weeks.
The highlight of Mill’s offering, however, is the distribution of the dehydrated food to farms for use as chicken food.
Tackling Huge Food Waste in The USA
Food waste is the largest contributor to the increasingly full landfills in the U.S., with data showing that Americans wasted approximately a third of the food they purchased.
In the landfills, this waste produces methane — one of the strongest greenhouse gasses that speed up climate change. According to environmentalists, global food waste produces more emissions than the entire airline industry.
There has been a shift in the green industry over recent years, especially in the energy sector. Mill co-founders Matt Rogers and Harry Tannenbaum said green initiatives had become decentralized, meaning that every household got the opportunity to contribute to the change.
Rogers and Tannenbaum are the people behind “Nest Learning Thermostat”. They said Nest — innovative thermostat system — taught them that technology could teach humans to build small habits and change them into big ones.
The co-founders said that nobody intentionally produced food waste, but it was difficult to avoid it.
Data has shown that only a small percentage of households compost their uneaten food. With little composting knowledge, many of those people who compost their kitchen scraps have to deal with fruit flies and unpleasant smells.
Mill aims to develop “tighter, more efficient resource loops.” According to its co-founders, the startup keeps nutrients and transfers them to other parties that require resources. They explained that people also had to change their mindset about food waste.
“We need to start treating the banana peel as food–and stop turning it into trash by mixing it with other things,” Rogers and Tannenbaum wrote in an op-ed. “Food isn’t trash.”
Institutions fighting food waste
Institutions worldwide also take part in efforts to battle food waste. California recently launched a statewide regulation to improve its green waste management.
The SB1383 initiative aims to make it easier for people to dispose of their green waste. Cities across California will provide new recycling services to their residents. The government asserts that the new system will be able to omit organic materials from landfills.