Urban composting is possible
How could it be easy, simple and last but not least, to provide the right nutrients/nutrients to our city gardens, balconies? Moreover, it could produce 4x faster than traditional garden composting?
Therefore I spent a year in the Netherlands looking for answers to these questions. I came here with the ambition of finding a solution for the city residents to utilize food waste during my master studies. Thanks to a great team, I found the solution with the idea of Compocity.
But how did we get there?
My inspiration came from, among other things, my five-year-old brother. His future depends on small steps in our daily routine to determine the direction to continue. Even though he is just a kid, he already knows what composting is and why it would be good for everyone to use this technique to take care of their own garden or balcony garden. However, the procedures available so far are not very user-friendly. I wanted to change this, here came the “but”, since I don’t have a garden, not even a balcony.
Then what can I do?
This is how the concept of Compocity was born. It introduces us in a comfortable and playful way to the composting process and guides you through the composting process.
We believe in the power of community and knowledge sharing.
We started the development with the idea of common learning that established the concept based on the gamification. The knowledge built into the routine of the little ones and goes home with them. That way, the most credible messengers will experience what a good decision can turn into. We learn by playing, then planting and producing quality food.
We have set ourselves the vision of a circular economy where we can create a liveable environment for ourselves, organized from the ground up and in very small steps. A healthy green environment can surround us, while we can consume quality food locally from the producers for whom compost is built into the system as a treasure.
Together with my Dutch and Hungarian colleagues, I had the opportunity to build the first, even smaller-sized prototype, for which we created an educational application. In conclusion, it helps you to be more conscious of food waste in a playful way.
Those who have a garden and own a traditional wormy compost may know the phenomenon that citrus fruits should not be put in the compost, or how to chop the onion so as not start to grow from the material prematurely. The game can also support these fine tunes.
In the application, Compy, the bin-character, tells of Earth’s plight and asks for help.
More garbage and rubbish will appear on the screen, and small and large can choose what’s in your Compy’s tummy. When the right decision is made, the background turns green, flowers begin to grow and his mouth turns into a smile. On the other hand, when we make a mistake, the item jumps from Compy to black and white. So this also confirms visually which is not compostable and those need another way of recycling.
Finally, as an end result of the game, is not “just” the knowledge that enriches you. At the top of the little bin, it has a seed tank. It can turn a bit when the player wins and cleverly places everything in the right place. Therefore, the seeds spill out into the storage underneath. After that, a small water-pond sprinkles it and places the seeds in the ground. This removable storage item will help you to plant the greeneries somewhere and you continue with a new round of play.
As a result, this wooden toy was one of our first objectified work in developing Compocity.
Since then, nearly a year has passed and today we have developed this indoor composter with special micro-organisms into a green urban system.
We are involved in shaping the cities’ nutrient cycle.
In addition to reducing households’ food waste, we create compost material and an organic liquid, all automated. Our task is “just” to put in it the waste. Therefore the device – Compocity the cities’ smart green bin – is making the products out of it.
The device provides high-quality nutrients 4x faster than traditional garden composting. The bin takes care of its processes completely electronics-free.
Throughout the project, we collaborated with David on teleworking. It was an interesting and challenging period of time. Meanwhile, my classmates, Lieke and Maryia were my two biggest support.The team has expanded since I moved home. Later on, Zoli got on board and got in charge of preparing the production for David, our CTO. Recently, Dani, who is a key figure in our lives as a UX designer and craftsperson, has joined us. Last but not least, the Design Terminal Mentoring Program is the framework that gives us a community that helps us to grow and expertise to follow the right steps. Thanks to them for our mentor Zsuzsa!
In short, she is our greatest help right now and helps to focus. She shows us how we can build so we can deliver and spread our mission.
If you are interested in our design solution for indoor and outdoor composting, feel free to contact us. We will be coming soon with pictures of the prototype being made!
Be kind to each other!