We’ve got our eyes on this trash can that turns food waste into fertilizer

For those of us who cook, there’s always that moment of guilt when you look at your final food waste. Maybe it’s onion tops, the leftover pieces of various herbs, strips of fat or bones or bloodlines. Anyway, all of that is now sitting at the bottom of your trash can.

While composting is mandatory in some cities, for the most part, composting is still something you have to actively choose to do. But perhaps we’re not so far off from a future in which the choice to compost would be as easy as buying a trash can is now.

The Zera Food Recycler is a new device that can turn food waste into fertilizer, which could help eliminate overall food waste.

Using heat as the process’s driver, the Zera turns all those food scraps you normally toss into the garbage, into a kind of rich food mush. This mush is not fully formed fertilizer, as Smithsonian points out, but it ostensibly could still be used to feed plants.

The Zera is definitely pricey for what is, at its heart, a trash can. But Zera’s attempt to break into the fancy trash can market and offer an integration with composting will hopefully set a future trend. We all could use little reminders to make eco-friendly choices, but sometimes it helps to have something that just does it for you.