This Sustainable Trash Can Turns Your Food Scraps Into Chicken Feed

published Feb 7, 2023
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Each year, about 119 billion pounds of food is wasted in America, and only about a fraction of it is properly composted. Most of the waste is sent to landfills, where the rotting materials turn into methane that accelerates global warming.  

Matt Rogers, an ex-Apple engineer and co-founder of Google Nest, has a smart tech solution called Mill. It’s a garbage bin that turns your leftovers into chicken feed, effectively making composting easier to get into and preventing more waste from entering landfills.

“Mill makes it easy to do the right thing. Food isn’t trash. But until today, it was hard to do anything except throw uneaten food in the garbage,” said Rogers.

Here’s how the technology works. You dump all your kitchen scraps into it, including fruits, veggies, meat, fish, eggs, bones, rinds, pits, seeds, and even napkins and paper towels. At night, the device will dry, shrink, and deodorize the waste into nutrient-rich chicken feed that resembles coffee grounds. 

And that’s it. There’s no foul odor (thanks to a coconut-based charcoal filter) and not much maintenance effort needed. As a result, the process becomes more accessible and user-friendly to more households.

Other features make Mill user-friendly. For instance, its ability to make food waste as compact as possible removes the need to take out the garbage daily. An app, meanwhile, tells you how full it is, what you can and can’t put into it, and even how much carbon you’ve saved.

As for garbage collection, Mill takes care of that via a subscription service. You simply pack the grounds into a return box, schedule a pick up using the app, and Mill will then take the food waste to a chicken farm. The subscription service, priced $33 a month if paid annually or $45 month-to-month, also covers the return boxes, shipping fees, and replacement charcoal filters.

“The Mill Membership is a simple way to keep food out of landfills, send it back to farms, and make your kitchen smell awesome. From my time at Nest, we know that a small step at home can have a positive impact for people and the planet,” added Rogers.

Mill will officially launch around spring, but if you’re already excited to reduce your carbon footprint, you can reserve a spot now on their website.