Name: Freezer Compost Bin from Fuccillo
I'm a city dweller who lives in a 2nd floor apartment with no outdoor space or garden to call my own. While I have plans to start my own indoor worm composting system at some point, for now I drop my compost off at my weekly CSA pick-up, where it's then given to my neighborhood community garden. So that means that I'm always looking for a better way to store my scraps. Enter the Fuccillo Freezer Compost Bin:
How It Works:
The Freezer Compost Bin from Fuccillo is made of silicone and kept in your freezer to prevent scraps from decomposing, eliminating odor and fruit flies. To empty, you simply push the flexible silicone bottom and pop the frozen scraps out. It measures about 11"x 6"x 6" and can hold up to 3.5L. All bins are now being manufactured in Pocoima, California.
The bin was developed by Salvatore Fuccillo and Jennifer MacEwan in Halifax, Nova Scotia, a city with one of the most successful organic waste diversion programs in North America. Having achieved a 60 percent diversion rate, the city was looking for new ways to encourage people to compost. They approached students at the College of Art and Design (NSCAD University) to develop a kitchen collection container better than the rigid plastic varieties. Jennifer and Salvatore were students there and they determined to create a product that addressed the three primary concerns people have with composting: fruit flies, odor, and leftover residue. They realized that many people don't compost because of odor and concerns about flies, or they freeze their scraps to avoid these problems in plastic containers or bags which are rigid and hard to handle when frozen, so therefore require liners.
The Freezer Compost Bin is intended to make composting "fast, satisfying, and fun." It's advertised as having a sleek design which looks good sitting on your countertop when preparing a meal or scraping a plate; it's virtually impossible to break and has a lifespan of up to 50 years; it has a deep handle that works for all hand sizes and strengths; it's specifically sized to work in top, bottom, and side freezers, as well as sinks and dishwashers; also, it includes the financial and environmental advantages of avoiding liners and plastic bags.
Fuccillo's comparison chart
So, What Is Silicone?
The first question I had about this product when I received it was regarding silicone. What is it exactly and is it a more environmentally-friendly solution than plastic? First of all, silicone (not to be confused with silicon, which is a natural chemical element) is a man-made polymer that is derived from silicon together with carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, and sometimes other chemical elements. It's considered a low-taint, non-toxic material, and has a variety of applications.
In the case of the freezer bin, Fuccillo states that the silicone in their bin is "made up mostly of a glass-like substance found in quartz and rock," and that is has a lifespan of 50 years—no doubt because it's practically indestructable.
I think this bin is great for apartment dwellers like me with no backyard or vermicomposting system— people who want to compost but have to preserve their scraps for days at a time before they can get to a drop-off. I freeze my scraps to avoid smell and fruit fly problems, and in the past I've frozen them in whatever I had on hand, usually a bag or yogurt container. The problem with this is that, when frozen, it can be very difficult to get the food back out again, and completely impossible if it's in a rigid container. I never bought liners, so I don't have experience with those. So I found the Fuccillo compost bin to be really handy! It was easy (and nice looking) to keep the bin on the counter while cooking, and it fit compactly into the freezer. (No bulky bag to deal with.) The best part, though, was how easily the food slips out when I drop it off. Everything freezes, but nothing sticks, and the bin goes right back into my freezer again.
While I don't really have room for a larger bin in the freezer even if they made one, my biggest problem with the bin is that it filled up way too quickly. I ended up needing to use secondary containers for all my food scraps because my original bin was overflowing. But this is mostly due to my personal system of once-weekly drop-offs, and if emptied more frequently, it obviously wouldn't be a problem.
The other con that I think people will mention is the cost. $60 seems like a lot to spend on what some might consider just a "fancy container" for holding scraps, when you could use a leftover yogurt container, or a bag of some sort to hold your scraps, or just another regular bin underneath your sink or on the counter. But for any kind of composting system, there's usually some bit of equipment or materials needed to stave off smells and flies—a countertop bin, a biodegradable or charcoal liner (which will need to be replaced). So, a durable, long-lasting bin that makes it easy to store and dispose of scraps without the need for any additional materials seems like a good investment.
If you have an outdoor compost bin or pile that you can access at any time, then this is obviously not the product for you. But for people who would like an easy, no-mess and aesthetically-pleasing solution to preserving their scraps for days or weeks, then I think the Compost Freezer bin is a good bet.
Apartment Therapy Media makes every effort to test and review products fairly and transparently. The views expressed in this review are the personal views of the reviewer and this particular product review was not sponsored or paid for in any way by the manufacturer or an agent working on their behalf. However, the manufacturer did give us the product for testing and review purposes.