10 TRASH FAQs
BECAUSE EVERYONE ASKS.
- Does your food waste fertilizer smell like my filthy trash can?
No. It doesn’t smell like much at all. Our drying process ensures the fertilizer isn’t ripe, but it does have a healthy natural aroma. Think of it as proof that it’s really the good stuff.
- Where does the food waste come from?
You. Just kidding (kinda). We currently source our food waste from the Portland, Oregon metro area. The materials come from restaurants, grocery stores, food processors and households like yours!
- Why don’t you use manure (poo) in your fertilizer?
Animals (and humans… yes… some fertilizers have people poo) are remarkably good at extracting the nutrients from the food we eat. That means poo lacks the soil-building ingredients that maximize plant growth. We focus on more nutrient-rich organic matter. Plus, trash is trash but poo is just gross.
- How is your product different from just using my own compost?
Unlike compost, our food waste is pre-digested in large containers to ensure higher concentrations of soil-building nutrients and less moisture. This process makes better fertilizer and produces renewable energy!
- Why isn’t the product made entirely of food waste?
That’s the goal. Food waste is hard to come by and harder to process. We need a super digester (think mega composting) to remove fluids from the food waste while retaining the nutrients that feed your plants. Every box you buy helps us reach this goal.
- Why is food waste the best possible ingredient for fertilizers?
Food waste contains the micronutrients that feed the tiny microbes that are essential to long-term soil health. Plants rely on these microbes for growth, so feeding your soil is the key to a healthy garden. Other organic materials like manure have less of these soil-building ingredients because animals and people are remarkably efficient at extracting the nutrients from the food we eat. And chemical fertilizers grow things quickly but are essentially crack for your cucumbers. They juice them up but kill your soil in the long-term.
- Are TrashCan™ products natural?
Yes. All of our ingredients are derived from safe, natural materials with no chemicals. We don’t just pepper our packaging with leafy “organic” holograms or government acronyms.
- How do you turn food waste into fertilizer?
Our patented process converts food waste into biogas, which is used to produce renewable power. The leftover liquid effluent (digestate….yum!) from the process is then heated to produce a dry fertilizer with concentrated micronutrients.
- What constitutes food waste?
You know that Caesar salad you didn’t finish last week? You know all that food in stores that isn’t sold before the expiration date? That’s food waste. The spoiled and expired food in our product comes from restaurants, grocery stores, food processors and homes.
- Does the product contain materials derived from animals?
Yes, because people eat meat so it’s in the waste stream. Plus, we add some ingredients like crab meal (a byproduct from the seafood industry) to provide nutrients essential to plant growth.