Feed Leftovers to the Scrap Eater

By Barbara Richardson

Most composters are just what they need to be: sturdy, serviceable, and unobtrusive. But have you ever seen one you could call attractive?

This one fits the bill. Sun Frost, a solar refrigerator manufacturer, has used its expertise with capturing the sun to create an innovative combination of a solar-assisted composter and planter. The Scrap Eater is a recycled redwood wine barrel that contains a composting chamber covered with a clear acrylic dome. Between the chamber and the lip of the barrel is plenty of room for a window-box style planting of flowers, herbs, or even salad fixings that receives nutrients and moisture from decomposing food waste.

The dome captures the sun's heat, allowing the compost to reach high temperatures which increases the rate of decomposition. Moisture created in the process condenses and runs down the outside of the dome where it waters the plants. You can also add worms to the composter to speed decomposition. If temperatures rise beyond their tolerance, worms migrate to cooler areas within the barrel.

This is a great option for apartment dwellers who have roof or balcony gardens, as it measures only 28 inches wide by 28 inches tall. Sun Frost estimates that when used according to instructions, it can take six months for a family of four to fill the Scrap Eater. The unit costs about $250, and should last at least 10 years.

For more information, visit the Sun Frost Web site or call (707) 822-9095.

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