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Toronto startup aims to reinvent the compost bin

Posted by Derek Flack / February 12, 2014

Greenlid TorontoGreenlid is a Toronto startup that wants to make composting easier. While the company's area of interest is anything but sexy, making humdrum tasks a bit less crappy tends to encourage us to do them more frequently, which is a very good thing when it comes to dealing with waste. I've certainly thrown lots of compostable material into the trash on account of the nastiness of my compost bin.

I've also pitched compost bins themselves when they've gotten so disgusting that I no longer believed I could restore them to acceptable levels of hygiene. So despite the fact that I spend less than a minute thinking about composting in a given week, I'm at least vaguely interested in this Kickstarter project that reinvents the compost bin.

The idea is pretty straightforward: Greenlid has made a compost bin that is itself compostable. Fashioned out of 100% post-consumer paper, the bin goes out with the organic waste. As the name suggests, the reusable portion is the lid, which is dishwasher safe and designed to absorb some of those glorious smells that waft up from below. As I said, not sexy -- but it does sound like a decent way to improve an annoying but crucial task.



Deric / February 12, 2014 at 01:54 pm
I don't see how this can be financially viable - while it's a good idea - I find the compostable bags sometimes too expensive. To go through a few of these a week will run me a fortune. It's probably why they don't list how much they expect to sell them for.
Andrea / February 12, 2014 at 01:57 pm
Awesome idea - green bins get so nasty and in a small apartment too!
Mpleaf67 / February 12, 2014 at 02:09 pm
Sorry but recycling has become so expensive as it is- & have you ever seen the way the garbage collectors dump stuff on the street from both blue bin & green- those lids are useless- sorry but loosely throwing things in these bins is a litter disaster. Too expensive & messy -
Maria / February 12, 2014 at 02:12 pm
GREAT idea, hope it will take off and not be expensive to buy.
Cassandra / February 12, 2014 at 02:45 pm
Has anyone not ever thought of CLEANING things? Seriously, all it takes is a quick spritz and wipedown of my bin, every time, to keep the ickies in check. It takes me about 15 seconds.

Incidentally, the Toronto compost bins were designed to be easily cleaned - hence the rounded interior contours.

This reminds me of a report from a few months ago that people were getting sick because they used filthy reusable bags. That's what modern conveniences like washing machines are for!
Aaron / February 12, 2014 at 03:43 pm
Too expen$ive.
Betty / February 12, 2014 at 03:51 pm
But composting is not very hard to begin with.

If you're old enough to be the one responsible for the green bin, you're old enough to clean it out. Soak it with some hot water and dish soap if you need to, then scoop out the residue with a paper towel that can itself be composted. Your hands are washable, or wear gloves if you're that squeamish.

Compostable bins still require resources to manufacture and ship; I've had the same plastic bin since the program started, what, 10 years ago?

However, given the popularity of the Swiffer and "flushable" (not flushable) toilet wipes, there's a market for expensive and wasteful household products that were invented to fill a demand that had not previously existed. So maybe Greenlid is on to something.
p / February 12, 2014 at 03:55 pm
anything would be an improvement on the bullshit compost bags they expect us to use.. they ALWAYS leak in the container.
IDEA.... / February 12, 2014 at 03:58 pm
If you have room, put your compost in a bag in the FREEZER. That's it. No smell, no mess everything will freeze and then take it out to the green bin on pick up days....that's what I've been doing.....
Stacey / February 12, 2014 at 04:52 pm
"If you have room, put your compost in a bag in the FREEZER. That's it. No smell, no mess everything will freeze and then take it out to the green bin on pick up days....that's what I've been doing..... "

EXACTLY. No smell, no gross drips. No problem. Also, if you're already up for the challenge of composting then how hard is it to just clean your bin??? People are so lazy...
Andrew / February 12, 2014 at 08:35 pm
I think this is an awesome idea, so simple yet so functional. I am definitely going to contribute and try it out. It will definitely cut down on how much I throw into the garbage simply to avoid the mess. Lazy or not, why create more mess when you don't have to!!
Tracy / February 12, 2014 at 08:35 pm
Use a washable container with lid and line the outside bin would work too
Nathan replying to a comment from Deric / February 12, 2014 at 09:35 pm
Bases on the rewards being offered on the kickstarter, my guess is that the target price is a buck a bin... or for frequent compost households, 1-2 dollars a week.

I would definitely pay around 50 dollars a year for this convenience... essentially the same price as the bags (maybe cheaper) and less mess/smell.. backed it on kickstarter - seems really worthwhile.
d / February 12, 2014 at 10:20 pm
I invented the best composter - it's called my dog! She eats every veggie scrap I create - except for onion skins.
K / February 12, 2014 at 10:36 pm
This is really awesome. The best part of this is that you're eliminating use of plastic bags.
Lin ye / February 13, 2014 at 02:13 pm
but when you take it out for collection, how do you seal it? If you leave the lid on, the garbage pickup will dump the lid as well
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Denyse / February 13, 2014 at 05:53 pm
This is a super idea!!!
sam replying to a comment from Lin ye / February 13, 2014 at 09:20 pm
I put my paper towels in the greenbin because paper products are accepted, the paper lids must be the same.
Larraine Roulston / February 14, 2014 at 01:07 pm
Hi Good idea and certainly a market for those who don't mind spending money on replacing the bin. I personally use a large regular pail with smooth edges for easy cleaning. Dump it into my backyard composter and rinse out with the hose or wipe it out with some snow. Why not use a few layers of newspaper instead of the bags. When one's heavy brown paper flour bag and potato bag becomes empty, use that as well. Larraine.
daniel replying to a comment from Lin ye / March 3, 2014 at 03:41 pm
Lin- I think people dump the bucket in the main compost container and roll it out into the street.
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