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#ecology

How Can You Bring Spring to Your Office? Start Composting

Article April 4, 2018  |  Text by Lukáš Rozmajzl Text by Lukáš Rozmajzl

No matter whether the coming of spring has awoken your green thumb, or you’ve jumped onto the eco-hipster bandwagon, we’d like to offer you an original way to minimize at least part of the waste you generate. (And we really don’t mean your latest report, or that presentation for the boss, but real waste.)

If you’re already sorting plastics, glass, and paper (yay!), you can take your recycling to the next level and start making compost. The Prague municipal authority loaned out 1,750 composters last year. And an unfinished snack or banana peel can gain a new purpose at your office too.

Skanska Property, for example, has made a trial installation of an electrical composter at its office building in Karlín. This little metal box is magical at first sight — you fill it with leftovers from your work kitchen, and within 24 hours it turns five kilograms of waste into half a kilogram of hygienic substrate.

Microorganisms are the “David Copperfield” inside; they “eat” the waste or turn it into water vapor. They multiply quickly and can survive long periods of insufficient nutrition — say, when the whole company has headed off to the mountains for a teambuilding exercise.

Composting is one of the principles of the company’s social responsibility. To learn more about installing it at Skanska Property offices, click HERE (link in Czech language only).

Compost from Offices

“Electric composters also have a heating element that automatically regulates their internal temperature, ensuring an optimal composting process while also meeting the legal requirement for making waste hygienic,” states Tomáš Aulický from JRK BioWaste Management.

“These composters also take in fresh air, and using scoops that automatically rake their contents, they ensure that composting is performed correctly,” he adds. He states that similar facilities have also been installed in the buildings of Unilever in Dubai, Volvo in Sweden, and LEGO here in the Czech Republic.

This novelty has met with a positive reaction at Skanska as well. “People were interested in composting, and they were sorting waste conscientiously.” “Bio-waste has stopped being ‘waste’ in the ordinary sense at Skanska,” says Eva Nykodýmová, Skanska’s head of environment, health, safety, and sustainability. Composters are to be standard equipment at future Skanska office projects.

Eva Neudertová (Skanska) and Tomáš Aulický (JRK Czech Republic). The white box in the middle is the electric composter installed in the office.

How much is the waste?

In the United States, bio-waste reduction is a major topic that reaches all the way to the university milieu. For example, an audit at the Harvard dormitories revealed that 41% of the volume in its wastebaskets and garbage cans was compostable. 

If you are interested in acquiring a composter for your office, you can find them for as little as 39,900 crowns (with waste volumes of up to 6 kg per day). Customers that generate considerable bio-waste can spend up to 810,000 crowns on a composter (one that can handle to 137 kg of waste per day).

This is the result of composting inside the office after 24 hours.