With the pandemic meaning that people are spending more time at home, and climate change creating havoc for our provincial neighbours, it’s no surprise that there has been an increased interest in recycling and gardening. The new Tero home food recycler addresses many current concerns by allowing you to recycle your food scraps to create organic fertilizer for your garden. I was invited to a media preview to learn how the Tero works and I also received a Tero to use at home.
Tero, which is the first Canadian-made food recycler on the market, is the brainchild of Quebec entrepreneurs Elizabeth Coulombe and Valérie Laliberté. Coulombe and Laliberté, both Laval University grads, converted their passion for food and sustainability by developing Tero. Investors were so impressed with the pair’s product innovation that they were able to raise $1.7 million in start-up funding.
The Tero kitchen appliance offers an alternative to composting, which attracts bugs and has an odour. Just sit the appliance on your counter and fill it with food scraps such as fruit, vegetables, meat, poultry, fish, cheese and solid dairy.
How Does Tero Work?
Place your food scraps in the Tero bucket up to the Maximum fill line. Plug Tero in and turn the device on.
Tero has three cycles: heat, grind and cooling. The heat cycle takes an hour. During this cycle, Tero is heating and dehydrating your food scraps. The heating process will destroy the pathogens in food scraps such as raw or cooked meat and fish. Food scraps will also shrink by about 85%. During the second cycle – the grind cycle – Tero is grinding your food to produce smaller pieces, which will be easily absorbed by your garden soil. This cycle takes about five hours. Finally, the cooling cycle, which takes 30-60 minutes, cools the temperature of the newly-created organic fertilizer.
You will end up with dry organic fertilizer than can be stored for up to a year.
Tero does make some noise when it’s grinding so be prepared for that. It isn’t too noisy, but it’s not completely quiet either. I found the whole process to convert food scraps to organic fertilizer took about eight hours.
What Food Can You Put in Tero?
The following food scraps will make the best organic fertilizer:
- fruits, vegetables
- cereals, grains, nuts (without husks), legumes
- eggs and eggshells
- coffee grounds and tea bag filling
- meats, fish, poultry
- cheese and solid dairy products
- small bones of poultry and fish
You can put up to four litres of food scraps in Tero at one time.
Don’t Add These Items to Tero
You cannot add hard shells, hard bones (beef and pork), liquids, cooking oil and other fats, chewing gum, candy, hard pits, and compostable bioplastic to Tero.
Tero home food recycler retails for $595 plus tax and is 15.8″ long, 8.5″ wide and 11″ high so it should easily fit on your counter. It comes in white or black. The bucket and blades are dishwasher safe. Tero comes with an odour filter refill that is comprised of two bags of carbon grounds and a dust filter. The odour filter refill should be changed every 3-4 months. You can purchase a set of four odour filter refills online for $95 plus tax.
Why Is Natural Fertilizer Better Than Chemical Fertilizer?
Natural fertilizer provides a significant supply of nutrients to your plants and also:
- feeds the bacteria, microorganisms and organisms in the soil for plants’ optimum growth
- slowly releases into the soil
- keeps the soil moist
- improves plants’ resistance to parasites
This is great news if you have a garden with dry soil like we do. I am also curious to see whether using organic fertilizer will eliminate certain parasites from eating our plants, which happened to some of our plants this summer.
Converting our food scraps to organic fertilizer makes so much sense for the environment. Tero home food recycler allows us to do this easily at home. I am so looking forward to using the organic fertilizer on my garden next year!
You might be interested in reading, “How to Start Your Vegetable Garden Early“.