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Vitamix Foodcycler Home Composter
top view of Vitamix FoodCycler Bucket filles with food waste
Vitamix Food Cycler Compost
Vitamix FoodCycler, Bucket, Bucket Lid, and Carbon Filters

Vitamix - FoodCycler

Regular price
$499.95
Sale price
$499.95

Info: Compact Food Recycler, Model FC-50

The FoodCycler is a countertop appliance which uses a fairly rapid 3-stage process (dehydrating, grinding, and cooling) to shrink your household food waste to about a tenth of its original volume with a minimum of noise and odor, to produce a recycled food compound that can either be used as a soil fertilizer for house plants or gardening or just placed in the trash without attracting pests or producing more greenhouse gases.

Info: Compact Food Recycler, Model FC-50

The FoodCycler is a countertop appliance which uses a fairly rapid 3-stage process (dehydrating, grinding, and cooling) to shrink your household food waste to about a tenth of its original volume with a minimum of noise and odor, to produce a recycled food compound that can either be used as a soil fertilizer for house plants or gardening or just placed in the trash without attracting pests or producing more greenhouse gases.

Product Notes:

S&H included to most locations in Canada.

Dealing with food waste (whether table scraps, spoiled food, or the non-edible parts you peel or cut away) can be an ongoing problem even if you or your city has a composting program, not only for the odors it generates but also the pests it attracts (including fruit flies, rodents, raccoons, or even bears, in some areas), and all the time it takes to get a usable product. And in the winter months, it all proceeds very slowly and it's much harder to stay motivated to put your boots or more clothes on to take it outside to the bin in the freezing cold or snow. But if you just dispose of it with the regular garbage as-is, not only will it attract raccoons or other critters to your garbage bins (if you live in a region where that's an issue), but it will also generate methane gas as it decomposes in the landfill.

The FoodCycler puts an end to all that. It's convenient: small enough to go on a table or countertop (it could even be run in an enclosed porch or garage if there's a grounded power outlet there, as long as it stays above freezing); the bucket it uses to process is removable and comes with a filtered collection lid, so you can place it under the kitchen sink or other out of the way places to collect the scraps until there's enough to run; easy to operate; and you can run it at any time of the day – or year. It only takes an average of five hours to complete a cycle yielding usable fertilizer (not months or years), and it only consumes about the same amount of energy as a desktop computer in that time. It produces relatively little noise (you can hear that it's on when you're right next to it, but it's not loud enough to bother you in the next room or while you're sleeping) and comes equipped with carbon filters to capture its own odors.

What's Included:

1 Food Cycler FC-50 unit; 1 Removable Waste Bucket, with a Replaceable Carbon Filter Lid; and 2 Replaceable Carbon Filters.

Product Specifications

Dimensions: 12.6" Wide x 14.2" High x 13" Long

Weight (out of box): 19 lbs

Materials: ABS Plastic Shell Cast, Aluminum Bucket

Capacity: the bucket holds up to 2.5 liters of food waste, but it is recommended that you keep the contents to be processed below its indicator line level, to avoid the grinding blades getting jammed.

Electrical Ratings: 120V, 60Hz 500 W

Power Cord: 2 feet long, with 3-prong plug

Warranty: a full 3-year warranty on the actual machine (but not the bucket or the filters) backed by Vitamix, including 2-way shipping.

Consumables

1) The Carbon Filter on the lid (which enables you to collect the scraps in the bucket over the course of a couple of days before you need to run a cycle, without it releasing odors) tends to need replacing about once a month (they are sold separately in packs of 3).

2) The two carbon filters which fit into the back of the machine to trap odors as it operates last for 500 cycle hours, which is between 3 and 4 months, with regular use. They are sold in packs of two. There is a light on the control panel to indicate when they need changing.

3) For those wanting additional nutrients for growing, VitaMix also recommends supplementing the recycled food compounds the Food Cycler produces with Foodilizer Tablets: a probiotic to add to the soil in your lawn or garden, containing beneficial bacteria and fungi to help restore the optimum nutrient and microorganism levels needed for vegetation growth.

Suggested Usage:

Activating the Vitamix FoodCycler with button on its control panelSimply toss your food scraps into the bucket if it is already in place, or take the collection lid off and place the bucket into the appropriate position if it was not, lock the processing lid on, and press the start button on the control panel, as shown.

The three-stage cycle will take between 3 and 8 hours to complete, depending on the volume, moisture level, sizing, and diversity of the contents.

To get the best results, try to diversify the types of scraps being put into the waste bucket for each cycle. Rather than placing a heavy concentration of a single food all at once, a good mixture of foods will work out better: combining wetter or heavier types of scraps with some lighter, dryer ones, for example.

Pouring the newly processed fertilizer from FoodCycler bucket into a container for storage

After the cycle is completed, the end by-product can either be used as fertilizer right away (if it is devoid of animal protein or bones, which are not recommended to be used as constituents of soil fertilizer because their high sodium content can have detrimental effect on plant growth) in a 1:11 ratio (one part fertilizer to 11 parts soil), or stored in an open-air container for up to a week. After that, it can be stored in a closed-top container for up to a year, if needed.

Types of Food the FoodCycler Can Process:

Many types of cooked food or raw scraps can always be fed into the FoodCycler (especially in combination, bearing in mind the advice to try to diversify each load) with confidence that they will be fully processed:

  • Cereals or grains like wheat
  • Beans, seeds, and legumes
  • Cheese
  • Coffee Grounds or Filters, and Tea Bags
  • Eggs and Egg Shells
  • Most Fruit and Veggie Scraps
  • Meat, Fish, Shellfish, Poultry, and the Softer Types of Bones from them
  • Pet Food

The FoodCycler can also accommodate highly fibrous foods such as asparagus, celery, cilantro, corn cobs or husks, and parsley, but they must not be too large going in: be sure to cut them into palm-sized pieces.

There are several types of foods which can SOMETIMES be added, especially when added in more limited amounts in combination with the ALWAYS types:

  • Citrus Fruit Rinds / Peels
  • Condiments, Dressings, Sauces, or Soups
  • High Sugar Fruits, such as Bananas, Cherries, Grapes, Melons or Pineapple
  • Jams, Jellies, or Marmalades
  • Nut Butters (such as Peanut Butter)
  • Starches (such a Bread, Cakes, Pasta, or Rice)

The thing to be aware of here is that without proper cutting of the fibrous items and/or proper mixing and variety of types, these 'Sometimes' items might not get entirely processed into fertilizer, or the end-product could stick to the bottom or sides of the bucket, necessitating more of a clean-up and possibly a second cycle.


Cleaning:

The bucket can be washed in the lower rack of dishwasher, if you want to, or hand washed, or if there is some dried food waste stuck to its sides, just soak it in warm, soapy water. But in most instances, it doesn't need to be washed at all! The processing itself will remove almost everything stuck to it. And once in a while, to get an all-natural clean, you could run a cycle with just a small amount of citrus peels, which will also help clear out the unit's ventilation system. The bucket's collection lid can also be either dishwasher or hand washed, but be sure to remove its carbon filter, first. The rest of the unit should simply be wiped down by a damp followed by a dry cloth.

Warnings:

To avoid shocks, this unit must only be plugged into properly grounded outlets with its original power cord. Do not remove the grounding connector, or use an adapter, or use an extension cord.

There are several types of items which should NEVER be composted in this machine to avoid gumming it up or damaging its grinding blades:

  • Candy or Gum
  • Cooking Oils or Greases
  • Hard Bones (such as Beef or Pork bones)
  • Hard Pits (from fruits such as apricots, avocados, nectarines, or peaches)
  • Nuts and Hard Shells (such as walnuts)
  • Pineapple Leaves
UPC / Barcode: 703113680519