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Odourless, Mess-Free Home Composting Now Possible With Designer’s Lightweight Composter

Odourless, Mess-Free Home Composting Now Possible With Designer’s Lightweight Composter

Bengaluru-based designer Poonam Bir Kasturi, founder of eco-friendly online store Daily Dump, has launched the Terrabite Home Composter, which uses the aerobic process to compost waste at home leaving no mess or odour.

Poonam Bir Kasturi says her project is dedicated to everyone who “wishes to find a solution to the things that bother them around the world”. 

The industrial designer and social entrepreneur from Bengaluru is the founder of Daily Dump,  a design-led brand that aims to reimagine our relationship with the earth, with each other, and with our urban spaces. They do so through composters, zero waste products, accessories, gardening kits, and more. 

The newest addition to their range is the Terrabite, an “easy and versatile” home composter that Poonam says will change the way composting is perceived.  This, she adds, will also allow their current customers to upgrade their daily habits to a “convenient alternative” with Terrabite.

Poonam has been ideating different composting products since 2006, when she started the venture. “This is what I do. I am a compostwali.”

A venture around composters 

She tells The Better India, “Composting is a natural process that has been perfected by the universe and natural systems. I asked myself what I needed to do to make it part of everyone’s behaviour.” 

But as she would soon realise, people had many mental blocks and barriers when it came to composting. “Many are under the impression that composting is ‘a dirty process’. I wanted to ideate and design products that would, firstly, change this perception and, secondly, merge into people’s daily routines.” 

Poonam with the Terrabite, a home composter that makes composting easy, sustainable and quick
Poonam with the Terrabite, a home composter, Picture credits: Poonam Bir Kasturi

 And so Poonam started her venture, introducing a range of composters through the years that have categories specific to individual households as well as communities. People can browse through a wide variety including the Gobble compost kits, the Rangoli Flower composters, Leaf composters, etc. 

She says the Terrabite home composter, launched in August this year, will “widen the horizons of composting and, more importantly, be versatile”. 

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Poonam explains that Terrabite comprises a double-walled breathing chamber with a separate harvesting chamber, ensuring there is no lifting or stirring involved. Alongside, she says, it has room for a lot of aeration and fits well in a balcony area or near a small window. It is lightweight since it’s made of HDPE recyclable UV-resistant plastic.

Elaborating on how the composter performs in contrast to traditional ones, she says the Terrabite is an aerobic composter. This means the decomposition of the organic matter takes place by microorganisms that require oxygen. Aerobic composting gives byproducts including heat, water and carbon dioxide, whereas anaerobic composting requires curing and harvesting.

Another factor she says is critical in controlling odour is the amount of carbon in the pile. If the compost is too wet, it could lead to a putrid smell. The Terrabite’s harvesting chamber separates the formed leachate, and this separation between the composting and harvesting chambers ensures that the leachate does not touch the raw material. 

“The composter is designed in a way that ensures there is no excess moisture and thus no odour. It also ensures that the compost is ready in 30 days, in contrast to the traditional 45 days,” she says. 

She adds that the quality of leachate is better as it is filtered and produced by aerobic processes and does not interact with the rotting pile. 

The Terrabite has a capacity that goes up to 2 kg daily. 

Poonam has been designing composters since 2006 as part of her venture Daily Dump
Poonam has been designing composters since 2006, Picture credits: Poonam Bir Kasturi

Not just a ‘gardener’s activity’

The composter was built by a team of four, among which was Niharika, who assisted in the design. She says the entire process was “fascinating”. 

“Terrabite will make anyone ready for composting, not only people who like gardening or sustainability as an idea. It is attractive in a unique way with its mould and design,” she says, referring to its performance and ease of use. 

“People don’t want to get their hands dirty, and the Terrabite ensures this does not happen. It is like any other home appliance and not just Earth lovers, but everyone can benefit from it,” she says. 

Meanwhile, Poonam says the Terrabite is a compilation of all the highlight features of previous composters. For instance, they worked on the composter not giving off a bad odour during the process, being more ergonomic, filling up at the right speed, etc.

“I had built two prototypes before I built the final mould,” she says, adding that it took her two and a half years to come up with the configuration, sizing, aeration, etc. 

She says her venture has been crafted with one aim in mind — to have citizens be part of the city’s cleanliness initiatives

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“While many are often under the impression that it is the authorities’ job to see to the cleaning, Daily Dump offers citizens a chance to be self-driven composters and make composting a cool activity rather than a chore,” she says. 

She adds that when it comes to composting, people often wonder what happens if they don’t do it right and make a bigger mess. 

“This is where our strong design comes in,” she says. “The composters are designed to account for space constraints of urban landscapes. They are easy to use and maintain, fit into Indian ways of living, and are made of simple materials.” 

Terrabite will retail for Rs 19,999 and Poonam says this will be another step towards her vision for India

“Soon, through composters, people will realise the value of keeping carbon in the soil. The younger generation is getting more aware and composting will only fuel this awareness in the right direction,” she says. 

You can buy the composter here

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