Many great ideas stem from the most unusual inspiration. In the case of BinBreeze, it was the foul odor from a compost bin that needed to be eliminated. CEO of BinBreeze Taylor McCarten walked into his parents' beautiful kitchen, and couldn’t stand the pungent odor emanating from the compost bin on the counter. The kitchen was being ruined by stench and fruit flies from the decomposing food waste – but his parents were doing their part to help the environment. Taylor knew the answer wasn’t to stop composting, but to somehow make the composting process more pleasant. This meant solving the problems that have plagued composters for generations: the bad smell, fruit flies and the soggy, wet bin.
At the time, Taylor was finishing his MBA at the University of Victoria and decided to challenge himself to produce a product that would solve these composting issues, as part of his final project. With an idea in his head, Taylor went back to a class he thought he would never enter again - chemistry. Through this desire to find a composting bin solution, Taylor enlisted the help of Harmen Zijlstra, a Ph.D. chemist and science-driven entrepreneur who is the co-founder of BinBreeze.
Together, they perfected the BinBreeze formula, addressing all composting issues and ensuring their product would make the composting process more enjoyable, and encourage people to compost. The process of reaching the end product was not easy, and several changes occurred on their mission to find the right balance of non-toxic ingredients that are human and animal friendly, but also effective.
BinBreeze is formulated with specialty minerals, fossilized algae, and clean wood waste. Its patented formula was scientifically designed to enrich the resulting compost for local composting facilities and home composters. This means that not only does BinBreeze make composting more pleasant for composters, it also creates healthier compost which is more easily used at composting facilities.
Each element added to the formula helps tackle a different issue that composting presents. Wood dust helps with soil structure and moisture retention as well as absorption of excess liquid in your kitchen bin. The use of wood in the formula is doubly beneficial to the environment as it also diverts wood waste away from burning. To many people's surprise, burning wood is actually worse than coal, meaning BinBreeze sequesters carbon in the product so it doesn’t go into the atmosphere. To date, BinBreeze has successfully diverted 20 tonnes of carbon from the atmosphere.
In order to eliminate odor and absorb unwanted liquid produced by food waste, sawdust, zeolites and small amounts of essential oils were added.. Zeolites are minerals commonly used as commercial adsorbents and catalysts. They are also a common additive in gardening and are sold as the main ingredient in other waste deodorizers. Compost with zeolite not only improves the physicochemical properties of the compost product but also enhances microbial activities by promoting organic solid waste decomposition and reducing the duration of the composting process. Zeolitic additives can also reduce greenhouse gasses and ammonia emissions created during the composting process.
To tackle fruit flies, the BinBreeze team chose food-grade diatomaceous earth, which is commonly used in organic gardening and known to be a mechanical pesticide. It is also beneficial because it is readily available and is used in foods, medicine, paints and plastics, and pet litter. It is an all natural additive, meaning BinBreeze continues to be safe to use in gardens, compost bins, or anywhere else you have similar problems. BinBreeze is designed to dehydrate anything with an exoskeleton (AKA fruit flies), but it does not affect worms, other soft exterior insects or the composting microbes. Initially many other ingredients such as lime, bio activators (compost) and sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) were tossed around but ruled out through consultation with local composting facilities.
BinBreeze creates an aerobic, oxygen-rich microbial reaction in your compost bin and starts working as soon as it’s added. It holds moisture, nutrients and gasses like potassium, nitrogen and methane to enrich the soil whilst capturing emissions.
BinBreeze is now readily available in over 500 retailers Canada-wide and hopes to continue to expand, to service composters everywhere. Their mission is to make composting more approachable, enjoyable, and effective for all homeowners and composting facilities around the world.