By Kimberly Holland

Compost smarter, not harder.

The average person produces 475 pounds of food waste per year. A great deal of that food waste could be put to good use in nutrient-rich fertilizer, if only composting wasn't confusing, smelly, or downright difficult.

Vitamix partner Food Cycle Science has a solution: a food recycler that can turn food waste and scraps into fertilize in a matter of hours, not days or weeks, which is typical of compost timelines.

Photo: FoodCycler

"Unlike traditional composting, which may take anywhere from weeks to months to go from food scraps to soil additive, the FoodCycler FC-30 uses a process of intense aeration, heating and pulverization to turn food waste into organic fertilizer in as little as three hours," the company said in a press release.

To make the fertilizer, you can add your food scraps — fruit cores, vegetable peels, dairy, etc. — into the appliance's removable bucket. Press the button, and the machine will go to work, breaking down food waste into one-tenth of its original volume. When the machine's work is done, you'll have a nutrient-rich fertilizer you can add directly to your soil.

If you have a spacious backyard with a designated composting bin, the smaller appliance may not be necessary. But the company suggests people who live in apartments and condos, due to a lack of yard space, might particularly appreciate the work of the FoodCycler FC-30. People in colder climates might also welcome the speedier composting capability. Cool climates have shorter composting seasons because minimum temperature requirements are needed to get the food broken down and properly converted to fertilizer.

The machine, which retails for $299, has a small footprint — 14 inches tall and 11 inches deep. That also makes it ideal for smaller homes and kitchens, where space is at a premium.

Photo: Vitamix

The smell that's typically associated with composting? Not an issue with this machine. "The FoodCycler also alleviates odor concerns typically associated with composting, as its unique activated carbon filtration system is designed to eliminate offensive smells and methane emissions during cycling," the brand said.

When you're done, the bucket can go right into your dishwasher for easy cleaning.

Related: DIY Compost for Your Best-Ever Garden

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