I have been using my Tero for about 5 weeks and I am finally getting a really good handle on what it does well and what doesn’t work. I received one to try out, which I always like to make clear from the start.
I introduced you to the Tero in October (go read all about it so I don’t have to repeat myself) after attending the product launch along with a demo and I was super excited to get one of my own to try. The Tero turns your food waste into sterile fertilizer by dehydrating and grinding your leftovers and food scraps. You add it to your garden, your plants or even just throw on the grass outside. If you don’t garden, you can give it to a friend who does.
This is a great solution for condo/apartment dwellers who can’t even consider outdoor composting. Because it’s odourless (as is the fertilizer) it’s also great for a small, urban kitchen. No more frequent trips with a stinky, leaky bag to to the communal garbage/compost. The Tero is not perfect, but it IS a great invention for anyone who cares about reducing their waste output.
I was gifted a machine and have been using it daily ever since, with mostly positive results. Because I do cook for a living and right now, I am testing recipes for a cookbook, my amount of food waste is much higher than usual. Because I am creating more than 1 batch of waster a day, i have started to scrape food scraps into a closed container I keep on the countertop. It’s easy to just throw that stuff in to start a new a batch later on.
The Down and Dirty
Learning by trial and error, I discovered that the Tero doesn’t like long, fibrous items like banana peel left whole. Now I chop them in to chunks with kitchen shears before adding them. I also chop up big chunks of avocado peel, citrus peep and crush egg shells in my hand .When you throw these types of things in whole, they tend to wrap around the blades and never really dehydrate. The machine doesn’t like too much moisture so straining out my soups, for example, still leaves way too much wet/gummy output. That sort of waste still goes into my green bin.
Instead of throwing a bag of compost a day into the green bin, I think I am down to maybe 1 or 2 bags a week and the rest is now fertilizer that I keep in bin with a tight lid under the sink. I am about to start transferring that to a large bin in the garage to store over the winter in anticipation of using it in my garden this spring.
The machine can be a bit noisy. Depending on what waste you load into the machine, it can get squeaky so I try to either wait until morning and let it run during the day when everyone is out OR before bed so it’s done by morning. My apartment is open concept so any noise from the kitchen is clearly heard in the living room but I can’t hear it from the bedroom for overnight runs, so that is what works for me.
Removing the bin and blades is easy, it cleans up beautifully although the odd batch that has contained too much gummy, wet food has required a bit of a soak, but that is normal.
The foods that I learned I can’t put in the Tero:
too much rice or pasta
bones from beef and pork but we don’t really eat much meat anymore
strained soups, especially with grains in them
my machine doesn’t love avocado pits
too much citrus flesh – fine with peels though
whole banana peel, whole egg shell, dips and sauces
All in all, the Tero has cut the amount of food waste that I put in the green bin by about 70% and I think that makes it a worthwhile purchase anyway you cut it. I can absolutely feel good about recommending this thing to most people I know. Now, if you have a big family and cook large meals daily, you might find that the bin is too small to handle all of your waste. For a couple, a small family or those who live alone, it will be able to handle your waste output. It is NOT cheap, costing $595, so I understand that is going to be out of many budgets.
I was gifted a Tero to try out but my opinions are very much my own