If it's from nature, the Eco-System can handle it. All organic material and compostables can go into the machine.
How much organic waste can I put into the machine?
You should not exceed the fill indicators in the reactor. By exceeding this capacity, you risk running multiple cycles to complete the process or, you will damage the unit and its sensors. The fill indicator is usually a bar located at the back of the machine or if not visible, the load should be no higher than the axis bar that runs through the middle of the machine.
What kind of volume and weight reduction can I expect from an Eco-System?
You should expect an 85% to 93% reduction in weight. Volume reduction will be determined by the type of waste, i.e., large amounts of paper goods vs. mostly food waste. Typical volume reduction will be in the 80% to 90% reduction range.
Can I add product to the unit during a cycle?
No, by adding additional waste to the unit during a cycle, the unit will not be able to generate a dry batch given run time. If you must add more waste, you will need to re-start the cycle.
My end product seems a bit wet; what should I do?
You would want to start another cycle, though you will need to check it after 2-3 hours. If the waste going in was extremely wet, or if the door was opened during operation, it would delay the original process and result in an unfinished product. More than 10% to 15 % paper content will also cause wet output and false completion indications.
I work in a high-volume restaurant. Sometimes things get missed when sorting. Will it hurt the machine?
Making sure that silverware does not enter the machine would be best. The silverware just like steak bones should not damage the unit. Just make sure that the object is taken out at the end of the cycle especially if you are going to use the output as a soil amendment. If not, most customers simply throw the output into their regular waste dumpsters as the output is sterile, free of pathogens and bacteria. However, if a linen napkin is overlooked it may bind up the unit and stop it altogether. Large items such as bowls, beef thigh bones, coconuts, glass or plastic containers should also not be placed in the unit.
My employees like to open the door on the unit during processing to see what's going on. Is there anything wrong with this?
Yes, as noted above. The input hatch should be locked after starting the system to prevent the cycle from being prematurely finished and wet when the system shuts down. The glass door to the temp controls should be locked after starting the machine and opened when ready to discharge.
Is it OK to discharge the end product as soon as the timer says the cycle is up?
No, it is always best to let the system complete its cool down cycle which prepares the end product for handling.
Is the end product safe to handle?
The product has reached a temperature of 180° F for over 12 hours, meaning all pathogens and bacteria, and even seeds, have been effectively killed, and your product is now sterilized.
Do I have to add anything to the unit to aide in the process?
No additional additives are required for the Eco-System. If a large greasy batch is going to be run, leafy greens or paper can be added to aide in the absorption of the fats, oils and greases.
How much drainage can I expect from the machine?
You can expect up to 1 gallon for every 10 pounds of food waste per 18-hour cycle. This will vary depending on the amount of moisture in the waste introduced into the Eco-System. i.e. watermelons and other fruits and vegetables like celery are mostly water.
What are the primary differences between the Eco-System and other similar units on the market?
The Eco-System does not require ANY additional products such as wood chips, chemicals, or charcoal to be added to the waste. It also consumes NO fresh water and does not discharge any "dirty water" into the sewer systems...there is very little BOD and the water condensate is sterile as well with no TSS. As mentioned above, the only discharge from the unit is the "Sterile Bio-mass" and condensate run-off from the condenser unit.
What are the power requirements for an Eco-System?
Most units are three-phase 220 volt. See or request specification sheets for specific models.
How should I install a unit?
Your unit should follow the following guidelines:
The unit shall be installed in accordance with national and local wiring regulations and all applicable codes.
The unit MUST be placed at least 8" from the wall and more for the larger capacity units.
DO NOT pull or alter power cord. Pulling and misuse of the power supply cord can result in damage to the unit and cause electrical shock.
Ensure the electrical cord is properly grounded.
DO NOT place any materials on top of unit.
DO NOT use water to clean the unit. Use of a stainless steel cleaner and cleaning cloth are sufficient to wipe down the outside of the unit.
DO NOT alter the pre-programmed settings or disassemble the unit without first contacting OWARECO. Failure to do so may result in a voided warranty.
Turn off in-coming power to the unit and lock-out breaker to perform any kind of maintenance or cleaning.
DO NOT open the input door during operation; it can cause odor issues and errors in the automated control and operation and cause burns from steam.
Ensure the unit and the area around the unit is clean. Proper maintenance of the unit is also highly recommended.
Please have ALL operators read the Operators Manual to ensure proper understanding of the unit and its operation.
Are the units mobile?
All units have casters for easy mobility. However, we recommend that the larger units be stationary as they should be hard-wired.
Where should the drain hose go?
The drain line should run to any available floor drain. If there is no floor drain, available units can be re-fitted on-site with an aftermarket auxiliary pump, for elevated
drains. Please contact OWARECO for more information.
How often should I clean the filter screen in the unit?
We recommend daily. Pull the screens from the top of the unit, rinse in clean water and re-install. No tools required.
What do the number displays mean, and is there something I should be monitoring?
The displays are for monitoring temperatures and time. They are pre-set from the factory and should require no additional input. If the numbers on the display exceed the programmed set points, the unit will shut down. Under no circumstances should the user change the pre-set temperatures.
How often should the tank be cleaned?
There is no cleaning of the tank required as the steam process self-cleans the inside – think of a self cleaning oven but without high temperatures or high pressure. If the hatch is opened during the process, there is no explosion of steam – it is more like walking into a steam bath. Periodic build-up on the shaft and paddles may need to be removed.
Should I expect some sort of odor?
The Eco-System is a low-odor device. It effectively manages odor through activated charcoal air filters and a super-heated exhaust. It will emit a slight "cooking" odor at
times, but you will not find it offensive.
How simple is the unit to operate?
Easy as 1, 2, 3. Fill your unit to the specified fill height, close all your doors, power the unit, and then, press start. It's that simple.
Eco-System End-Product Questions
What type of container is easiest to use to put the sterile by-product into on the empty cycle?
We find that a plastic or metal tote that fits under the discharge chute works the best. Find one that's easily handled and able to easily accept your soil amendment.
How should I use my end-product?
You could use it on the grounds of your establishment, at your residence, offer it to a composting facility as cover for static pile composting or simply throw it away with the rest of your waste. Because the end product is 95% dry, it is very stable and can be stored (as long as it is not re-hydrated) for months with no ill effects. Also, keep in mind that if you do apply it to landscaping, the end-product needs to be tilled into the soil, and it will finish the composting process there or it can be mixed 8 or 9 to one with soil and then used as an organic fertilizer.
Is my product actually compost when the cycle is done?
No, this unit decomposes and macerates food waste producing a mulch-like end-product that is suitable for use as a soil amendment. The by-product can be considered a "Sterile
Bio-mass" since it has been sterilized by 180 degree F temperatures for several hours. The by-product will complete the composting process when introduced into soil and rehydrated.
How do I know if my product is safe for soil application?
We recommend an analysis by your local agronomist or fertilizer company of both your soil and the Eco-System by-product you wish to add to it. This analysis will determine
whether or not one will help the other. As you can imagine, the by-products will vary from site-to-site depending on what goes into it, so this is important to maintain a healthy soil. OWARECO has numerous testing analysis results from different parts of the country that we can send to you upon request.