The One Kitchen Trash Can That Could Ensure No Food Is Ever Wasted

The Mill bin is a kitchen trash can that takes thrown-away food and composts it into usable food grains in a matter of hours that can then be used to feed animals like chickens.

By Jennifer Hollohan | Published

trash can food waste

Have you ever wanted to reduce the amount of food waste in your kitchen but can’t do it through composting? The good news is that an innovative new product on the market may fit the bill. Meet the Mill bin, a high-tech trash can.

Now, we know what you may be thinking. Everything in your world is “smart” or “high-tech,” even your vacuum. But how does a trash can, of all things, fall into that category?

That’s the genius of the Mill bin. It is the brainchild of Matt Rogers, who co-founded Google Nest. He set about designing this new style of trash can as a way of combating the 119 billion pounds of food waste thrown away every year (in the US alone)!

Per CNET, “Mill is an electric kitchen waste bin that shrinks and de-stinks typical kitchen food scraps in the span of several hours, turning them into usable food grounds.” Those usable grounds get turned into chicken feed and shipped off to farms around the country. It is an ingenious way to reduce the amount of food waste thrown into landfills.

“According to data from the Environmental Protection Agency, food waste is the single most common material landfilled and incinerated in the US, comprising 24% of landfilled waste and 22% of combusted municipal solid waste.” So, by opting to switch to a Mill trash can, you can help reduce that total. And you get to feed chickens, which is a spectacular bonus. 

But those benefits aside, there are other valid reasons to invest in a Mill trash can. All food waste can go into them, which is good news, and not the case with compost bins. That means, oils, fats, and meats that shouldn’t get added to your compost can get taken care of in the Mill bin.

Additionally, when you add one of these unique trash cans to your kitchen, you get an accompanying app. It helps you monitor the progress and status of the food waste in your bin. That way, you can quickly empty it when it reaches capacity. 

So, what do you do with all that processed food waste? Well, Mill provides prepaid boxes. Bag it up and ship it off, and the company will take care of the rest. 

There are a few downsides to this system, however. First and foremost is that it comes with a hefty price tag. Of course, the good news is that a discount is available for anyone willing to pay for a year.

Should you choose that route, your investment is $396 or $33 per month. That price includes the trash can, the boxes, and the shipping. It increases for anyone wishing to choose a month-to-month payment plan.

A Mill subscription costs $45 per month without paying for a year upfront. And there is an initial $75 fee for the trash can itself. If those subscription prices don’t scare you off, there is one more thing to consider. 

It really isn’t the best option for anyone with an existing compost bin. Trying to separate the food waste would be too cumbersome, tedious, and not worth the effort. However, if you are compost bin free and willing to fork over some cash, Mill bins are a fantastic investment.