Kenneth’s BEEcycle Makes its Mark
15 Jun 2009
Kenneth’s mission to make composting and recycling in the home more accessible to all.
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Every year, more than six million tonnes of food waste is thrown away in the UK. So, 24-year-old biochemistry graduate Kenneth Cheung decided to find a way to make composting and recycling in the home more accessible.
Inspired by the government’s attempts to divert food waste from landfill sites, Kenneth was keen to set up a company that could help. “Originally my plan was to use worms and micro-organisms for food waste processing,” he explains, “but a composting firm would require a huge amount of initial investment. I needed a stepping stone.” With incubation support and vital funding from the Environment Centre at Lancaster University, he was able to set up the company BEEcycle.
Kenneth’s attention was soon caught by a self-watering plant pot his friend had designed. “I saw a lot of potential in the product. I realised that there wasn’t an educational tool to teach kids about recycling, so knowing that worms and microbes can speed up composting, we combined the two to create The OvO.”
After initial success, the product was taken into a number of UK schools. A miniature ecosystem, it allowed pupils to observe composting in action, from the breakdown of food into the soil and from the soil back to the plant again. BEEcycle also provides a service that assists schools in finding the necessary funding to buy the relevant materials.
“After The OvO was up and running, I knew their was still potential in a food waste collection service and processing business,” Kenneth says. “We consulted with the University catering department and then built two medium-size wormery machines to help them recycle their food waste on site.”
Kenneth’s website also features The Bokashi, a fantastic solution that uses microbial technology to ferment waste in just two weeks — even leftover meat and cooked food. Once fermentation is completed, the ‘bokashied waste’ can be dug into the soil to break down naturally in 30–45 days, which is 12 times the speed of traditional composting. To top this, the process produces a sweet smelling liquid that can be diluted down to make plant fertiliser, or even drain cleaner, making full use of all the waste.
The Ovetto, another eco-design, not only banishes the unsightly presence of separate recycling bins but also saves space by containing the items in a single unit. The bin rotates to where you want to insert your rubbish and crushes bottles and cartons to a smaller size.
Kenneth recently won the Lancaster Environment Centre ‘Business Creation Competition’ and was nominated for this year’s ‘Make your Mark ’ Enterprising Young Brit’ award.
Contact: BEEcycle Ltd.,
Left: Kenneth Cheung with The OvO. Photo: courtesy of BEEcycle
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