Outsmarting Waste with Mill
BY WENDY POISCHBEG FOR ECONOMIC ALLIANCE SNOHOMISH COUNTY
Photos courtesy of Mill
If you’re like most people, you probably don’t give much thought to what happens to your food scraps once they’re thrown away. But the reality is that food waste is a significant issue in our culture. It’s estimated that up to 40% of the food produced in the United States is wasted, and most of that waste ends up in landfills. Not only is this a waste of resources and nutrients, but it also contributes to greenhouse gas emissions driving climate change.
That’s where Mill comes in. Mill is a new company founded by the same team that brought you Nest, and their mission is to outsmart waste, starting with food.
Their approach is simple: they provide members with a special bin for their kitchen scraps, which dries, shrinks, and de-stinks the scraps overnight, turning them into nutrient-rich Food Grounds.
Members can schedule a pickup for their Food Grounds in the Mill app once the bin is full, and Mill will work to transform the contents into an ingredient for poultry feed.
Although it may sound like composting, this is not the case. Composting involves breaking down organic matter into a soil-like substance, but Mill’s process keeps the food as food, so it can be used to feed chickens instead of just enriching soil. Also, since the process is carried out in Mill’s unique container, there is no need to deal with the dirt and smell associated with conventional composting techniques.
But Mill is more than just a convenient way to dispose of kitchen scraps. It’s also an impactful way to make a difference for the planet. By diverting food waste from landfills and turning it into a useful product, Mill’s preliminary estimate shows that its members can avoid more than a half a ton of greenhouse gas emissions per household year. And by supporting sustainable farming practices, Mill is helping to create a more circular food system that benefits both people and the planet.
Matt Rogers, Founder & CEO, Mill, explains: “Mill makes it easy to do the right thing. Food isn’t trash. But until today, it was hard to do anything except throw uneaten food in the garbage. The Mill Membership is a simple way to keep food out of landfills, send it back to farms, and make your kitchen smell awesome. From my time at Nest, we know that a small step at home can have a positive impact for people and the planet.”
So how does it work? First, you’ll need to sign up for a Mill Membership, which includes your special kitchen bin. Once you activate your membership by plugging in the bin, downloading the app, and connecting to Wi-Fi, you can start putting your kitchen scraps into the bin. The bin will work its magic overnight, turning your leftovers into Food Grounds that are dry, nutrient-rich, and ready to be picked up by Mill.
When your bin is full, simply empty your Food Grounds into the prepaid box provided by Mill, and schedule a pickup in the app.
The U.S. Postal Service will bring your Food Grounds back to Mill, where they’ll be turned into a safe and nutritious chicken feed ingredient.
Along the way, you can track your positive impact through the Mill app. You’ll be able to see how much food you’ve diverted from landfill, how much greenhouse gas emissions you’ve avoided and more. And you’ll be confident that each time you use your Mill bin, you’re contributing to a healthier environment.
At a time when climate change and environmental issues are more urgent than ever, Mill offers a solution that’s both practical and impactful.
By outsmarting waste at home, you can help create a more sustainable food system and make a real difference for the planet. So why not give it a try?
The State of Washington has shown tremendous leadership in preventing food waste through efforts such as HB 1799, which also makes Snohomish County a great home for innovation. You can learn more about Mill at Economic Alliance Snohomish County’s Economic Forecast and Annual Meeting on April 26, 2023 when Dr. Geoff Hill will provide the keynote presentation: How Snohomish County is paving the way for the hyper local food>feed>farm loop. The event will take place from 10:30 am to 2:00 pm at the Tulalip Casino Resort.
Purchase tickets at www.EconomicAllianceSC.org.