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Cad Designs New Compost Bins

From the Foundation for Research, Science and Technology For immediate release


An Auckland company believes its newly redesigned organic waste composter will encourage more people to recycle their waste. For several years Prodevco has distributed the Earthmaker composter which it designed to produce mulch and compost. The bins themselves are an example of recycling, being made entirely from reground manufacturers' scraps - cast-offs from the manufacturing process. "However, they are made from rotary-cast moulds which means they're heavy and expensive," company owner Lannes Johnson says. To make it easier for New Zealanders to dispose of more of their scraps and garden rubbish, and to improve the company's export prospects, Prodevco realised it had to redesign its bin so it could be made by injection moulding. Injection moulding is a more cost-effective manufacturing process and can use post-consumer recycled plastic. The problem for Prodevco, Dr Johnson says, was that traditional design methods could not give an accurate costing. "We needed to get the design done on CAD - computer-aided draughting - so we could get an accurate figure. We wanted to be able to sell it for a third of the price of the older type." Investment from Technology New Zealand - part of the Foundation for Research, Science and Technology - enabled the CAD to be completed, providing the accurate costings the company was seeking. "We're looking to have the new ones on the market in the spring," Dr Johnson says. "Because of injection moulding we'll be able to retail them for $99 each instead of the present $249. We will sell a lot more and promote home composting better." Prodevco has targeted the household market, but with the new bins it is looking more towards local authorities. "In 1996, Carterton District Council found that more than 50 per cent of its total landfill consisted of domestic organic or recyclable waste - soil, glass, kitchen and garden waste," he says. "And so much goes down waste disposal units. New York City has banned these disposal units. "We now have something that is light, easily carried and assembled, will not be expensive, and which uses gravity to mix, digest and mature - and be used again."



* Dr Lannes Johnson, Prodevco, 34 Rahui Rd, Greenhithe, Auckland. Ph: (09) 413-9851. Fax: (09) 413-8570. Email:

* Ian Gray, Technology of New Zealand at the Foundation for Research, Science and Technology. Ph: (09) 912-6730. Website:

Prepared on behalf of the Foundation for Research, Science and Technology by ID Communications. Contact: Ian Carson (04) 477-2525,

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