Every year, I head over to IFA in Berlin and every year one particular product jumps out at me. This year, it was the Reencle home composter. I absolutely love this machine despite it being quite pricey and it solves a real problem I have in my apartment. Here’s why I love it.


Disclosure: This product was gifted to the author. This means it was provided free of charge to be reviewed but the brand supplying it did not insist on a review, nor do they have any control over the content within this review.


What is the Reencle Home Composter?

Home composting is all about recycling food scraps and other organic materials from your home into nutrient-rich compost that can be used to improve the health of your soil and plants. It’s relatively common practice these days, especially if you’re into gardening and have lots of space.

Reencle after harvesting our compost

I live in an apartment with lots of plants that we care for, but I don’t have the space to compost in any traditional sense. This is where the Reencle home composter comes in. This device from Reencle is about the size of an average bin. You can place food waste inside it and it will be broken down into compost as quickly as 24 hours.

I know – it’s wild. I’ve been so used to food going into a bin that isn’t emptied for 2 or 3 days only for it to stink. So I didn’t really grasp how this other bin could just break it down so quickly. But that’s exactly what the Reencle does. It lets me make nutrient-rich compost even in my relatively small apartment.

But how does it do it?

How Does The Reencle Home Composter Work?

The Reencle doesn’t do anything outside of the usual composting process. But it does optimise that process and create the perfect conditions for super fast composting.

When you open up your Reencle, you’ll find a bag inside. This is full of compost starters. That’s their very own blend of blend of microorganisms, including bacteria, fungi, and enzymes. These microorganisms are responsible for breaking down the organic matter in food scraps and giving your Reencle the perfect start.

Once the system is set up, it’s important you read the instructions for the first few days. Before you start chucking food into the Reencle, you have to make sure it’s “alive” for want of a better phrase.

The contents of your home composter will be maintained by some clever innovation from Reencle. First, the composter keeps everything at a perfect toasty temperature of 45 degrees Celsius (113 degrees Fahrenheit). This ensures the microorganisms thrive.

Churning the compost is also important, so the Reencle does this with a massive slow-spinning internal arm that rotates over 940 times a day. This aerator continuously mixes the food scraps with the compost starter. This aeration means you constantly have beautiful compost getting evenly mixed up with access to lots of oxygen.

The combination of microorganisms, heat, and aeration creates an environment where food scraps decompose rapidly. In as little as 24 hours, Reencle can convert food scraps into nutrient-rich compost. The finished compost produced by Reencle is a dark, crumbly material that is rich in essential nutrients. This compost can be used to improve the soil health of gardens, potted plants, and lawns.

Cost of Running?

There is one gap in the story here. While you’re saving the environment by reducing food waste to landfill, you are burning energy by running the Reencle. It consumes about 1.25kWh per day which on average would equate to 30c daily. But check your own energy provider. In theory, you could run this on a timer or a smart plug and just having running around dinner time for a few hours to save on costs. I’ll try this in the future, but for now I have not tested it this way.

Extra Features

The Reencle has a motion sensor on the front which means you can open the lid and drop in food waste easily, even if you’re scraping off a chopping board. It does need power so consider this when buying. We didn’t have an outlet in the perfect spot, but we managed. Irish homes tend to have this problem, it’s not really a Reencle issue, unless they wanted to put a silly long cable on the machine.

If your compost does get too wet, stop adding food to it and hit the dry button on the console. You can also hit purify if your compost has gotten a little smelly. This runs the air through the carbon filters. Not an issue I had though I have to admit.

Why Bother With Home Composting?

Food waste from the home is a major environmental problem. As food waste decomposes in landfills it releases methane; a potent greenhouse gas. By composting your food scraps at home, you can divert it from landfills and reduce the release of methane.

Home composting doesn’t need tech at all. You can compost at home outdoors with suitable containers or indoors using wormeries. You can buy a Bokashi bin and have compost in about 4 weeks.

However, Reencle has made a product that makes home composting simple, breaking down food in as little as 24 hours.

Once you have enough compost generated, you can use it to feed your plants. The Reencle has both a maximum and minimum line. Once you’ve reached the max, stop adding food waste. Once you’ve dug out enough compost that you can see the minimum, stop taking compost out!

What Food Waste Can Be Home Composted

The Reencle comes with extensive information on what can, and can’t be composted in the machine. It also includes advice on daily limits along with best practices. Here’s a quick look at what this home composter can handle.

Acceptable Food Waste (Fast)Slower Food Waste (over 24 hours)Unacceptable Food Waste
FruitsPizza CrustBones
CheeseWatermelon ringShells from seafood
MeatRaw vegetablesStones from fruits inc. avocado
FishSausageSolid shells from nuts etc
CookiesCabbagePlastic
BreadCucumberRubber
NoodlesSweet CornCigarettes
GrainsPeanut butterGlass
Cooked EggsCoffee groundsWood

What About the Smell?

This was my fear and I’m stunned at how the Reencle has completely killed all the odours of home composting. I am using this smart home composter in my apartment and do not notice any smells. Well, I noticed that the regular bin doesn’t smell anymore and fruit flies are finding the place a lot less attractive.

The Reencle manages this by composting food quickly, but also has an integrated air filtering system. This runs through a carbon filter which you can refill yourself – further reducing waste and future dependence on Reencle sending you a refill.

How to Use Compost

After a few weeks of composting, we had this lovely fertiliser. So, what next? Well, we had two jobs to do. First we had to repot some plants. This meant taking plants that had outgrown their pots, placing them in bigger ones. While doing this we mixed in some fresh soil and homemade compost to fertilise the plant.

Next up, was using compost as a top dressing. This is perhaps the easiest ongoing way to use compost when living in an apartment. Simply spread a thin layer of compost over the soil surface of your plant. This will help to improve the soil structure, aeration, and water retention, which can all benefit your plants.

Adding some top dressing to our Bird of Paradise plant

You can also use your compost to make a compost tea. Compost tea is a liquid fertilizer that is made by steeping compost in water. It is a concentrated form of compost nutrients that can be used to water your plants

Reencle Verdict

Reencle’s home composter is apartment friendly. It’s relatively environmentally friendly too, depending on your source of energy. If the electricity used to power your Reencle composter is generated from renewable sources, such as solar or wind power, then the overall environmental impact of the composter is likely to be positive. However, if the electricity is generated from fossil fuels, then the environmental impact is likely to be more mixed.

Away from the unknowns, my experience with the Reencle was overwhelmingly positive. Getting rid of smelly waste from my regular bin was really important to me. I’ve always been frustrated without how behind apartment living in Dublin is in terms of having a “brown bin”. While some places have these, I never have. Being able to not only get rid of food waste myself, but reuse it on plants in my apartment, is pretty damn cool in my eyes.

The Reencle is pricey though and will set you back over €600 here in Ireland, shipped from Europe. It’s a very young company and I expect that to drop closer to €500 in the near future.

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Marty
Founding Editor of Goosed, Martin is a massive tech fan, into movies and will talk about anything to anyone. - Find me on Mastodon