Victoria home-composting system makes Time's top 100 inventions

Victor Nicolov got an early Christmas present last week, when Time magazine named the Sepura home-composting system one of its 100 inventions of the year.

Nicolov, chief executive of ­Victoria-based Anvy Technologies, had his eye on the bigger prize of sending out the first shipment of his Sepura system early in the new year, but said being named to the list was exciting.

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“This means there will be more people finding out there is another solution for getting rid of waste at home,” he said.

The Sepura system, which Nicolov started developing in 2018, is a smart device that attaches to a kitchen sink and acts as a filter between the drain and the drain pipe.

The system extracts all the liquid from food waste, allowing it to pass down the pipe while compost-ready organic solids are collected and held in a sealed 10-litre container that can be removed to tip onto a compost pile or into a compost collection bin.

Nicolov said the system will capture 95 per cent of the solid waste flushed down the drain, and could render obsolete the need for countertop compost bins that can smell and breed fruit flies.

Time’s list, which annually highlights inventions making the world better and smarter, noted the Sepura system may help solve the problem of the estimated 40 million tonnes of food waste Americans generate annually, preventing it from ending up in landfills or being flushed down the drain.

The $580 US system is currently available for $380 US online if pre-ordered before the company starts shipping.

Nicolov said the company has been pushing sales over the past year, marketing the product to builders and developers in particular. “The difficulty there is we’re a new product and building developers don’t like risk — they like products that have been around,” he said.

Nicolov said builders have told him, however, that they have been looking for a product to replace the outdated garburator in new homes.

A series of prototypes have been installed in homes around Victoria, and Nicolov is ­optimistic that it’s just a matter of time before Sepura becomes a must-have for new homes.

The unit can also be installed in older homes as an upgrade. Nicolov said it can be attached to any kitchen sink and does not require a custom build.

The company, which has five employees spread around B.C., is starting to ramp up large-scale manufacturing of the latest model of Sepura at a plant in Ohio.

Nicolov expects they will start shipping before the end of the first fiscal quarter in 2021.

“It’s been a ton of work but it’s super exciting,” he said.

“I can’t wait to get people’s reactions.”

aduffy@timescolonist.com

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