Video: Whirlpool Studios/Vimeo

Recycling paper, drink cans and plastic packaging is expected in many parts of the world, but recycling food waste isn’t quite as common. Convenience is at least part of the reason. While it’s easy to store empty containers until recycling day, food waste is more difficult to deal with — it can be messy and smelly, and many people simply don’t have a good place to put it.

Enter Zera. Developed by WLabs, the “innovation incubator” of well-known home appliance manufacturer Whirlpool, Zera is a food recycler that reduces food waste by over two-thirds of its original volume within 24 hours. The process is fully automated and incredibly simple, and users can spread the resulting material on their lawn, outdoor plants or garden. Perhaps best of all, Zera was made for the kitchen, and has a sleek design that will look at home even in the most sophisticated of spaces.

While similar home recyclers exist, WLabs says Zera is unique in a number of ways. For one thing, other home recyclers take about a week to process food waste and produce less uniform fertilizer. Zera also uses an additive that helps it progress food decomposition further than other food recyclers. What’s more, unlike some food recyclers, Zera has few restrictions on the types of food it can accept — it can even take meat and dairy.

Think that sounds good? You’re not the only one. Since launching on January 6th, Zera has raised over $300,000 on Indiegogo from nearly 450 backers. If you do the math, that’s more than 600 percent more than WLabs’ goal of $50,000 — talk about exceeding expectations.

Even so, it’s not too late to get in on the action. WLabs is still taking preorders for Zera units on Indiegogo, and while many early-bird specials have been snapped up, units can still be purchased for a discounted price of $999. The package includes a Zera unit, a starter Zera additive pack and air filter, plus a free month’s supply of Zera additive.

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