SOLUTION 03 / Resource circulation Cycle model

Yanmar’s Composter Recycles Food Waste for a Sustainable Society

Faced with the growing problem of food waste disposal, Yanmar has developed a composter that utilizes proprietary technology to efficiently break down waste food.
The compost left after processing is reused for crop cultivation, contributing to a resource recycling system.


Effective utilization of food waste

The problem of food waste is attracting more and more attention as an area where progress can be made in enriching people's lives. Food waste is both a familiar part of daily life and an important cause of environmental pollution. Broadly speaking, food waste falls into two categories: food loss where food is still edible but is discarded, and food processing residue which is the waste produced during food processing. Japan produces about 25 million tons* of food waste annually with more than 1.3 billion tons of food waste produced globally, every year. Currently, most food waste is treated as industrial waste, but because it contains a lot of water it cannot be incinerated efficiently and a lot of CO2 is emitted with processing costs increasing every year.

Yanmar looked at a resource recycling system to tackle these issues and focused on developing a composter that could reduce the amount and volume of food waste and create an environmentally friendly resource cycle. In addition to reducing the amount of waste, the system has the advantage that the primary products that remain after processing can be reused as compost. The YC100 Bio-composter was developed for the effective use of food waste would towards realizing Yanmar’s goal of a sustainable society.* Estimated amount of food waste generated in 2018 (Ministry of the Environment press release, April 27, 2021)

Amount of food waste


Yanmar's unique technology delivers optimal waste processing.

The YC100 Bio-composter development project started in 2019. The development team surveyed the current state of the composter market and were able to identify the problem of material forming balls in the compost and not decomposing. Research focused on this problem with the team succeeding in developing two new technologies.

The first of these was the Air Direct Injection (ADI). Most conventional mechanical composters employ a system that draws air into the reaction chamber. In the YC100, ambient air is heated and forced into the tank under pressure. Compared to natural aspiration models, in the YC100, the air has greater contact with the agitated material, improving drying efficiency. This required specialized solutions to ensure that the reaction chamber was airtight and free from leaks. Developers were able to reduce the size of the machine to a width of 2,500 mm, a depth of 1,400 mm, and a height of 1,940 mm for more compact installation.

The second technology was Yanmar’s original automatic control and stirring technology. Yanmar’s proprietary stirring claws are based on the shape and arrangement of the claws used in tractor implements. By applying rotary tiller technology to the Bio-composter’s rotary stirrer, developers were able to achieve an even stirring to maintain a stable environment inside the tank. Yanmar also developed a system to optimally control the inside of the tank by automatically weighing material added to the tank and analyzing and controlling factors such as temperature, air volume, stirring speed, and the elapsed time of processing. The program can instruct users to increase the power to encourage drying if the material is heavy, or reduce the power if the material is light. Not only is it easy to use, but it also reduces power consumption.

In addition to these new technologies, hygiene is improved by equipping an activated carbon adsorption type deodorizer that suppresses the odor of food waste during processing. Operation is simple and automatic and users can start the processing cycle with the push of a button.

YC100 stirring claws incorporate tractor implement technology

Waste material is progressively broken down


In the field of food resources,
Yanmar embodies “A SUSTAINABLE FUTURE”.

The YC100 can reduce 100 kg of food residue by approximately 80%* in 24 hours. After treatment, the product can be returned to the soil as a soil activator or as compost after further maturation, reducing disposal cost while considering the environment.
The system is expected to form a crucial component of circular resource recycling in the food industry with food waste from supermarkets and food processing factories transported to recycling centers where it is processed by the YC100. After recycled materials are processed and adjusted at the recycling center, they can be resold as compost and fertilizer products at DIY stores for use in agricultural land as an activator to improve soil and for crop cultivation.

Yanmar exhibited the YC100 at the first FOODtech Japan food factory, restaurant and kitchen automation technology expo, in Osaka March 2022, where it drew widespread attention. The developer will continue to monitor customer use of the YC100, gathering customer feedback and operational data for further development.
With this first step, the YC100 sets Yanmar on the road to building a resource recycling model that will create a sustainable future by effectively utilizing food.

* Value using Yanmar’s testing machine and ordinary food waste.

INTERVIEWYanmar's YC100 for a sustainable society.

* Affiliation is as of March 2022.

Yanmar’s YC100 Bio-composter has been brought to fruition, not only through the development and application of advanced technologies, but also through the selection materials such as bacterial feedstocks, together with business processes such as quality checks, and customer sales. Yanmar’s strength is in implementing a working style in which professionals from multiple departments come together to complete a project.
Project members talked about the challenges in developing the YC100.

(Oversaw selection of bacterial feedstock materials.)
"We need to add a good feedstock consisting of materials like sawdust and wood chips into the composter as a place to live for the bacteria. Until now, there was no standard for judging whether this was good or bad, so we tested each option one by one. It was a steady study, but I was able to make it a convincing level."

(Oversaw technology implementation and quality checks.)
"There are many items to with the implementation of new technology, and it was a battle against time, but it is all wasted things seem ok at first, only to have errors and problems occur later. I carefully checked them so that we could release it to the world with confidence.”

(Oversaw sales activities and future expansion.)
"We will promote sales by fostering a better understanding of the various way in which the YC100 can be used and focusing on the unique selling point of this equipment. With this knowledge, we can make confident and authoritative proposals to customers that optimally meet their needs.”