A Revolutionary Alternative To Tradititional Composting (Win!)

November 16, 2021

There’s a new composter in town, and it’s not the mucky, icky, smelly outdoor bin you might be imagining. Odourless and quiet, Tero easily and quickly transforms food waste into a rich and natural fertilizer that nourishes your plants, lawn, and vegetable garden in just a few hours, indoors and on your kitchen countertop. Best: it’s a Canadian brand! Second best: it won’t mess up your décor! We chatted with founders Elizabeth Coulombe and Valérie Laliberté to find out more. —Noa Nichol

Hello ladies! Please tell us a bit about yourselves to start.

We are two friends from university who decided to work together for our final product design project at Université Laval. Both concerned about the environment, we decided to start our company to bring the product we created during our studies to more people and provide a solution to the challenges of home composting. Passionate, determined, and ambitious, we are now two women entrepreneurs motivated to revolutionize food waste management in every household in the world.

When and why did you create Tero? What aim were/are you aiming to fill?

We created Tero during the last year of our bachelor’s degree. For our final project, we decided to solve an environmental problem. We chose composting because we didn’t have an easy solution to compost our food waste at home. In our city, we didn’t have municipal collection, and in an apartment, we didn’t have outdoor space. We realized that we weren’t alone, other people had the same problem and couldn’t compost either even though they are concerned about the environment. After interviews with waste control experts, brainstorming sessions, sketching, and prototyping, the result was the Tero food recycler, an easy and clean solution for every household.

How does Tero work? What makes it different from traditional (and even other modern) composting methods?

Tero is an award winning, innovative, countertop, electronic composting device for every household. The process is very simple. You can put all your food waste into the device throughout the week. When it’s full, you just push a button, and the appliance does everything for you. The result is ready to use fertilizer to feed any of your green spaces. Tero makes composting easier and more accessible for those who are limited by municipal services or the lack green spaces available and are deeply committed to contributing to a greener and more eco-responsible future.

Tero natural fertilizer and compost are similar since both amendments are from the processing of organic matter. Both solutions are beneficial for soil and plants because they provide organic matter and essential nutrients. However, there are differences in the transformation method and in the outcome. Composting is a biological process requiring the input of microorganisms for its transformation, which is not the case with the Tero device that operates by a completely automated process. Tero produces an organic matter, rich in nutrients that is especially great for plant growth. The result of composting is a product that contains less nutrients than fertilizer. Tero fertilizer can be used alone or together with compost matter.

In that vein, in creating Tero, what were some of the biggest hurdles/challenges you faced (both in the process and the actual invention of the machine) and how did you overcome/solve them (tell us about the odour issue!)

The first major challenge we faced was financial. When we finished our bachelor’s degree, we had no money to start our company and develop the technology of our product concept. We participated in many student contests and raised funds to turn our dream into reality. The financial challenge was solved by the great respond from our backers during our crowdfunding campaign in 2019, when we raised over $1.75 million.

Our next big challenge was to develop our product with the high-quality standard we wanted for our food recycler. Creating an appliance that controls all types of odours from all food waste under all conditions was a major challenge because there are no odour engineers. However, after many months of testing, we are very proud to have a completely odourless unit. Tero uses a fully sealed lid plus an innovative two-stage filtration system that easily removes any smells.

Finally, the pandemic was certainly a challenge in launching our production. We have had to overcome many challenges in procurement and transportation.

What can and can’t we put in our Tero machines? Are there any top dos and don’ts you can share with us?

Tero reduces food waste volume by 95 per cent including leftovers including:

  • Fruit and vegetable trimmings (including peels)
  • Cereals, grains, nuts (without shells) and legumes
  • Eggs and eggshells
  • Coffee grounds and the interior of tea pouches
  • Solid dairy products, such as cheese
  • Meat
  • Avocado pits
  • Corn cobs

All these foods are very easy to process and beneficial for soil and plants, because of all the nutrients they contain. Tero is equipped with patented dual blade technology that can speed up the grinding process, turning food waste to fertilizer in as little as three hours. The robust system can even break down small chicken bones (thigh bones, wings, or carcass) and fish bones. The device stands out from several other organic waste recycling solutions because it can also process raw meat and fish. Our patented drying technology emits heat high enough to destroy all human-damaging pathogens found in this type of food.

There are very few foods that cannot be processed by Tero. Foods like beef bones, walnut shells or peach pits, which are rock hard. The great thing is even if you put one of these items in by mistake, Tero will detect it and stop the process until it’s removed!

Some tips for getting the best fertilizer and an optimal cycle include:

  • Adding a variety of foods to each cycle
  • Using moist foods such as whole fruit and vegetables, sweet food, and starchy food in smaller quantities
  • Cutting fibrous foods (banana peels, green onions, asparagus, celery, etc.) into smaller pieces before placing in the Tero

When organic waste when it is not recycled in homes or by municipalities, it is sent to landfills or to be incinerated. Tero aims to help reduce this footprint through our solution to the food waste challenges many of us face in our home. Besides the technology, which is unlike anything on the market, Tero also offers a large bin, so you can recycle more at one time and WIFI connectivity for those who want to integrate Tero as part of their smart home system.

Who is Tero for?

Tero is for anyone who wants to reduce their footprint and do their part for the environment but feels helpless when faced with the lack of options for recycling their food waste at home. Tero makes food recycling easy and accessible to those who are limited by municipal services or lack of available green space and who are deeply committed to contributing to a greener, more environmentally responsible future.

What is your ultimate goal with Tero?

With Tero, our vision is global. We want to change the behaviour of people, by encouraging them to take this small step to accomplish the bigger goal of reducing food waste.

We are now available throughout North America. In the near future, Tero products will be available in Europe and gradually worldwide. As an innovative company, we plan to expand the Tero brand to offer more eco-friendly and innovative products.

Final, personal question: what’s the best thing you’ve grown using Tero-made compost?

With all the testing we have done during product development, we have been lucky to use Tero fertilizer for almost two years now. We have been using and sharing this fertilizer with our friends and family and have seen great results in their gardens and plants. With the Tero fertilizer, we can see that the plants are much fuller, and the leaves of the plants are bigger. During our user tests during product development, one of our testers had revived a plant that had almost died thanks to the addition of the fertilizer she had created with her Tero prototype at that time.

Win! A $595 Tero Composter!

Congrats Georgina S. of North Vancouver, BC, who will receive a $595 Tero composter! Please note: if you are the winner, you will receive a DM (direct message) on Instagram directly from Please be wary of fake accounts, which often use similar handles with an extra or missing letter, number or symbol. We will never ask for a payment or for your credit card number, and we will never ask you to click through a link. If you are unsure whether you have been contacted, via Instagram, by us or a fake account, email us before responding.


  1. Jennifer B

    November 17th, 2021 at 9:10 am

    I have 6 vegetable gardens and 3 flower gardens. I started growing Dahlias this year and they are amazing. Would have some amazing veg and flowers with this addition and save on buying any compost. @niferbrad

  2. Vanessa LeBlanc

    November 17th, 2021 at 9:19 am

    I hope that using the term fertilizer will help me grow better tomatoes and herbs. Might event try a different veggie!

  3. Vanessa LeBlanc

    November 17th, 2021 at 9:19 am

    I hope that using the term fertilizer will help me grow better tomatoes and herbs. Might event try a different veggie! @vanessaleblanc99

  4. Danielle Boileau

    November 17th, 2021 at 9:27 am

    For our gardens, both greenery and food. It would also help to further educate our kids about protecting the earth, growing our own food, and, reducing waste. 💚@dannyleah

  5. Luc Lafreniere

    November 17th, 2021 at 9:28 am

    Tomatoes @tithe01

  6. Amber olak

    November 17th, 2021 at 9:28 am

    I would use it for my garden


  7. Sylvie Carpentier

    November 17th, 2021 at 9:28 am

    Vegetables @tithe3

  8. Beatrice Hamel

    November 17th, 2021 at 9:30 am

    Garden and house plants!!!
    To have one would make me a really happy agronomist 😍
    IG: bea.triceratops

  9. Heather Brown

    November 17th, 2021 at 9:34 am

    I would use for my garden

  10. Amie Rand

    November 17th, 2021 at 9:56 am

    Oh I love this , I’m so glad something like this exists. I would definitely use it for my veggie + fruit planter boxes, oh do they need some love !

  11. Velma Sandry

    November 17th, 2021 at 9:59 am

    I am starting a balcony garden in the spring so this would be perfect! Composting is something I learned from my parents many years ago. The results were a very bountiful harvest and very proud parents. @velmasandry

  12. Cristina Alabado

    November 17th, 2021 at 9:59 am

    I would use it for my planter box on my balcony, where I grow herbs and vegetables @bubblechair

  13. Debbie Flynn

    November 17th, 2021 at 9:59 am

    I would use it for composting in the garden. @missycat11

  14. Moira

    November 17th, 2021 at 10:05 am

    My parents garden 😍

  15. Kerry Lyder

    November 17th, 2021 at 10:35 am

    I inherited my great grandfathers rose bush and I would use the fertilizer to help keep it health and strong!

  16. Florence Cochrane

    November 17th, 2021 at 10:36 am

    This would be exciting to win. I would use it on flowers and veggies. @fossie55

  17. Kristy @klscuts

    November 17th, 2021 at 11:00 am

    This would be amazing for my summer garden, indoor plants and winter microgreens 😍

  18. Sara Alfred

    November 17th, 2021 at 11:37 am

    Our husband is a green thumb and grows the most amazing things in our gardens I would love to use this for them!

  19. Sandra

    November 17th, 2021 at 11:42 am

    At the cabin for our garden bed, as we can’t have a traditional composter due to the bears!

  20. John Allison

    November 17th, 2021 at 2:33 pm

    We can two large gardens that could use this. One at home and one at the community gardens

  21. Mylaine

    November 17th, 2021 at 2:37 pm

    It’s hard to be able to compost in a condo and my house plants could benefit from all the natural nutrient coming from this gem! Love IT! @Mylaine_m

  22. pnina

    November 17th, 2021 at 2:43 pm

    use for my garden !!

  23. Janet M

    November 17th, 2021 at 2:51 pm

    I would use it for my veggie plants. @asherares

  24. Tracey

    November 17th, 2021 at 3:01 pm

    I would use the fertilizer for my house plants and garden. @t_insta_gram

  25. Sandra Lebeau

    November 17th, 2021 at 3:08 pm

    I have lots of flower gardens and a vegetable garden so the fertilizer will be put to very good use.

  26. Kenneth H

    November 17th, 2021 at 3:22 pm

    To fertilize my indoor herb plants.

  27. Rose

    November 17th, 2021 at 3:29 pm

    For my roses


  28. Sarah

    November 17th, 2021 at 4:07 pm

    I just carved out a massive garden for next year and I live rural so I’m seeking ways it eliminate the compost smell because of the bears. This would be great to try out!

  29. Caroline

    November 17th, 2021 at 6:17 pm

    I would keep that Tero on my countertop to keep me motivated to compost and prevent those pesky odours ! What a great contest 😍 @muamontreal on Instagram

  30. Vanessa Ripley

    November 17th, 2021 at 6:44 pm

    My flowerbeds!!

  31. M Liz Beisel

    November 17th, 2021 at 6:54 pm

    I would love this to have for my garden flowers!

  32. Anne Tam

    November 17th, 2021 at 7:43 pm

    I would use the fertilizer on my balcony planter boxes. @jcont1234

  33. Candice Young

    November 17th, 2021 at 9:36 pm

    I’d love to create this fertilizer and use it on my veggie garden as well as my indoor plants!

  34. Amanda

    November 18th, 2021 at 5:00 am

    I would fertilize a garden

  35. Carolyn M

    November 18th, 2021 at 6:00 am

    Definitely use that compost for all our potted flowers next spring!

  36. Tabby72

    November 18th, 2021 at 7:04 am

    I’d use this for my veggie garden! @tabby_1972

  37. Danny Maibroda

    November 18th, 2021 at 8:30 am

    I would add the fertilizer to our outdoor gardens. This is a nice prize. Thanks for the opportunity! @maibdan

  38. Ranjt

    November 18th, 2021 at 9:37 am

    I would use this to add fertilizer for my lil garden.


  39. Gurpreet

    November 18th, 2021 at 9:38 am

    For my vegetable 🌶 garden.


  40. Gurpreet

    November 18th, 2021 at 9:39 am

    I would use for my vegetable 🌶 garden.


  41. Hester

    November 18th, 2021 at 10:24 am

    I don’t actually have a garden or even indoor plants but I would give the fertilizer to my parents. They have a community garden there so I am sure their neighbors would love it.
    Ig handle @dordorjuu

  42. Denise L

    November 18th, 2021 at 10:43 am

    Perfect for growing more veggies and herbs in the garden!

  43. Jeanette Jackson

    November 18th, 2021 at 11:01 am

    I would use the fertilizer on my flower beds-instagram handle @lindahl2019

  44. Juliee Fitze

    November 18th, 2021 at 12:23 pm

    Would use the fertilizer for my veggie garden.

  45. Anna R

    November 18th, 2021 at 12:24 pm

    I would use the compost in my garden @all__rock

  46. Melanie Camirand

    November 18th, 2021 at 12:42 pm

    I would use it in my raised beds garden.
    IG : @melcamirand3

  47. Kay L Abbott

    November 18th, 2021 at 1:04 pm

    I would use it on my tomatoe plants @kay_Abbott13

  48. Debbie S.

    November 18th, 2021 at 1:37 pm

    I would use this fertilizer to fertilize my tomato plants. I am @debfifitter on IG

  49. Kiriakitsa

    November 18th, 2021 at 1:52 pm

    I would use this “Gold” in my vegetable garden!

  50. Susan B

    November 18th, 2021 at 3:01 pm

    I would use the fertilizer for my garden 🪴

  51. Wendy Hutton

    November 18th, 2021 at 5:55 pm

    I would love this for my house plants @wghutton

  52. Irene

    November 18th, 2021 at 6:34 pm

    My house plants @ireneeichler

  53. Mary Davies

    November 18th, 2021 at 8:01 pm

    Want one desperately, to save on fertiliser and compost costs for myy veggie garden. makes so much sense, our community does collects organics weekly but I’d love to have my own source. I ordered one I saw online, which, yes, was cheaper, supposedly on special, received a hand towel and ghosted when |I complained. Thanks for the chance.

  54. Jill MacAulay

    November 18th, 2021 at 8:26 pm

    I would use the fertilizer for my flower beds – following on IG @jillmacaulay8883

  55. Debbie Peters

    November 18th, 2021 at 8:56 pm

    Omg, this is Amazing! Totally love this product! I would most definitely use the fertilizer for my veggie garden that myself and my 4 yr old grand daughter has grown alot of our own vegetables.

  56. Joanne Elford

    November 18th, 2021 at 10:05 pm

    My mom would love this for her garden. 💚
    IG @onemistycat

  57. Talwinder Mangat

    November 18th, 2021 at 10:19 pm

    I would use it in my garden


  58. Christine De Medeiros

    November 18th, 2021 at 11:43 pm

    I would use fertilizer for strawberries

  59. Tracy

    November 19th, 2021 at 12:51 am

    I would use the fertilizer for my garden

  60. Luzy

    November 19th, 2021 at 2:46 am

    I would use this for my garden. I like sustainable living so my garden will thrive using natural way, eco-friendly way of composting too. Great addition to my counteetop because it’s a modern design. Our family loves to cook so it’s very handy. Will be a great conversation piece.

  61. Rachel C.

    November 19th, 2021 at 5:11 am

    Would use as fertilizer for my vegetable garden in my backyard!

    @seafoodmwg on ig

  62. MaryM

    November 19th, 2021 at 2:05 pm

    for my small garden @maryandcedar

  63. Gayle B

    November 19th, 2021 at 4:47 pm

    We’ve moved to an area with a lot of rock and poor soil, and my first attempt at being self sufficient in supplying my family with vegetables was a huge failure, despite amending the soil. I think that this would really help improve my soil quality & therefore my success at growing our own veggies. I also love the fact that we would not be filling a green bin every week. Thank you.

  64. Gayle B

    November 19th, 2021 at 5:00 pm

    sorry, posted without IG name: @gayle.winds
    We’ve moved to an area with a lot of rock and poor soil, and my first attempt at being self sufficient in supplying my family with vegetables was a huge failure, despite amending the soil. I think that this would really help improve my soil quality & therefore my success at growing our own veggies. I also love the fact that we would not be filling a green bin every week. Thank you.

  65. Tracy

    November 19th, 2021 at 6:16 pm

    Perfect for my 2 veggie gardens and all my flower gardens and pots. Also great for my indoor pots.

  66. Micheal Dirk

    November 19th, 2021 at 8:05 pm

    Could use this in my raised garden beds.

  67. Taz

    November 19th, 2021 at 8:47 pm

    An indoor and outdoor vegetable and herb garden! @shag_ragdoll

  68. Amanda Masters

    November 20th, 2021 at 7:00 am

    I would use this for my gardens that keep getting bigger and bigger year after year. Loving them.

  69. Pearl

    November 20th, 2021 at 7:47 am

    I recently started my garden, the pandemic era made me appreciate more the benefits of healthy eating. This would definitely come in handy in nurturing my seedlings into 🪴 🌱 as well as food for my family. @pearlsreview_

  70. Paula

    November 20th, 2021 at 8:31 am

    Would love to use the fertilizer for all my plant babies! 💚🪴 @paustachio

  71. Stephen Cardon

    November 20th, 2021 at 12:36 pm

    We would love to use this at our cabin, where the bears don’t allow us to have an outdoor one. We would use it to grow peas in our raised garden beds for my wife who is obsessed!

  72. Sean Ash

    November 20th, 2021 at 6:35 pm

    Our vegetable garden
    We just stated gardening during the pandemic
    IG handle @adiehardjetsfan

  73. Debbie Bashford

    November 22nd, 2021 at 6:19 am

    would use in my vegetable gardens @skeetersden

  74. Tammy Klym-Wolfe

    November 22nd, 2021 at 6:51 am

    Would use this at the lake. All of this normally has to go in the garbage there so this would be great for our vegetables that we are growing!

  75. Amber Hanson

    November 22nd, 2021 at 7:29 am

    I love that Tero makes odourless, indoor composting easier and more accessible for those who are limited by municipal services. We live in Kelowna, BC and currently do not have a convenient, cost effective way to dispose of our food waste. We have to collect it in compost bags and pay to have it disposed of by a local re-use store.

  76. Amber Hanson

    November 22nd, 2021 at 7:31 am

    IG handle for comment above is @amberdhanson

  77. Kimberley C

    November 22nd, 2021 at 8:12 am

    I’d use the fertilizer in my garden and for all my plants! @kimmiecapp

  78. Travelbuds

    November 22nd, 2021 at 8:55 am

    I would use it to fertilize my veggie garden. @travelbuds2009

  79. Elizabeth Bryan

    November 22nd, 2021 at 10:01 am

    I would love to win this machine to be able to compost at home and use the results on my house plants and potted outdoor plants in summer!! @lizzielou50

  80. Gloria Webber

    November 22nd, 2021 at 12:50 pm

    This is an amazing device! I would use the fertilizer on my exotic houseplants and special flowers in my garden!

  81. Sarah J

    November 22nd, 2021 at 1:45 pm

    I would use this for my garden and flower beds. This would be so great for adding nutrients to the soil.

  82. Joanna Lee

    November 22nd, 2021 at 2:55 pm

    I would use it for less carbon footprint and helping my garden, both edible and non-edible. I think it is important to try and preserve the future for generations.

  83. Joanna Lee

    November 22nd, 2021 at 2:56 pm

    IG: @violinistjo

  84. Xu Liang Li

    November 22nd, 2021 at 6:51 pm

    For my garden! @liangliangcanada

  85. John Leung

    November 22nd, 2021 at 10:12 pm

    We have an organic garden in the yard. Our kids have been helping us since they were little and know where their food comes from. This would be a fantastic addition to help them do their part with waste, teach others and carry the knowledge for their own family.

  86. Michelle Holigroski

    November 23rd, 2021 at 5:21 am

    This looks amazing & I love that it’s odourless. Thanks so much for this chance to win. I would use this for my house plants (a jungle) and garden. @miss_elles

  87. Tiesha Dorleans

    November 23rd, 2021 at 1:36 pm

    For my indoor plants. SweetTD93

  88. Mary Danieli

    November 23rd, 2021 at 5:16 pm

    I have a few of my late Mother’s calla lillies potted in a few outdoor planters. They could use the extra nutrition from my food waste.

  89. Lianne

    November 23rd, 2021 at 8:56 pm

    For my house plants and vegetable garden


  90. Yung L

    November 24th, 2021 at 8:09 pm

    I’d use it to fertilize my flowers

  91. Ming K

    November 24th, 2021 at 8:25 pm

    I’d use the fertilizer for my garden patch @squirmer03

  92. Pepper

    November 24th, 2021 at 10:30 pm

    @pepperout on Instagram
    Answer on Instagram: I’d use the fertilizer to revitalize my flower beds as they kind of fell the way side this year while taking care of my mum. Now that she’s on the mend I’d like to be able to have some stunning floral to keep her positive mood up.

  93. Jinx

    November 24th, 2021 at 10:39 pm

    I’d use it for the small indoor garden I have to get some decent fresh veggies hopefully thru the winter months. @jinxdrop

  94. Vie

    November 24th, 2021 at 10:44 pm

    Use it for garden, flower beds and indoor herb garden.

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