Times Colonist

Vic­to­ria-based de­vice named one of Time’s top 100 in­ven­tions

- AN­DREW A. DUFFY aduffy@times­colonist.com British Columbia · Ohio · Sepura

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.

“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 claims 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.”

 ?? ADRIAN LAM, TIMES COLONIST ?? Vic­tor Ni­colov shows off his Sepura home-com­post­ing sys­tem.
ADRIAN LAM, TIMES COLONIST Vic­tor Ni­colov shows off his Sepura home-com­post­ing sys­tem.

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