Aug 28, 2019

Could Your Compost Bin Help Save the World? This Startup Thinks So

Most entrepreneurs find their golden idea in their own backyard. Verner Cardoso found his idea in his compost bin.

“I was making house composting and two things [caught] my attention during the process,” the Brazilian entrepreneur says. “One is the high temperature, and the second, it was taking too much time to be ready. I started to think about how to improve the time using the temperature of the compost.”

RSU Brazil was born.

The company’s mission is to “transform waste management into resources management,” where no waste is sent to landfill. The company’s solution: transforming litter into a contaminant-free stabilized biomass that is converted into usable energy.

Turning waste into energy is increasingly being explored as a sustainable way to divert trash from landfills and create a steady, renewable source of power. RSU’s proprietary process for creating biomass is called RBP, or Rotary Bioding Process. It treats waste loads of any size in environmentally-friendly plants that the company claims offer better efficiency than similar technologies at work in Europe and the U.S. Its first pilot plant turned one tonne of waste into biomass daily.

“We have found a way to build the plants that requires low investment,” Verner says. “The financial modeling is unique, as we really transform waste into resources [and] solve a big problem in a smart way.”

When RSU heard about 100+ Accelerator, a sustainability accelerator by Anheuser-Busch InBev and Highline BETA, they saw a fit. AB InBev, a multinational beverage company, had announced sustainability objectives based on the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals — goals RSU already knew it could address. The company joined the accelerator’s first-ever cohort.

There are two potential applications for RSU’s technology within AB InBev. RSU could construct waste-to-biomass plants, or directly supply biomass for the company’s boilers, which could create a fuel savings of up to 60%.

No matter the outcome, Verner says the accelerator experience has made his company’s future even brighter.

“The mentorship and support are great, the opportunities that are coming, and finally the visibility. If a company like AB InBev believes in our project, certainly others are already looking for us,” Verner says.

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