The Blanco Solon Compost System is the product of the company, Blanco, considered to be a long-time, industry leader in stainless sinks, faucets and kitchen counters. LoveToKnow Green Living's editor Sally Painter had the opportunity to discuss this innovative system with Tim Maicher, Director of Marketing for Blanco in this exclusive interview.
In 1925, Heinrich Blanc began producing copper galvanized parts to be used in hot water bottles and cookers under the company name, Blanco. 27 years later, Blanco was one of the first companies to produce stainless steel sinks. The company went on to lead the industry in "ergonomically designed" sink system concepts and was the first to manufacture Silacron (quartz-based material) colored sinks. Recently, the company introduced the Solon Compost System.
Blanco Solon Compost System
LoveToKnow (LTK): What inspired Blanco to manufacture the Solon Compost System for kitchens?
Tim Maicher (TM): Solon was inspired by the increase in demand for composting both by consumers and by municipalities around the country who are beginning to collect organic waste versus sending this waste to landfills. Up until now, all composting systems sat either on top of the counter or under the sink. With the Solon, composting can be artfully designed into a countertop nearby the sink and prep area. Composting is built into the design of the kitchen, making it easier and more attractive to compost.
LTK: The stainless steel used in the manufacturing of the Solon compost system is recycled stainless steel, are there other eco-friendly green components? Does Blanco incorporate sustainable manufacturing principles as well?
TM: Blanco has a long tradition of environmental stewardship and our production facilities operate to strict DIN EN ISO 14001 environmental performance standards. We recently won an Innovative Green Design award for Solon as well as for Hydra faucet, which saves 30 percent more water versus other kitchen faucets.
LTK: In addition, the Solon Compost Systems was also given honorable mention in the 2010 KBCulture Awards. Can you explain this recognition to readers and its significance?
TM: KBCULTURE is a selective review of the products, places and perspectives central to kitchen and bath design. International in scope, it is produced by Leslie Clagett, who was the editor-in-chief of Kitchens & Baths magazine for many years.
Different Type of Kitchen Compost System
LTK: How is Solon different from other kitchen composting systems on the market?
TM: Solon is a unique product for the U.S. market. Other composting systems are not integrated into the countertop itself.
How to Install
LTK: The compost stainless steel container is similar to a pail with a handle that simply drops into the counter insert and is covered with a flush-to-the-counter stainless steel lid. How would a customer install this system? Would they need special tools or a carpenter to assist in the installation?
TM: A kitchen designer or counter surface fabricator would know how to install the Solon. As a built-in component of a kitchen it's something that can be added after market, but that most likely would be added in a new kitchen design.
LTK: What are some of the features of the system?
TM: Simple to clean and dishwasher safe, Blanco Solon fits into any countertop with a virtually seamless appearance. Solon's attractive lid offers a hygienic seal that contains odors.
Green Business Practices
You might also be interested in learning that Blanco incorporates eco-friendly manufacturing processes. This begins at the basic level of supplies and raw material. Blanco realizes the importance of supporting eco-friendly businesses when purchasing from vendors. In addition, the company has a commitment to improving their eco-friendly, green business practices by installing such advanced energy-saving systems as their exhaust system that recycles the heat energy back into the plant for powering production processes. The company doesn't use CFC (Chlorofluorocarbons) and CHC (Chlorinated Hydrocarbon ) in their processes.
To help reduce the overall company water consumption, Blanco installed a water-cooling system that allows the company to save 50 percent of the water it uses in production processes. Other savings have been realized through various technology waste-reduction systems such as computerized mixing equipment. The company is most proud of its efforts to reduce its need for oil and reducing its CO2 emissions.
LTK would like to thank Tim Maicher for taking time out of his busy schedule to discuss the Blanco Solon Compost System.