To help prevent foul odors emitting from trash cans, a Japanese company is selling trash cans that freeze garbage.
Nakanishi Kinzoku Kogyo has designed a product called “Clean Box” that stores garbage at -11 Celsius (12 degrees Fahrenheit), killing the bacteria that produces odors. The company first thought of the idea in 2017 after discovering that several households were keeping their garbage in freezers or refrigerators to prevent smells from emitting throughout the house.
The lead developer of the Clean Box team, Nagasaki Riku, explained that foul odors from diapers are eliminated at a temperature of -10 degrees Celsius. In 2016, a survey done by Bell Maison Desse found that one in five people have tried storing their garbage bags in freezers or refrigerators, and one in five continue to do so.
The company encountered challenges while designing the trash can as it had to accommodate air flow, coolant and condensation within a tight and compact space. In 2019, Nakanishi Kinzoku Kogyo released 100 Clean Boxes which sold out almost instantly. Due to popular demand, a crowdfunding campaign in April raised over 40 million yen (approximately $292,736).
“There were some challenges, but first of all it was very difficult to find an outside partner to co-develop a refrigerator and freezer together. The technology used in refrigerators and freezers has been around for a long time, but the engineers are surrounded by major home appliance makers,” Nagasaki said.
The product is now being sold in various major appliance stores across Japan including Futakotamagawa Tsutaya Home Appliances and the Bic Camera Yurakucho store. Reservations to buy the product are being accepted and will be shipped sometime in July.
The product can also be used for other purposes including storage where buyers can keep clothes and towels inside the Clean Box to keep them cold as well as makeup and camera films.
Clean Boxes are sold for around 48,180 yen (approximately $353) and can hold up to 20 liters (5 gallons), which is about 30 diapers or six “medium” sized garbage bags. The product measures 69 by 23 by 44 centimeters (27 by 9 by 17 inches) and uses an average of nine yen’s (approximately $0.06) worth of electricity a day.
Feature Image via Nakanishi Kinzoku Kogyo