Taylor McCarten came up with his latest idea while taking care of his parents’ house while they were on vacation. Upon opening the compost bin he was met with a foul stench and a swarm of fruit flies.
“Lots of Canadians don’t compost and it’s for the simple reason that it smells bad and comes with a lot of flies,” he said.
It inspired the Victoria entrepreneur to create BinBreeze – a product that makes compost bins smell like lavender and reduces the number of fruit flies.
His father, who is a carpenter, happened to have a significant amount of sawdust available and McCarten first solved the fly problem using that. There was still the problem of smell. McCarten tested various scents to solve for this but the process was not a pleasant one.
“If you want to test someone’s commitment to the environment have them experiment with multiple compost bins in their bedroom for a while,” he said. He settled on lavender as the best scent to mask the compost odors – completing his creation.
At the time, he was doing his MBA at the University of Victoria. With some help from his professors, he started larger-scale production and distribution.
BinBreeze is now sold online and in various retail locations in Victoria. The product has been so successful that McCarten left his job to pursue the project full time.