How To Turn Your Waste into Soil: Vermi-Composting
Have you ever thought of recycling your trash? That's right, through vermicomposting you are able to turn your waste into rich soil. Vermicomposting, also known as worm composting or redworming, uses worms to breakdown organic waste! These red worms graze thrive on the microbial community that colonizes waste materials. Thus breaking down waste and turning into soil.
In order to start this process in your own house you will need to closely consider four major things :
1. What are you keeping your worms in? There are many options of where you can store your worms:
- The cheapest option would be a basic 71 quart latching tote or bin. More emphasis is put on the surface area than the depth of the bin as surface area allows for greater oxygenation and provides the red worms with more room to spread out.
- An ideal color would be an opaque shade. Making sure it is not clear or see through is important as red worms are very sensitive to direct light.
2. What type of bedding will you use for the worms? Composting worms require both food and a habitat to live in.
- Materials that are able to hold high levels of moisture are recommended, such as: shredded newspaper, shredded cardboard, cut up egg cartons, fall leaves, etc.
- It is highly recommended that you mix new bedding materials with moist food waste to sit for about a week prior to adding the composting worms. This allows for moisture to make its way throughout the materials in the bin while also creating a great environment for the worms' arrival.
3. What waste is safe to feed the worms? Since most people station their worm bin in their own homes, most food scraps and leftovers are acceptable. However, not all waste materials are able to be used. When it comes to picking out what to feed your composting worms, basic guidelines suggest:
- DO provide vegetable and fruit waste, starchy materials (i.e. bread, potatoes, pasta), egg shells, coffee, grounds, tea bags, etc.
- DO NOT feed your composting worms any feces of any sort, dairy or meat, oils or grease, harsh chemicals, or other non biodegradable materials.
4. Where can I find these worms?
- The easiest way to start composting is to purchase these worms online. There are a wide variety of vendors who safely farm worms. It's best to shop around as purchasing worms can be expensive. However, beginning with one pound of worms will quickly turn into a large and thriving population of worms for your composting bin. You can find places to purchase composting worms simply by googling Eisenia fetida or Red Worms.
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