Why Does it Matter?
This month we are focusing on food waste reduction. This is an area of waste reduction in which we could all make a huge impact. Most of us have leftovers, food that our children refuse to eat, and the forgotten foods in the refrigerator. Why not let the worms recycle it for you? That’s right! You can get worms to compost for you right in your home. Redworms are small (2-3 inches long as adults), but they eat about half of their body weight in food scraps each day. A standard sized worm composting bin can hold about a pound (or 1,500) redworms—that means these little guys can turn up to 3.5 pounds of food waste into rich, dark compost every week!
Redworms can eat everything from apple cores and banana peels and potatoes to bread, chips and coffee grounds. You should avoid putting meats, dairy and citrus products in your bin—the worms don’t handle those items very well. Read on to learn more!
What Should You Do?
Here’s how to build your own worm composting bin:
Step 1: Using a drill and a small bit, drill about ten vent holes clustered together in the ends and lid of a standard sized storage tote.
Step 2: Cover the newly drilled holes with some plastic window screening and secure it with duct tape.
Step 3: Fill the bin halfway with shredded newspaper that’s been dipped in lukewarm water and wrung out to feel like a damp sponge. Pull the shredded paper apart so there are lots of spaces between the fibers.
Step 4: Add the worms and some food to the bottom of the bin and cover them with the paper. Remember that they can eat about half a pound of food per day, so feed them accordingly.
Step 5: Watch your worms recycle your food waste into rich compost. In a few months you’ll be able to harvest the compost for your garden or houseplants!
To learn more about vermicomposting or to purchase redworms and supplies, visit these wonderful websites:
Another great resource is a book entitled Worms are Eating My Garbage by Mary Appelhof (the original “Worm Woman”). If you are interested in borrowing a copy of the book from the District, simply contact us via our website or call us at the number below.Also, visit 365EveryDayCounts.com and watch our demonstration video on how to build your own bin.
Since America Recycles Day is November 15th, next month we’ll be focusing in on the basics of recycling. We’ll touch on everything from soda bottles and newspapers to electronics and yard waste. Seasoned recyclers and beginners alike will learn something new! Sign-up to receive this information via email at 365EveryDayCounts.com!