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How To Make A Vermicompost Bin (aka Recycling with Worms)
Would you like to RECYCLE using WORMS Yes these little critters are known as “Nature’s Recyclers.” If you’d like to learn how to recycle using WORMS see the following tips:
The BEST worms to use are Red Wigglers!
Given prime conditions, the red wiggler worm can double in population in three months and ingest its own weight or more in food every day.
Make a special BIN where they can do their recycling work!
Here’s What You Need To Build a Happy Worm Home:
- Two Rubbermaid Bins – The bin with the holes is where the worms will live; The second, leak proof bin will catch drainage. The container with the holes will sit inside the sealed bin.
- One Rubbermaid Bin Lid – This lid ensures the habit is closed tightly yet allow air exchange.
- Blocks or Pop Cans – Set the blocks or cans between the two bins, to lift the interior bin and provide airspace and release excess water
- A Drill – Drill small holes on all four sides, the bottom, and in the lid of the bin. This allows allow air to move throughout the worm habitat, supporting the compost process.
- Shredded paper – This is the “bedding” that the worms will live in. You can also use cardboard or other non-coated paper materials.
- Sand/soil – to sprinkle a little in the bedding for “grit”
- Water – The bedding needs to be damp for the worms to move inside easily and do their compost work. Don’t water too much (it will smell or too little, they will dry out). Maintain a moderate moisture level similar to a wrung-out washcloth.
- Fruits and Vegetable Scraps – Keep leftover food scraps in a sealed container (in the fridge to keep fruit flies from forming). Feed the worms your scraps and carefully monitor the bin. Ensure the red wiggler worms can eat the food in a timely manner. Avoid letting the food pile up so the bin does not smell. If no food is added, that is ok! The worms will eat the paper
Have a special location for the worm bin.
The laundry room, basement, or garage is a good spot for a bin. Some people even keep them under the kitchen sink – it really depends on the size of the bin. However, don’t let them get too cold, try to keep them in a location that will never be colder than 50 degrees.
It would be good to put the worms in their new home as soon as possible and not feed right away. Leave them for 24-48 hours to acclimatize to the new location. Then you can feed a little at a time to see how quickly they consume the amount placed inside the bin.
Don’t give them too much light.
They do not like light but must have enough air. If you use something like a Rubbermaid tub you must drill holes, top, bottom, and all sides. We encourage you to use an old GSI Recycle Tub – think reuse!
Do not overfeed the worms.
Remember…as long as you feed them right there is no smell. Give a little and check to see how long it takes them to eat it, which will give you an idea of how much and how often. We found that running scraps through a food processor makes them mushy – just the way worms like their food. Don’t leave food sitting in the bin too long because it gets moldy and they won’t eat it (and it will smell). Also, don’t bother them too much! You can leave them for up to 2 weeks and they will be fine.
Where to get worms:
- Colorado Worm Man – firstname.lastname@example.org
- Happy D Ranch – happydranch.com
- Jolly Farmer – jollyfarmer.com
- Worm Farm – wormfarm.com