We recently published a post covering the reasons why it’s a good idea to implement a composting program in the workplace.
As a follow on from that piece we thought we’d explore one of the most common composting methods utilized by businesses as its easy to set up an doesn’t require a lot of space. That composting method is worm composting, officially known as vermicomposting.
What makes worm composting (vermicomposting) different to other composting methods?
Vermicomposting utilizes earth worms to eat food waste and leftover food and then turn it into dirt.
This can be done in all kinds of containers, including dresser drawers, fishtanks, plastic or metal boxes, or even old filing cabinets. These can be put on a patio, in front or back of the office, or even in the parking lot.
Here’s how to prepare vermicomposting for your workplace:
To begin, you must first get a few containers of earthworms (fishing supply stores sell them in abundance) and choose the box you wish to set it up in.
It is best to determine the amount of worms you wish to add in advance, so you can know how much you need to feed them. Some vermiculture experts recommend starting out with a smaller amount of worms until the population increases. Mary Appelhof, author of “Worms Eat My Garbage” recommends two pounds of worms (1kg of worms) — approximately 2,000 worms— for every pound per day of food waste. To calculate your household food waste just monitor it for a week and then divide by seven.
Now that you have your worms, you must prepare the bedding which consists of 50 pieces of newspaper (no color print) which are then cut into strips, layered at the bottom of the container.
Dampen the container with water (don’t use too much water).
The bin should be about ¾ full of newspaper and this newspaper should be fluffy and not compacted to produce air for the worms.
Next, sprinkle around 2 to 4 cups of soil on top to introduce beneficial microorganisms to the pile.
Now you can add the worms remembering to supply them with some basic food scraps to get started.
Congratulations! Your composting bin is complete and ready to start supplying you and your coworkers with a trash alternative in no time.If you think worm composting is too difficult (it’s not really) or you just think it’s the ideal composting method for your workplace, another alternative is Bokashi composting. This method of composting doesn’t require worms and is ideal for offices, homes and apartment blocks. To learn more about Bokashi composting click here.