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Worm Composting

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Work composting, or vermicomposting, is a great year-round way to compost in your house, apartment, classroom or office!

To set up a worm composter, you will need some 'red wriggler' worms, which are a type of worm that thrive in leaf litter and organic materials at the soil surface. You can pick up red wrigglers up at the Ecology North office (5013 51st Street; (867) 873-6019) or order them on-line.

How do I start a worm compost bin?

1.  You need a container, such as a plastic Rubbermaid bin, with air holes punched in the lid and sides to allow air flow.

2.  Next, you need some bedding for the worms such as a mixture of shredded newspaper, fallen leaves and/or potting soil.

3.  Feed your worms things like coffee grounds, tea bags, fruit and vegetable peels, egg shells, grains and breads. Never feed your worms things like meat, dairy products, fish, bones, oily food. The worms will eat approximately half their weight in food per week, so put in an appropriate amount and spread it out by burying it in different locations. Always make sure food is buried so it doesn't attract flies or create unwanted odours.

4.  To harvest the worm compost, you can either pick the worms out or don't put food in for a while and then bury some in one corner. All the worms will congregate there and you can harvest the compost that is worm-free.

 Even if you start your worm population with just a few worms, the red wigglers reproduce quickly, so you will be able to watch the population grow and add more food scraps in time.

For more information, see our printable handout on worm composting. It has helpful tips to help you start your own worm composter.

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