Thursday, May 31, 2012

Home Composting with Red Worms

It's been 12 months since I started tracking the amount of waste my red wigglers are eating in my home worm bins.  I have other worm bins, but I've only been tracking the volume composted in my personal bins.

Worms Eat My Garbage: How to Set Up and Maintain a Worm Composting SystemIn case you haven't been following along as I updated the totals (see the right hand column) throughout the year, the total newsprint, cardboard, and kitchen waste has passed 320 lbs.  To put that figure in perspective, that's nearly the weight two average sized human adults.  And in case you're still not impressed, let me shed some more light on those figures.

I've put 320 lbs into the worm bins.  Assuming an 8:1 reduction ratio, that 320 lbs of garbage has been composted by my red wigglers into a resulting 40 lbs give or take of worm castings that I have used as a soil amendment in my backyard garden, in our flower beds, and in a dead patch of my front lawn. And this was achieved by a starting amount of 1 lb of red wigglers.

As a further illustration of the power of red wigglers (and why you might want to consider using them to compost your own kitchen, cardboard, and newspaper waste, suppose 10 households started a vermicomposting program like mine. Those figures above can be multiplied to 3,000 lbs of garbage and a resulting 400 lbs of worm castings. One hundred households vermicomposting their household waste multiplies to 30,000 lbs of garbage saved from the landfill. 

If you've ever wondered how you can make an impact to help improve the environment, have fun, and learn something new at the same time; I hope I've demonstrated why red wigglers might be a nice place to start.

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