Worm Composting: I've Finally Gone and Done It
What is vermicomposting, you ask? According to wormwoman.com it is "a system for turning food waste into potting soil with the help of worms."
I know it sounds a little crazy, but indoor worm composting means producing less waste and using fewer plastic garbage bags--two things I really want to do to help the environment. For apartment dwellers, it may also be less likely to annoy your landlord than other composting methods, like the compost tumbler I tried to use, since he or she will probably never know about it.
To create my bin, I bought a few used, plastic bins off of Craigslist and used the following great instructional video by the Compost Guy.
After creating my bin, I started collecting my food scraps in a cut-off milk carton and storing them in the freezer. I also put in an online order for some red wiggler worms to the Compost Guy, the creator of the video.
The worms arrived to my office several days later (my apolgoies to our receptionist!).
When I opened the box, I was happy to see that they were still alive and wriggling around, despite spending a few extra days at the post office due to the rather strange workings of the Chicago postal service.
Once I got my worms home, I added my food scraps to my recently created bin, dumped in the worms, and closed up the bin (all according to the instructions, of course).
And that's it. Now I've got an active vermicomposter that is turning my food waste into soil. It's amazing.
And so far it doesn't smell or have any fruit flies, although, on occasion, it probably will in the future. But that's okay. There is tons of information on the internet on maintaining and troubleshooting worm bins, and working through the problems will be well worth it in the end.
For now though, everything is perfect, and I'm hoping it stays that way, at least for a little while!
(Note: For the small amount of garbage I produce, I use Seventh Generation bags made from 55% recycled plastic).