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Topic: Vermicomposting Bin (Worm Bin)  (Read 4833 times)
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astamour
« on: December 21, 2008 12:16:51 PM »

I started out making one vermicomposting bin for my office's charity auction.  I made another for our break room.  


The worm bin craze is catching on among my office mates and so far eight of these bins have found good homes.  Worm composting is a great way to manage your food scraps indoors, especially in colder climates like mine where the outdoor compost pile isn't active during the winter months.

This particular bin is an 18 gallon storage tub with added ventilation tube and screened vent holes.  It will process about 2 pounds of food per week into compost.

Thanks for the nice comments.

NerdyCrochetGal : Commercial worm bins can cost about as much as an outdoor composter.  I took a plastic storage bin (It seems like Kmart has the least expensive ones where I live - well, I haven't checked at the other -mart b/c I don't go there)  There are a few books on vermicomposting that you can check out and also a lot of online resources.  I read "Worms Eat My Garbage" my Mary Appelhof (sp?)  and checked a bunch of web sites.  The site www.vermicomposters.com is a community site full of composters willing to give good advice.  (They also have a pretty cool map where you can add the location of your wom bin)

ANYWAY,    (1) get your storage bin.  18 gallons is a good size, but if you want it to live under your counter, you might want a 12 gallon.

2.  cut some lenghts of 3/4" PVC (for water or conduit, doesn't matter), and drill holes in the bin so the pvc will fit through.  Push the lengths through and drill smalled holes in the PVC.  This provides ventilation inside the compost.  Try to space them out so you will have equal ventilation.  Ex: divide the length of your bin by four, place the pvc that distance from each end.

3.  Drill a few more big holes in the lid.  This will ventilate the air space above the compost.  Another style I made had a ridged lid so I put these holes near the top, but on the side of the bin.

4.  Cut regular window screen to fit over the PVC opening and the lid vents.  Hot glue the sreen over the holes.  You need the screen to keep fruit flies out of your bin. 

5.  Check for other holes that may have already existed on your bin.  Sometimes there are small holes in the handles.  Seal those up with hot clue, duct tape, etc.

That's how I made my bin.  There are many other styles, I've even seen pictures of some worm bags made out of fleece on a frame.  Once you have your bin you can order your worms and get composting.  Have fun!
« Last Edit: March 23, 2011 11:52:02 AM by PixieVal » THIS ROCKS   Logged

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DebsGardens
« Reply #1 on: December 21, 2008 12:23:02 PM »

Very Cool!  I have been vermicomposting for about 2 years now .. a bit tricky at first, but once you get the hang of it ... it's great!  The worm castings are excellent for all your plants....way to go!
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NerdyCrochetGal
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« Reply #2 on: January 06, 2009 08:46:17 AM »

Oh neat. I have been looking for a cost effective way to start composting, since the idea was to cut down on waste and save money. (spending $180 on a composter seemed counter productive) How did you make this?? I definitely think I need to pick up a book on vermicomposting!
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astamour
« Reply #3 on: January 06, 2009 02:35:06 PM »

Thanks for the nice comments.

NerdyCrochetGal : Commercial worm bins can cost about as much as an outdoor composter.  I took a plastic storage bin (It seems like Kmart has the least expensive ones where I live - well, I haven't checked at the other -mart b/c I don't go there)  There are a few books on vermicomposting that you can check out and also a lot of online resources.  I read "Worms Eat My Garbage" my Mary Appelhof (sp?)  and checked a bunch of web sites.  The site www.vermicomposters.com is a community site full of composters willing to give good advice.  (They also have a pretty cool map where you can add the location of your wom bin)

ANYWAY,    (1) get your storage bin.  18 gallons is a good size, but if you want it to live under your counter, you might want a 12 gallon.

2.  cut some lenghts of 3/4" PVC (for water or conduit, doesn't matter), and drill holes in the bin so the pvc will fit through.  Push the lengths through and drill smalled holes in the PVC.  This provides ventilation inside the compost.  Try to space them out so you will have equal ventilation.  Ex: divide the length of your bin by four, place the pvc that distance from each end.

3.  Drill a few more big holes in the lid.  This will ventilate the air space above the compost.  Another style I made had a ridged lid so I put these holes near the top, but on the side of the bin.

4.  Cut regular window screen to fit over the PVC opening and the lid vents.  Hot glue the sreen over the holes.  You need the screen to keep fruit flies out of your bin. 

5.  Check for other holes that may have already existed on your bin.  Sometimes there are small holes in the handles.  Seal those up with hot clue, duct tape, etc.

That's how I made my bin.  There are many other styles, I've even seen pictures of some worm bags made out of fleece on a frame.  Once you have your bin you can order your worms and get composting.  Have fun!
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NerdyCrochetGal
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« Reply #4 on: January 07, 2009 10:35:07 PM »

Thank you so much I went and signed up for vermicomposting.com!!! I have been wanting to start composting my biodegradable garbage for a while, but unfortunately it being the middle of winter it's not really possible unless I move the operation inside.

Thanks so much for the tips!! Although I do have a question, does the bin have to be opaque? Or can I get one of those bins that you can sort of see through, cause I think my son would really get a kick out of being able to see the worms. Although for the most part I am going to try and keep it in a cupboard, where it stays a nice even temp.

Thanks again! I am so excited to track down some books and get stuff together.
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« Reply #5 on: January 07, 2009 11:53:01 PM »

thanks for the info!  that's a great project!
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astamour
« Reply #6 on: January 12, 2009 03:06:54 PM »


Thanks so much for the tips!! Although I do have a question, does the bin have to be opaque? Or can I get one of those bins that you can sort of see through, cause I think my son would really get a kick out of being able to see the worms. Although for the most part I am going to try and keep it in a cupboard, where it stays a nice even temp.
.


I think a clear bin would be okay.  I don't know if the plastic is more brittle, so be careful when drilling. 
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tomico
« Reply #7 on: January 29, 2009 08:15:14 AM »

I think I read that red worms try to stay away from the light so they may just tunnel away from the outside area. maybe you could put the clear bin inside an opaque and pull it out to show your son. That could get heavy after a while though. The worms do stay fairly close to the surface when it's dark so opening the lid periodically may be just as productive. I don't know; I just have the book. I haven't started my bin yet.
Tomico
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« Reply #8 on: January 29, 2009 04:38:35 PM »

I started out vermicomposting with a clear bin (actually a plastic shoebox) that I kept in the cabinet under my sink in the apartment where we lived -- very handy, and also dark enough to keep the worms happy. I didn't have a drill at the time, as I had not yet discovered my affinity for power tools, so I just used a lighter to heat up the end of a Phillips screwdriver and used that to poke the holes in the plastic. It worked fine.

I didn't have a copy of Worms Eat My Garbage, but the author had posted some tips on Cityfarmer.org -- an excellent Web site maintained by the city of Vancouver -- which I used to get my bin up and running. It worked fine and moved with us at least once before outgrowing the bin.

I've done several worm bins over the years. The key is to make sure you have good drainage (drill lots of holes in the bottom and set the bin up on bricks above a tray to collect the liquid -- aluminum jelly roll pans work well for this purpose) so the compost doesn't get too wet, and make sure you have a tight-fitting lid to keep out bugs. I once tried doing a three-tiered worm bin in an old plastic chest of drawers. Very convenient, but we wound up with an outrageous infestation of mothflies. Harmless, yes, but we got tired of them pretty fast. Be careful what you feed them, too -- in my experience, they love strawberries, apples and cucumbers, but they don't do well with extremely acidic foods (hot peppers or citrus fruits).
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astamour
« Reply #9 on: January 30, 2009 03:54:35 PM »

I didn't have a copy of Worms Eat My Garbage, but the author had posted some tips on Cityfarmer.org -- an excellent Web site maintained by the city of Vancouver -- which I used to get my bin up and running. It worked fine and moved with us at least once before outgrowing the bin.

I love the cityfarmer site (and Vancouver's other environmental services info)  That's where I learned to make a pet waste composter, since pet waste can't go in the worm bin.

I decided not to put drainage holes in my bin and haven't had a problem with moisture.  I think there's enough ventilation and it's cool enough in my house to keep stuff from getting too damp.  But I know conditions vary, and some people like the drainage so they can collect the compost tea.

It's great to hear that so many others have tried/are trying this.
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