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How To Make a Worm Compost Bin

written by: Summer Banks•edited by: Donna Cosmato•updated: 7/6/2011

Creating a worm compost bin is a great way to do way with your food waste in the home. Worms eat the foods you leave behind and the earth benefits from less waste.

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    Before You Begin

    Before you begin making your worm composting you will need to measure the area where the worm bin will be located. The easiest way to make a worm compost bin is to use plastic storage totes. These totes can be relatively small so you may need to make more than one worm compost bin for large area.

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    Materials

    • Two 10 gallon plastic totes - dark colored
    • Drill with 1/4 inch bit and 1/16 inch bit
    • Newspaper strips
    • Several dozen worms
    • One large handful of dirt
    • Old leaves and grass clippings
    • Water
    • Cardboard to fit the top of one bin
    • Four bricks
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    Initial Setup

    1) Using the 1/4 inch drill bit, drill 15 to 20 holes in the bottom of each of your plastic totes. These holes will be used for drainage. The worms will also use the holes to move from the bottom plastic tote into the top tote.

    2) Change the drill bit to the 1/16 inch bit. Around the upper edge of each of the plastic totes, drill 20 to 30 evenly spaced holes to be used for ventilation.

    3) Tear your newspaper into thin strips, soak in water, and squeeze out any excess water. Add these strips of newspaper to the bottom of one of your plastic totes. Next add any leaves or grass clippings you have gathered. The moistened newspaper should be fluffed to reach 3 to 4 inches in height. Add the large handful of dirt to the moistened newspaper and then add the worms.

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    After Adding the Worms

    4) After the worms have been added to your plastic tote, bury one handful of food waste into the middle of the newspaper center. This will allow the worms to feast on the food waste without attracting fruit flies.

    5) Wet the piece of cardboard cut to fit just inside the plastic tote and cover the newspaper clippings softly. Worms love to eat cardboard so this large piece of cardboard will break down with in a few months.

    6) The final step is to elevate your worm compost bin. Place the lid from the plastic tote onto the floor to catch any moisture and use the four bricks to elevate the worm compost bin.

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    Creating Fertilizer

    For a family averaging 1/2 pound of food waste per day, 1 pound of worms will be needed to process the food waste. Each time the worms are fed the food waste needs to be placed in a different section of the newspaper. Worms love to eat bread, grains, cereal, coffee, coffee filters, tea bags, vegetables and fruits. Worms and do not like dairy products, fats, meat or oils. It is a common misconception that worms eat human waste or animal waste. Worms do not like feces.

    After your first plastic tote is full, prepare a second plastic tote in the same fashion as the first. Place the second tote directly on top of the piece of cardboard and continue to feed the worms. After 2 to 3 months the worms will move into the top bin and the bottom bin will be vermicompost.