In many homes, composting outdoors is not possible. Vermi-composting is a way to compost indoors.
Red wiggler worms do the work. They are big eaters and leave large amounts of very rich compost behind. They live in a bin kept at room temperature with bedding made of shredded newspaper or computer paper.
The worms eat compostable materials like fruit and vegetable scraps, tea leaves and bags added to the bedding. Coffee grounds, citrus, onions, bread, rice, pasta can be composted in moderation, as these items can make their environment too acidic. The acidity can be controlled by adding crushed egg shells. These shells are also very nutritious for the worms.
Red wigglers are vegetarians so cannot eat meat, fish, bones, dairy products, oily foods and large pits or stones.
They also have lots of babies.
It is important the worms are not too wet or too dry. Drainage holes in the bottom of the bin with a tray underneath can prevent drowning. If the bedding seems dry, moisture can added with a spray bottle until it is damp.
Compost should be harvested every 3 to 6 months to keep the worms healthy. Too much compost in the bin can be fatal.
I first learned of composting with worms from Bob Fortier, a dedicated volunteer in the recycling program in the early years. He was an avid gardener and liked to try new things. He would often show children his worms during recycling presentations at the schools.
Several others in the community have experience composting indoors with worms.
Information about where worms are available in our community is available by calling the Recycling Centre at (204) 687-6169.
Go to http://greenactioncentre.ca/green-your-routine/vermicomposting/ for more information.