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Composting Choices

WormWatcherThere are several composting options, indoors and outdoors. Outdoor bins take considerably longer to compost (months/years) and require maintenance. Any composter needs to have good drainage to keep the soil from becoming saturated and smelly. Healthy composting is odorless. If there is an odor, often the bin needs turning to oxygenate and drain the contents. Outdoor composting is severely limited by seasonal temperatures and weather, and can only be done efficiently for a portion of the year, but if composting is moved indoors, it can be done year round. Depending on the amount of collected food, it is recommended stirring an outside bin weekly or monthly. When a composting system involves worms, it is called vermicomposting.
The advantage of vermicomposting is that the worms do the work,
no tumbling or turning is required. They eat half of their weight in food each day, so two-pounds of red wigglers can consume 365lbs of food each year.

WormWatcher

How to Decide

Consider your goals:

  • Why do you want to compost?
  • How much trash do you wish to compost?
  • How fast do you wish trash to disappear?
  • What is your timeline?
  • What products do you want to create?

What can be composted?

Generally any organic wastes, other than meat or dairy products, may be composted. Meat and dairy products are avoided to prevent food contamination. Popular items include coffee, tea, tea bags, newspaper, white paper, fruits, and vegetables.


click for video How does the WormWatcher compare to other composting systems?
Easy to use, Easy to maintain, Easy to Clean
(Click image on left to view video)

Compare Indoor vs. Outdoor Choices

Indoor composting –
vermicomposting with worms
Outside composting

Pros:

  • Great for classrooms, waste disappears in days and weeks, not months

Cons:

  • Some are difficult to keep food covered, some lack drainage, opaque bins are hard to observe

General types:

  • Opaque plastic or rubber tubs
  • Clear container
  • The WormWatcher

Pros:

  • Great for larger scale production and outdoor gardens
  • Many types: Easy to build
  • Commercial options simplify maintenance.

Cons:

  • Needs Periodic tumbling or turning for aeration. If not well aerated, rate of decomposition slows.
  • Can collect water that lead to smells and getting nasty/rancid.
  • Can be invaded by nuisance animals (flies, bugs, rats, racoons, etc.)
  • Can slow down greatly in cold conditions
  • Easy to contaminate

Tumblers

Pro:

  • Easy to use

Con:

  • Tends to clump
  • Hard to turn when heavy

StackableTray systems

Pro:

  • Easy to stack layers

Con:

  • Open to nuisance animals
  • Inconvenient to retrieve castings ie: messy

Wire mesh/wood bins

Pro:

  • Easy to build

Con:

  • Open to nuisance animals
  • Hard to turn/mix

Our recommendation:

The WormWatcher because it is easy to compost and harvest worms, worm castings and "worm tea" a natural liquid fertilizer at your convenience. It's lockable and portable..

 
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