Wednesday, January 13, 2010


So to deal with things on the waste side of the issue- I finally decided to do some composting.  I know that a lot of people compost inside their homes, but this concept grossed me out.  I generally am not a fan of rotting food and attracting bugs and rodents.  I really did want to get into composting though- so I made all kinds of plans for an outdoor system at our new house.  Then the housing market fell through, and I don't know when we'll ever be able to move out of our condo.  So no putting it off- I'm indoor composting in a small space!

Turns out there are tons of resources to help you get started.  New York City actually has an entire program dedicated to helping city residents compost.  Apparently their waste problem is out of control.  After doing a bit of research, I discovered that most indoor composting fanatics don't just compost- they VERMICOMPOST!  This is composting using worms.  Worms eat up all your rubbish- from food, egg shells, coffee grounds, tea bags, paper, newspaper, napkins, and cardboard!  They poo it out into wonderful compost!

But worms?  IN MY HOUSE!?!?!  I like to keep the bugs out if possible, not invite them in!  The worm people assure me that I have nothing to fear- red wrigglers (the best worms for composting) hate the light, so they will not leave their bin.  Ok, but what about smell?  Won't the food start to rot?  Not if you don't overload your system.  2,000 worms can eat 1 pound of food per day!  That's a lot of food! So, I bought 500 worms- that's 1/4 lb of food per day for those of you not mathematically inclined.  As long as I don't overload the system, it should remain stench free.  Shouldn't be hard, I don't really have that much food scraps.  Another tip I read was that you should store all your scraps in a container in the 'fridge, and deposit as a complete layer at the end of the week.  This is to prevent your worms from having too much shock from exposure to light.  But it also helps in preserving the food a bit.  Another issue I worried about is fruit flies.  If you wash your food scraps- including fruit rinds and peels, it should wash off any fly larvae or eggs.  I figure the refrigerator treatment also helps kill flies and eggs.

Actually setting up the bin is pretty easy.  First you pick a bin of size that you want- I based mine on how big of a space I wanted to dedicate. You should store your bin in a dark place- the only place I have is a cabinet, so I had to pick a medium sized plastic food bin- rectangular in shape.  Then I followed the instructions at the New York City Compost website.  I bought my worms from, it was the only site where I found a small amount of worms, most other sites had a minimum of 1 pound of worms.

From GreenMidwest

So, that's it!  My worms are installed, and hopefully I'll be getting some great new compost in a few months time.  My plan is to use the compost to enrich my garden, which I plan to expand this summer.  The compost should be done just in time to start planting seedlings.  I'll keep you posted on it's success!


  1. ESTATE STYLE is greener than anything. Got u'r blog from Nature.ESTATE STYLE reduces carbon foot print easily-relocate all plants closer to property line away from buildings & stuctures-Group the plants with same water use.Plant least tree per side of home Med.shade Tree OR Nut OR Fruit producing? w/supportive bushes & ground cover ths offer shade in summer & provide food! Theres more..

  2. seems like a good concept- but the trouble is that I live in a condo. I don't have a house and a yard- so I have no control over the plants outside. All I can do is put potted plants on my balcony. I do plant plenty of veggies- and I intend to increase my load this summer. But I can't go around planting trees in my yard because I don't have a yard. Fortunately the Association planted a tree near one of my windows, providing shade in the summer.