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It's been 12 months since I started tracking the amount of waste my red wigglers are eating in my inside (i.e. home) worm bins.  I have other worm bins in the garage, but I've only been tracking the volume composted in my indoor bins.

The total newsprint, cardboard, and kitchen waste has passed 320 lbs.  That's nearly the weight of two average sized human adults. 

I've put 320 lbs into the worm bins.  Assuming an 8:1 reduction ratio, that 320 lbs of garbage has been composted by my red wigglers into a resulting 40 lbs give or take of worm castings that I have used as a soil amendment in my backyard garden, in our flower beds, and in a dead patch of my front lawn. And this was achieved by a starting amount of 1 lb of EF's.

As a further illustration of the power of worms, suppose 10 households started a vermicomposting program like mine. Those figures above can be multiplied to 3,000 lbs of garbage and a resulting 400 lbs of worm castings. One hundred households vermicomposting their household waste multiplies to 30,000 lbs of garbage saved from the landfill. 

Amazing!

Views: 432

Comment by Paula Allen on December 30, 2010 at 12:13pm
Yes it is Amazing.  Makes me wonder how much wast all of us have kept out of the landfills.  Way to go bpearcy. :-)
Comment by Pat James on December 30, 2010 at 4:43pm
I have not measured my garbage weight but have been tempted to. I know it is heavier coming back into the house and into the worm bins than going out. That is because alot of the material goes out into a tumbler dry where it is mixed with existing 'compost' and then it is pulled out as moistened 'worm food'.  All said though I know I have greatly reduced what I send to the landfill. Between my wife and I we typically send only a single plastic garbage bag out a week and that one is not full.
Comment by Mark from Kansas on December 31, 2010 at 2:46pm
I feel that wieghing the food waste is a good way to illustrate the power of worms,
Comment by bpearcy10 on January 2, 2011 at 7:25am

Larry,

I don't use the rabbit manure inside the house, so I haven't actually weighed it like I have the paper and kitchen waste. I only use the rabbit manure in my bins in the garage. I haven't actually weighed in in small amounts, but I don't think it's as dense as kitchen waste. If I have two containers of similar size - one with rabbit manure and one with kitchen waste - I think the kitchen waste will weigh more to start and I would guess that the ending castings would be similar in weight. But, again, I haven't actually tested this yet.

Comment by Philip Vanderhoofven on January 9, 2011 at 11:13pm

I'm a believer with three bins going now started with less then a pound of worms. Not sure how much our kitchen waste and trash weighs - going on seven months since I started vermicomposting - and with the ups and downs my populations are not stable enough to average out their consumption rate. I know I don't compost 7 lbs a week any more like I tried to do before both my stackable bins started cooking the compost. That was a setback but I still have plenty of worms that I was able to save and hope to get back to composting at least a pound a day again similar to what you are measuring. 

Hey - you don't by chance raise meat rabbits do you? I had a ten hole rabbitry back in Washington with a mix of New Zealand and California Meat Rabbits. They were big fluffy white Rabbits and the kids named each one of them so I wouldn't eat them and surprisingly we never did eat rabbit for dinner.

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