A simple solution to the problem of what to do with organic waste is a vermicomposting system. Essentially, organic waste can be composted by placing it into a container housing redworms. Redworms differ from earthworms in that they specialize in eating and transforming vegetables, fruits, egg shells, coffee grounds, and even paper into compost that can be used as a nutrient-rich soil amendment.

Since February 2010, the Center has employed a vermicomposting system that has diverted all of the staff’s compostable organic waste to be eaten by worms. Furthermore, we record the types and amounts of organic waste, as well as the resulting amounts of compost generated. Program staff members are developing a school program on vermicomposting in which students will learn why and how composting works, as well as provide instructions for the implementation of their own home or school vermicomposting system.

More than 210 kg (462 lb) of organic food waste have been diverted to vermicomposting at the Environmental Interpretive Center since 2010. (Last updated Sept. 10, 2019)