And now for a quick break from Healthy Waltham’s youth programming for a glimpse into college life at Brandeis University. Although the worm composting unit has just finished at McDevitt Middle School, it’s just now beginning at Brandeis. Through the Brandeis Sustainability Fund, I’ve set up two worm composting bins in Brandeis residence halls (affectionately called dorms). Originally, I wanted to set up bins similar to those we had in the classrooms at McDevitt: simple, inexpensive Rubbermaid bins with holes drilled in for ventilation. However, the Brandeis administration and facility staff decided they would only be comfortable supporting this initiative if we used bins specifically designed for the purpose of vermicomposting. Running with the mentality that any worms are better than no worms, I went ahead and purchased two Worm Factory bins, along with a pound of red wigglers (about 1,000 worms total). These bins include multiple trays; once one try is filled with castings, you can add another fresh tray of food scraps so that the worms will migrate upwards while finished compost from the first tray can be harvested. They also come with spigots for controlling extra moisture that can be used as nutrient-rich compost tea (the liquid portion of compost) in your garden. While both of these features are interesting and helpful, neither are necessary for at-home worm composting.
The bins are now set up on two dormitory floors. How will these bins fare compared to our bins at McDevitt Middle School? Will a more expensive system actually provide any advantages? Check back for updates!
Images by Cecelia Watkins (2011).