Food waste is the largest single waste type in most households, and it's also a major source of waste at work.
As part of taking the Waste Free Challenge, we at TEA decided to tackle food waste in our office since we have no green bin pick up. Jocelyn from WASTENOT Worm Farms helped us set up an indoor worm composter with hundreds of red worms!
Jocelyn started WASTENOT Worm Farms to help offices deal with food waste. She provides a green bin pick up service and helps set up office worm composters!
Jocelyn explained that worm composting has major environmental benefits:
- Worms eat food scraps and can transform 10 lbs of food into 1 lb of nutrient rich worm castings (poop).
- Worm castings contain readily available nutrients that plants can access right away, so they are an excellent fertilizer.
- Worm composting is a way for us to take responsibility for our own waste right where we are, rather than shipping it away and forgetting about it.
Making a worm composter involved poking holes in two plastic containers (worms need air), and lining them with wet shredded paper, coconut husks and a little bit of worm castings. Then we added the worms and some chopped up food waste (worms have tiny mouths!), covered the food with a bit more shredded paper and that's it.
TEA summer students, volunteers and staff dig in before adding the worms!
Now we have to wait patiently as the worms settle in and start eating our food waste. We'll also have to set up a maintenance schedule to keep the worms happy. In a few months, we should have many more worms and a robust in-office composting system!
For offices looking for another way to deal with food waste, WASTENOT Worm Farm offers a Green Bins Growing service. For a weekly fee, offices get a weekly green bin pick up. Food waste is taken to Jocelyn's worm farm (on her aunt's property outside the city) and offices get a share of the nutrient-rich worm castings they create! Read more on her website.
Waste Free Challenge #7 - Grow Green Bins is all about helping get green bins into more buildings in Toronto. Tell us about what you've done at your workplace or at home to compost food waste.