Kitchen Waste


The compost produced is too rich to be used on its own for plants, but a high quality potting compost can be made as follows:

Using a Plastic Bin to make
A Wormery
for recycling Kitchen Waste

This project is supported by the Department of the Environment Environmental Partnership Fund.
REQUIREMENTS: Small stones and sand
Black polythene or plywood
Coir or leaf mould
Chopped kitchen waste
A supply of newspaper
Brandling worms. These can be found in a compost heap or purchased from a fishing tackle shop.
A poker
A plastic dustbin
A wormery may be used to recycle kitchen waste. It can be established in a plastic bin. Brandling worms are used to break down the waste materials. Observers will be very interested in observing the process of the worms converting waste to compost. A miniature version of this wormery could be made in a large plastic or cardboard tub.

Assembling the Wormery

Punch holes in the sides of the bin about 5 cm and 10 cm from the bottom using a red-hot poker. These are for drainage. This should be done by an adult only.
Place a 15 cm layer of small stones and sand in the bottom. This acts as a sump. It retains some moisture and allows the excess produced by the waste to drain away.
Fill the bin with water until it runs out through the holes.
Place a piece of perforated wood or plastic on top of the sump. This prevents the waste from dropping into the sump. Put a 2.5 cm layer of coir or leaf mould in the bottom. Add the brandling worms. A spadeful from a manure heap or compost heap will contain sufficient.
Add a 15 cm layer of chopped kitchen waste. Avoid meat, orange, banana and lemon skin, which are acidic and disagreeable to worms.

Emptying the Bin

Fork out the contents into a 1 cm mesh sieve and shake them over the barrow. Coarse undigested material will be left in the middle of the sieve. Put this into a plastic sack. It will form the basis of a new wormery. Leave about 5 cm of material in the bin. This will contain eggs. Empty the coarse material from the sack into the wormery.
Bugs (Magazine Series)Orbis Publishing, London, 1994
Jim Hay. Feeding Plants The Organic Way.London, 1991
ext:Patrick Madden
Illustrations:Eileen Fleming
Editor / Photographs:Marian Rollins
Web Page Design:Taran Pyper 2013

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