While many composts rely on decomposers like fungus, bacteria, and various invertebrates, there are many different composting methods. Moisten the Bedding … Why Compost With Worms? (Ever heard the expression “throwing your money down the toilet”?) CMCs … They also say there is no problem with medications in the human waste you can have your grey water go into it and it doesn’t affect anything, and while they recommend using earth friendly soaps, it is so diluted it isn’t a big issue. Do Composting Worms Pose a Threat as Invasive Species? True composting kills parasites by raising the temperature, but unless you are using massive industrial composters and maintaining just the right conditions, human waste won't get hot … The active bin is shaded by the resting bin in summer, so there is no need to insulate it – interesting too that one way to judge whether the composting is “going” in the active bin is to put a hand into the space in the top of the bin early in the morning – an active bin creates quite warm air above the mass. Composting With Worms Composting With Worms. You can leave for months at a time (suitable for vacation homes) or you can have a massive party and the system is never over burdened. I have been looking into this a lot now. We need to further process the human waste from our composting toilet! When composting human waste, it is important to use the finished compost on non-edible plants only, and not place it directly on something you will consume. When humans help this process along it is called composting and the product is called compost. What started out as reeking and gross bags of fecal waste from mountaineers—after a radical transformation by worms—ended up as a safe nutrient-rich product. With just the two of us it takes about 8-10 months to fill a 200L bin, so that is how long the worms get to work their magic. In mid-July, he added 4,000 commercially-purchased red worms (Lumbricus rubella), which are more voracious, to accelerate the vermicomposting process. I remember being inspired by Ussery’s description of his greenhouse vermicomposting set up (having a worm bed below a removable walkway) in one of his Mother Earth News articles. As for putting it inside a house, I wouldn’t recommend it, though we do have a commercial dry composting toilet system (SunMar – a Canadian company: http://www.sun-mar.com/) installed in our bathroom / laundry for those times that it is too inconvenient to go outside. Add dry leaves, woody twigs, paper, straw and some water. Worm compost makes nutrients available to plants. Robinson is especially hopeful that the successes of this pilot study, using CMC waste from Denali, can be applied to benefit remote locations around the globe. As the one side gets fully composted, and the fresh side goes through any residual heating, the worms move over into the fresh side and he can harvest the old. Or maybe you just want to take responsibility for your own life, as well as being able to use the product (a rich brown loam) to grow your own food. Recently I started getting intrested in buying a composter. In winter the mass tends to generate its own warmth). http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OFjWOaT_x64. If you are looking to experiment, do it outside with the dog’s waste until you get a feel for it. In our climate (warm temperate, east coast Australia inland from Brisbane) an outdoor black plastic bin runs the risk of overheating in summer, so we wrap it in several layers of cream-coloured shade cloth in the hottest part of the summer. (He actually insists on removal of loose carbon [like straw] to make sure the pack doesn’t hot compost and burn out the worms.) Looking to install a toa-throne type composting toilet, do you think it would work with the worm composting in the unit under the house? Hi Jo It’s not just for homesteaders anymore! Worm compost (vermicompost) is rich, so you can use less than you would of regular yard waste compost. CMCs may contain some urine, but not much, because when they are distributed, climbers are instructed not to use the CMC for urination, and the sheer weight of urine means most climbers comply. The remaining waste is crevassed in authorized locations. I have not experimented with this. Because it is such as simple system (a 200L recycled olive barrel, outdoors, with a ventilation structure built in that allows air to be drawn down through the mass then out and up to a vent) we are able to monitor the appearance of the top of the “mass” in the bin. js = d.createElement(s); js.id = id; I feel like we’ve got step by step instructions…we’ll let you know when we have questions! I am so excited about all that I have learned on your site; thank you Both high ammonia levels and a high pH are lethal to all forms of life, including the most resistant pathogens—and worms. The results also indicated the bin contained an ideal environment for vermicomposting. This was in a densely settled trendy inner suburb and did not cause any problems to them or the neighbours. Even if not, he would be adding it over top of a large, established bed (so the worms are not being forced to move into the material right away). Composting is the most environmentally friendly way that you can dispose of kitchen and garden waste. Wanting to build on the success of CMCs in keeping some human waste from being crevassed in glaciers, Robinson began to think creatively about treating the CMC waste locally and promoting sustainability—to avoid the expense and fuel required to transport the waste long distances, eliminate facility processing costs, and create a sterilized, nutrient-rich product. Hill recommended adding a combination of urea fertilizer and ash, based on the findings of Annika Nordin and colleagues in Sweden, who use urea and ash to “sanitize” human feces and produce safe fertilizers. To make a worm … Worsham is building composting resources at the University of Dayton and is including red wiggler worms in the composting piles. Once you get the hang of vermicomposting, you will love it! They digest ... Peels and other vegetable waste: Worms will devour most any fruit or vegetable, with gusto. Composting with Worms? ... We need to reduce our output of waste. Whatever you do, don’t just toss in a pound of worms and hope for the best! A key aspect of the vermiculture pilot study was that the waste being processed had to be relatively free of urine. }(document, "script", "aweber-wjs-ybgxiptdm")); Compost Guy “Ultimate” (CGU) js.src = "//forms.aweber.com/form/33/1085568033.js"; are approximately in your USDA Hardiness zone (4 – 3ish) and want to Manage the human waste compost pile just like any other garden compost pile. The temperature sensor indicated that the compost temperature during winter 2012-2013 reached a low of -14 oF (-10 oC). Does vermicomposting eliminate human waste pathogens? Robinson also placed a temperature sensor in the center of each bin. Since worms are living creatures, vermicompost requires a bit more finesse than the bokashi composting process. Human waste would definitely need to settle a bit before the worms would take to it. Although human waste is rich in plant-healthy nutrients, it also contains viruses, bacteria, and other pathogens that are not effectively removed by standard home composting processes. The results indicated virtually nondetectable levels of fecal coliforms and E. coli (99.99% kill of pathogens). Worm composting … No point in doing it yourself when the city will take your $%^& for $10 a month. We have been very successfully vermicomposting our 200L resting composting toilet bins for a few years now. Composting worms speeds up the composting process. Composting toilets have been installed at many backcountry sites in national parks and other recreation areas in the U.S. since the '70s, and they have an even longer history in Europe, according to Hill. Worms love to eat and spend most of their time doing so. Composting is a simple and fruitful method of doing that. It’s not difficult, but you MUST do it right, or people could get sick. These animals break down the food waste, yard trimmings and other organics in the compost pile and help turn the waste material into nutrient-rich soil. Our garden pals the earthworms like to live and burrow through garden soil. The worms had reduced the bacteria levels by about 90 percent of what would be expected in raw human waste. If you were wondering, when it comes to human waste, there are some composting toilets that make great use of red wigglers to do the dirty work of breaking down what is, er, deposited. In early May 2014, Robinson mixed the recommended proportion of urea with ash and lightly watered it into the bin. Treated human waste has been used on farmland for decades, but the ick factor has not entirely faded. Worm composting, also known as vermicomposting or vermiculture, enlists the help of earthworms to turn food waste into compost. It requires no up keep, there is a compost shoot you can put kitchen organic waste in, there is no smell and no hassle. Lawn And Garden. Vermicomposting of source-separated human faeces by Eisenia fetida: effect of stocking density on feed consumption rate, growth characteristics and vermicompost production. Prepare The Bedding Material. And yes, the final addition of urea and ash rendered the vermiculture soil sufficiently pathogen-free to use it in public places. we need to make sure that the worms also get kitchen scraps? Reducing trash, saving the earth, and creating free fertilizer makes worm composting worthwhile. These surface feeding worms feed on decomposing material in the upper layers of the soil or, in our case, the worm farm. Vermicomposting is a method of composting that uses worms to break down food waste into nutrient-rich soil. We sell live red wiggler worms year round, worm composting bins and other vermicomposting supplies. They convert waste into worm manure (also known as worm castings), a nutrient-rich, biologically beneficial soil product. My normal recommendation (for manures, and large amounts of waste in general etc) would actually be “pre-composting” THEN vermicomposting, since the latter process is a great way to finish off the material. You feed them food waste. The answer to both of Robinson’s questions was a resounding yes. It saves space in the county … Prepare The Bin. and what things would you change or monitor? keep the worm bins in the basement but are concerned about the Worm composting is another word for vermiculture or vermicomposting, which is the process where worms recycle food scraps and other compostable items into compost. Lined with a compostable bag which can be easily removed, one CMC holds about 10 uses. A and A waste management in Australia is who is doing it (though there was a couple others) but we don’t seem to have anything like this in America, we don’t even seem to discuss it. Great article! Thank you so much for all this great info! As with all composting, options and methods are as varied as the people who come up with them. I’m sure if sat outside in a heap for a period of time it would be great – but I’d be shocked if anyone had success using it solely (when fresh) as a food/habitat. This means that even on a balcony or in a closet, people can compost their kitchen waste all year long, thus reducing their carbon footprint as well as creating nutrient-rich compost for houseplants or gardens. The Walking Windrow (Follow-Along) Project. These worms were more adapted to the Alaskan environment and continued to produce the worm castings needed for composting. More and more people are discovering the water- and money-saving benefits of fertilizing their gardens with human waste. It's simple. The good news is that you can harness this incredibly efficient composting power for yourself and change the way your family disposes of waste, with very little investment of time and money. Timely post for me. 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