Homemade Vermicomposting Bin

Overview

Vermicomposting, or composting with worms, is a good solution for people who lack the space for or don't want the inconvenience of traditional composting bins and heaps. With a little work, you can easily make your own vermicomposting bin that will cost a fraction of what pre-made ones do. Worms can dispose of almost all your kitchen scraps and will turn them into rich, nutritious worm castings for your yard or garden. The only things worms cannot eat are meat, fish, dairy products and pet waste.

Initial Worm Bin Construction

Step 1

Label your three identical large opaque plastic bins. Use masking tape and a marker to mark them 1, 2 and 3.

Step 2

Set bin 1 aside. Drill holes all over the bottom third of the sides and bottom of bins 2 and 3. Placement of the holes does not matter, as long as there are a lot of them. Picture a plastic pasta strainer, and strive for a similar ratio of holes.

Step 3

Nest bin 2 inside bin 1. Moisten the shredded newspaper so that it is damp but not dripping wet. Cover the bottom of the inside of bin 2 with the wet shredded newspaper.

Step 4

Fill bin 2 about halfway with soil. Bury kitchen scraps in the soil, making sure not to add any meat, fish, dairy or pet waste.

Step 5

Add 1 pound of red wiggler worms. They will immediately burrow down into the soil, as they do not like light. This is also the reason your plastic bins must be opaque.

Step 6

Cut a piece of cardboard to fit snugly over the top of the soil. Press it down to the soil's surface to shield the worms from light. Do not use the lids of the storage bins, as the worms will not get enough air that way.

Step 7

Bury kitchen scraps in the dirt underneath the cardboard as you have them. Red wiggler worms can eat up to half their body weight in a single day, and will reproduce and thrive as long as you keep feeding them. Keep the soil moist but not soaking. Simply water it occasionally, as worms need moisture.

Emptying Your Worm Bin

Step 1

Fill bin 3 with wet shredded newspaper, soil, kitchen scraps, and cardboard, as you did with bin 2.

Step 2

Remove the cardboard from bin 2 and nest bin 3 on top of it. Within a few days, the worms will have migrated from bin 2 into bin 3 in search of food.

Step 3

Pull bin 3 away from bin 2. Take bin 2 and use, sell or give away the worm castings. Nest bin 3 inside bin 1 and continue feeding the worms by burying kitchen scraps as before.

Step 4

Repeat the worm bin emptying process whenever your worm bin is full. Continue switching bins 2 and 3 as needed.

Things You'll Need

  • 3 identical large opaque plastic bins
  • Masking tape
  • Marker
  • Drill
  • Shredded newspaper (1 large one or 2 or 3 smaller ones)
  • Soil
  • Kitchen scraps
  • Cardboard
  • Utility knife
  • 1 pound red wiggler worms

References

  • University of Nebraska-Lincoln Extension: Vermicomposting
  • Washington State University Whatcom County Extension: Cheap and Easy Worm Bin
Keywords: homemade vermicomposting bin, homemade worm bin, make worm bin, make worm composter

About this Author

Amrita Chuasiriporn is a professional cook, baker, and writer. In addition to cooking and baking for a living, Chuasiriporn has written for several online publications. These include Chef's Blade, CraftyCrafty, and others. Additionally, Chuasiriporn is a regular contributor to online automotive enthusiast publication CarEnvy.ca. Chuasiriporn holds an A.A.S. in culinary arts, as well as a B.A. in Spanish language and literature.