How to Use a Plastic Tub As a Worm Compost Bin


Worms have the ability to compost your scraps and make a nutrient-rich fertilizer for your lawn or garden. If you are looking for an organic approach, consider starting your own worm farm in a large plastic tub. You will be providing the worms with lots of food, and they will return the favor by creating an organic fertilizer for you. This is a project that the whole family can get involved in, and is a great lesson on recycling for children.

Step 1

Use a large plastic tub, preferably 1 foot high, by 2 feet deep and 3 feet wide, recommends Texas A&M University. Your tub doesn't have to be those exact measurements, but try to find something close.

Step 2

Shred thin pieces of cardboard, computer paper, and sheets of black white newspaper. You can use a paper shredder, pair of scissors or your hands to do this.

Step 3

Cover the bottom of the plastic tub with a 3-inch layer of shredded paper.

Step 4

Shovel soil into the plastic tub directly on top of the shredded paper. Add 6 inches of soil, so your ruler should read 9 inches when you are done with the paper and the soil combined.

Step 5

Mix the soil and paper together with your shovel. Then, wet the soil/paper with a hose so that it becomes moist, but not drenched.

Step 6

Set your plastic tub out in the sun, or in a spot where it will have daily temperatures between 60 and 80 degrees F. Let it sit for two full days to get it ready for your worms.

Step 7

Add worms to your plastic tub. Washington State University suggests you use red worms for the best results. You need 2 lbs. of worms for each 1 lb. of food you plan to add to your worm compost bin each day. If you are going to dump 2 lbs. of food in the soil each day, for example, then add 4 lbs. of red worms to the soil.

Step 8

Add food scraps to the worm compost bin at the end of each day. Mix it in a bit with the soil, but you can keep it near the top layer. The worms will do the rest of the work. Water the plastic compost bin regularly to keep the soil moist for the worms.

Tips and Warnings

  • Do not allow the temperature of the plastic compost bin to reach freezing, which will kill the worms.

Things You'll Need

  • Hose
  • Cloth
  • Paper shredder
  • Cardboard
  • Computer paper
  • Newspaper
  • Ruler
  • Soil
  • Shovel
  • Red worms
  • Kitchen scraps


  • Texas A&M University: Home Worm Production
  • Washington State University: Composting with Red Worms
Keywords: worm composting, organic compost, worm farm

About this Author

Alicia Bodine has been a professional writer for six years. She has produced thousands of articles for online publications such as Demand Studios, Bright Hub, Associated Content and WiseGeek. Bodine is also the current cooking guru for LifeTips. She has received awards for being a top content producer.