Using a Worm Composter to Get Rid of Left Over Food at Christmas
An estimated 230(1) tonnes of festive food and drink is thrown away in the UK during the Christmas and New Year period.
Much of this food is collected by councils and ends up in landfill sites. Worm composters provide an eco-friendly alternative.
Worms are one of nature’s recyclers. They will eat many different types of waste, not just left over Christmas lunches but also some more surprising things such as newspapers, human or animal hair, dog poo and the contents of vacuum cleaner bags.
Worms do not have any teeth. Instead they break up the food which they eat in their gizzard. The result is a fine odourless compost referred to by gardeners as Black Gold and a nutrient rich liquid fertiliser known as Worm Tea.
Website Spotty Green Frog www.SpottyGreenFrog.co.uk has started an initiative to encourage families to have a worm compost bin at home. The website has organised workshops for schools in their local area demonstrating the benefits of worm composting to children and providing follow up teaching resources for members of staff. The bins are being sold both to families and schools.
Setting up a worm composter is easy. There are a number of bins on the market. These specialist composters incorporate a sump with a tap to extract the Worm Tea and usually have a number of levels. One composter is generally big enough to cope with the waste from most families but, for larger families, schools etc. extra layers can be added to increase capacity.
The design of worm composters varies from plain plastic designs to a beautiful wooden wormery in the shape of a beehive. They usually consist of several levels including a lower level which acts as a sump to collect the liquid fertiliser.
There are around 2,700 varieties of earth worms. One of the best for composting is the Dendrobaena which is used widely in the UK.
Worms eat a large amount of food daily. Dendrobaena worms typically consume an amount equal to 50% of their body weight each day.
(1) Government's waste quango, Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP)
Caroline Blatchford is Managing Director of the online retailer www.SpottyGreenFrog.co.uk. The website specialises in a range of educational activities for children including children’s gardening, worm composting and butterfly lifecycle products.
The company is based in Winchester, Hampshire and delivers products across the UK.
Spotty Green Frog
2 Hinton Fields
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