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How to Use An Upcycled Indoor Worm Compost Bin

Woman holding compost bin in garden

Worm composting (vermicomposting) is what you make of it. There are countless ways to compost, and countless ways to vermicompost, and this is how we do it. If this method doesn't work for you, don't give up! Keep trying, research online, and find what works for you. Composting takes time, so normally a week or two away from the bin will solve most of your problems (like bugs or not seeing progress).

Let’s Go Compost is a community-led effort to make compost bins free and accessible. We upcycle empty bulk ingredient bins into free, food-safe worm compost bins that are donated back to the community. We offer pick ups in Scottsdale, Arizona for our free compost bins. Composting worms (Red Wiggler) are not included and must be provided. Pick up dates vary and are posted on social media and via email. If you have received one of our free indoor compost bins, keep scrolling to learn how to use it!

  1. The compost bin you are provided consists of two buckets, one with pre-drilled holes and one without, and one lid. The bucket with the pre-drilled holes is stacked inside the other and holds all of the compostable material and the worms. The bottom bucket only acts to catch excess moisture. The lid is placed gently on top to allow air flow.

  2. Inside the bin with holes, begin to layer shredded cardboard, newspaper, and brown materials like dead leaves and twigs. We recommend beginning your bin with a few cups of soil or coconut coir to give your worms a home before they begin composting.

  3. Add about one cup of moist compostable "greens," like a banana peel or apple core to begin. Your bin should be about as moist as a wrung out sponge.

  4. Once you have your worm bin ready to go, you will need to add 100 to 250 Red Wiggler worms to the compost bin. These worms must be kept in a 70º to 85ºF, dark room to survive.

  5. Gently place the lid on top of the bin, and set it in a spare closet or cabinet for three to four weeks to allow the worms to acclimate and begin eating the compostable materials.

  6. Your bin is ready to go! Add your compostable materials like food scraps and non-glossy junk mail once or twice a month, monitoring the moisture levels of the bins. We recommend weighing your compostable materials prior to adding them into the bin so you can track your landfill diversion progress. Remember to keep your bin as wet as a wrung out sponge to allow the worms to thrive and to reduce bugs and smell. Always cover the top of your bin with dry "brown" materials like cardboard or newspaper, and then gently place the bucket lid on top.

Person holding worm in palm

And there you have it! You are on your way to becoming a composting connoisseur in no time. To learn more about composting, and for tips and tricks, visit Let's Go Compost's Compost Library.


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