Recycle at home with vermicomposting

Have you heard of vermicomposting? It’s the use of worms to turn kitchen trash into organic fertilizer, and it can be done on a small scale in apartments. I can’t wait to try it!

I learned how to set up my own worm recycle bin at Red Worm Composting. Basically you just need one or two rubbermaid container bins to get started. You put your old fruit or vegetable scraps in the bin, and you cover it with strips of cardboard or newspaper moistened with water. Then you add the worms, and that’s really all there is to it.

The worms help to break down the food and paper and turn it into a fertilizer that you can add to your garden or potted plants. So not only does it reduce your trash, but it creates a valuable organic product. It sounds brilliant. I can’t believe I had never heard about this!

I estimated that about 1/3 of my trash is stuff that I could give to the worms. All those banana peels, tea bags, apple cores, coffee grounds, cardboard egg cartons and boxes, and grocery ads from the mail could be used.

I talked to Doug about this weeks ago, but he was a bit apprehensive. His main concern was that the bin would have an unpleasant smell. I read that if the bin has air holes and plenty of cardboard or newspaper, that shouldn’t be the case. His other question was — “Why? We don’t have much extra space.”

Then a few days ago we were driving down a residential street and Doug paid attention to the bags and bags of leaves and grass clippings that were piled up on the curb waiting for the trash truck to haul them away. He began to rant about how those bags were going to be tossed into the landfill instead of letting the organic material replenish the soil, and how the land would have to be supplemented with petroleum-derived fertilizer. That must have changed his mind, because later that day he told me we could try a worm bin.

I just need to find some worms. I’m trying to find them locally, but it’s a little hard to do that in the city. I’ll keep trying.

About Rachel

I write about practical tips that will help you simplify at home. Connect with me on Pinterest and Twitter.


  1. Hey, girl! This actually sounds “do-able!” I’ll be doing my own research, chatting with Layne, and waiting to hear how your experiment progresses. Keep us posted…aj

  2. Check here under “Texas” for worm suppliers. Pilot Point is fairly “local.”

  3. smallnotebook says:

    Thanks Amy Joy, I did buy some worms and they arrived today! I set up the bin and will see how they do before I share the pictures.

  4. I’ve been thinking about doing something like this for a while now but I still have some questions. (dumb question alert) What all can you put in the bin? Can you put animal meat scraps in it? I just discovered your site a week ago and have been reading back through all your blogs. All I’ve got to say is LOVE IT LOVE IT LOVE IT!!!