Vermicomposting is the process by which worms are used to convert organic materials into compost, which can be used as fertilizer.
Vermicomposting is the process by which worms are used to convert organic materials into compost, which may be used as fertilizer. Vermicomposting can be done in bins, heaps, or windrows.
Depends on local costs of worms and bins.
Goal 6: Clean water and sanitation
Farmers, gardeners, businesses
Users put the bin or windrow together themselves using their preferred design.
How much organic waste/how often added
Volume out compared to volume in
Time to decompose
Amount of nutrients recovered at the end of processing
Additional disinfection or other processes needed
For a bin, the user should take two plastic bins. The shorter, wider bin (made of rubber or plastic) approximately 15 inches deep, 25 inches wide and 5 inches high would be used as the bottom to collect liquid. The top bin may be roughly an 18 gallon tub about 15 inches deep, 20 inches wide and 15 inches tall. This bin needs a lid, with a 1-inch hole drileld about two inches from the top on either side, and with four 1/8-inch holes near the bottom corners of the bin. Each hole should be covered with vinyl screening. Three inches of shredded paper will be placed in the bottom of the bin mixed with soil and water. Worms should be fed with food scraps once a week, and new paper. Red wrigglers can be used. Worm species may vary, but Lumbricus rubellus (red worm) and Eisenia foetida are thermo-tolerant, European night crawlers (Dendrabaena veneta or Eisenia hortensis) are produced commercially and have been used successfully in most climates, and the African night crawler (Eudrilus eugeniae) is a tropical worm species, though it does not do well in colder temperatures.
Windrows may also be used for composting. Cow manure is piled about 90 cm across and 90 cm high, seeded with worms, and fresh manure is added to the end of the row as the worms move forward. Rows should be covered to keep them shaded and cool and moistened when needed.
For both methods, compost is collected at the opposite area to the worms (they can be fed on one side to shift them over for the bin method).
There is no technical support provided and users are expected to maintain the product on their own.
Implementers must taken appropriate precautions when working with organic waste, particularly cattle manure, and ensure complete decomposition.
Ramnarain, Y.A., et al., 2019, Vermicomposting of different organic materials using the epigeic earthworm Eisenia foetida. International Journal of Recycling of Organic Waste in Agriculture, 8, pp. 23-36.
Metzger, J.D., Bachman, G.R., 2008, Growth of bedding plants in commercial potting substrate amended with vermicompost. Bioresource Technology, 99, pp. 3155-3161.
Kumar, V., Singh, K.P., 2001, Enriching vermicompost by nitrogen fixing and phosphate solubilizing bacteria. Bioresource Technology, 76, pp. 173-175.
Ndegwa, P.M., Thompson, S.A., 2000, Effects of C-to-N ratio on vermicomposting of biosolids. Bioresource Technology, 75, pp. 7-12.
Ndegwa, P.M., Thompson, S.A., 2001, Integrating composting and vermicomposting in the treatment and bioconversion of biosolids. Bioresource Technology, 76, pp. 107-112.
Ghosh, M., et al., 1999, Transformation of phosphorus during vermicomposting. Bioresource Technology, 69, pp. 149-154.
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