How to manage food waste at home with a top notch solution.

Couple of months ago, we were fortunate to attend a workshop organised by Martin Cobley, on the back of a recommendation from one of our customers. Martin has a Masters in Sustainability and is also part of Project Dirt — Wandsworth cluster. Project Dirt (Wandsworth cluster) was set up under the auspices of the Wandsworth council with an aim to reduce kitchen and garden waste in London homes.

The workshop was titled “ Make your own wormery for indoors/outdoors!” and although we are generally agnostic towards worms, at Oddbox we love solutions that help us manage our home food waste.

So one sunny Saturday, we set out to meet Martin at a church in Tooting. Martin is one of the nicest people this side of the river, not to mention very knowledgeable about soil science and composting in general.

He gave us a general overview of soil which helped set the context for the rest of the session.

Fig 1 — Soil science

This was then followed by the actual practicality of constructing our own wormery .

Here’s a bit more about what we learnt.

What is Compost?

The remains of dead organic matter which organisms e.g. bacteria, fungi, worms, have fed on in the presence of Oxygen. In a wormery and in layman’s terms it is essentially “worm poo” i.e. when a worm ingests food waste and other bits that go into a wormery, the digestive remains of a worms meal make up the compost.

What can go in a compost heap?

Again, Martin came to our rescue with printouts that were quick and ready to reference.

Fig 2 — What goes in a compost heap/wormery

So, how do we make a wormery ?

Buy a wormery like the one we had or make your own. Martin showed us how to make our own with a large plastic bin. But in a nutshell:

  1. To the wormery, add some worm compost, a cardboard and brown paper which helps keep the light out and the moisture in. The worms will initially feed on the worm compost.
  2. Buy some composting worms (also called tiger worms). Some of us might go “yuck” but these beauties are harmless and do a lot of work with the waste that you feed them.
  3. Start adding food waste. See fig 2 What goes in a compost heap/wormery to see what you can/cannot add.
  4. Keep the wormery tightly closed and out of direct sunlight.
  5. Voila — in a few weeks time you’ve magically converted your food waste into compost. If you cannot see the compost, then either you’ve given the worms too much (add more worms) or too little (add more food).
Fig 3 — Wormery

We live in a flat and we think this is a great solution to manage food waste, for many of us living in a big city without too much space. We thoroughly recommend Project Dirt’s workshops if you are keen to manage your food waste.