Why Worms?
We live in a relatively urban area in an apartment with zero land that we can compost traditionally on. As voracious plant-eaters we have quite a lot of vegetable scraps that we morally can't send to the landfill. The solution is a worm bin that resembles furniture, won't stink up the place if properly managed, and can process the waste of at least two plant-chomping people.  

These instructions will show how to construct a three-tiered, wooden worm bin out of readily available materials. In the future we will cover how to add and care for the wormies.

How does it work?
The three-tiered system works like a magic food to compost machine. The three boxes are identical and interchangeable. You put food scraps and woody material (paper, wood shavings, etc.) into the top layer which worms eat over time, filling the top box. Once the top layer is nearly full, you put the empty bottom layer on top. Then once that layer is nearly full you put the last empty box on top. By the time that one is full you will have premium, beautiful soil in the bottom layer that can be emptied out and used. The cycle keeps going. The layers are important because the worms will seek refuge, rest, and reproduce toward the bottom. 

Since the layers are identical, the directions will show how to make one box, the base, and the lid.

The worm bin is ventilated and will ONLY smell bad if it is poorly managed. It should smell like the floor of an old growth forest. More on how to achieve that to come.

Step 1: Materials, Tools, and Dimensions

All materials can be purchased at your local Home Depot if not reclaimed from somewhere else. This particular worm bin was made for about $40. However, it is make out of pine which will not last as long as more expensive woods like oak. But I would rather have a pine worm bin than no worm bin at all.

Basic dimensions:
20" wide x 15" deep x 24" tall (Can adapt to 15" x 15" if you don't make that much food waste

Three sets - 8" x 1" board cut into two 13.5" and two 20" sections (first image).
Three sets - 1" x 0.25" trim cut into two 15" sections and two 20.5" sections (second image).

Two boards - 1/2" thick cardboard cut to 20" x 15 (third image)
Two sets - 5/8" wide cove trim cut at 45 degree angles. Two 16.25" and two 21.25" (fourth image)

aluminum wire mesh cut to three 15" x 20" squares (roll in image)
24, 1.75" wood screws
5/8" long brads (those little finishing nails)
1/2" long staples

One garbage bag to cover the inside of the base to prevent leaking.

The tools in the picture are just a few of the tools that were used. The japanese pull saw is the best available hand saw in the world and that one cost $30 online.

Jig Saw or coping saw (Just for cutting handles)
Tape measure
Speed square
Staple gun with staples and brads (Can be done with a hammer)
Hand drill

I was under the impression plant waste was safe for landfill.
Landfills are devoid of oxygen, so the plant material breaks down into methane gas which is a 20x more potent greenhouse gas than CO2 (which is also released). Plus, just from a safety perspective "landfill gas (LFG) is hazardous and potentially explosive" according to: http://compostingcouncil.org/admin/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/Keeping-Organics-Out-of-Landfills-Position-Paper.pdf
<p>Also, vermicomposting creates both liquid fertilizer and solid fertilizer (compost) to use in gardening. You literally turn your trash into organic fertilizer, who can't love that? Once your worms start breeding too, you can give some away to your buddies that like to go fishing.</p>
<p>Neat idea. I would have liked to see pictures of your technique of adding your vegetable waste to the bin, too. :)</p>
Wow, brilliant idea for the space-challenged, yet environmentally conscious among us. Thanks!
Looks like a good pattern for a beehive too!
<p>great minds think alike...Only I was thinking about a cockroach breeding culture for our bearded dragons!</p>
<p>I'm pretty sure you read my mind...</p>
Lots of luck.

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