Worm composting is an easy way to turn your food waste and shredded paper into rich fertilizer for your plants. You can also feel great about keeping your food waste out of the landfill, where it turns into methane, a stinky greenhouse gas. Worm composting, on the other hand, does not stink - don't believe me? Try it yourself!
As a long-time "worm composter" or vermicomposter, I have tried many different types of worm bin systems. I've made several of those simple boxes with holes drilled in them, wood ones, rubbermaid bins, etc. and while the worms seem happy in there, I am too lazy to separate the worms from the compost that results. I've also tried those stacking type, both the homemade type and the expensive worm farm type. I like those better, but I'm still not happy with lifting out those dirty, heavy trays to get to the good stuff in the bottom tray. It always gets my clothes and basement dirty. I read about a funnel shaped, plasticized bag called the "Worm Swag", which uses a "flow-through" system of composting where your leftover food goes in at the top, the worms hang out up there, eating the food and the finished compost can be harvested from the bottom. This inspired me to make my own worm bag integrated into a table I called the Digestive Table
, which can be seenhere.
People emailed me, wishing this was easier for them to build themselves, so I came up with this simplified version. I call it the worm bag.
This version of the worm bag is made of wood, so you'll need some tools, a saw, a drill, a carpenter's square and a palm sander. If you don't have access to these, or you just don't feel like getting dirty, you might be interested in the laundry hamper worm bag, which only requires sewing a bag and purchasing a laundry hamper frame (around $20). Mine is a nice sturdy chrome style from the Container Store, pictured below. The bag part of this Instructable is designed for the wood frame style, so you'll need to adjust your measurements if you go with the laundry hamper frame instead. I decided to focus this Instructable on the wood frame style, because it is a little cheaper to build and more customizable.
I spent around $40 on materials. This is what you will need and the approximate cost:
$7.50 for 1.5 yards of fabric
- 100% polyester felt. Ecospun from Joanne Fabrics is what I've used here because I like that it is made of post-consumer recycled bottles. I've also used landscaping fabric.
$1.79 for a package of 2 cord stops
$2.59 for a spool of thread
- 100% polyester or nylon. Cotton will disintegrate, so don't use it for this project.
$4.24 for 1 length of pine, 8' x 2" x 1"
$6.48 for 2 lengths of pine, 6' x 2" x 1
$5.00 for a Rubbermaid wash tub
- or another brand that has a 12.5" x 12.5" sized tub
$5.00 ? for a 1/4" thick piece of plywood that is 20" x 15"
- not really sure how much this is, since I had some around.
$3.00 ? for 16 wood screws 1 1/4" long
- again I'm guessing on price here
$3.00 for some wood glue
$3.00 ? for 2.5 yards of nylon cord
- I actually just used some old hiking boot laces I had around.
The finished project measures 24" tall x 20" wide and 15" deep. It will fit nicely in your home, pantry, basement or even at your office. Impress your work friends with your recycling gadget that eats coffee grounds, teabags, unwanted lunch scraps and shredded paper, turning it all into office plant fertilizer!