Drain-Free Home Worm Bin Composting

This design uses a drain-free bin, ideal for indoor worm farming. Instead of having a drain, scraps are placed over a bed of organic soil. Night crawlers or earthworms keep this layer aerated and alive. Food scraps are first collected in a separate container and mixed with sawdust. This allows the scraps to give off some of their moisture and heat (decomposition creates heat which could threaten the worm habitat) before going in with the worms. Always cover your food scraps with leaves, paper, cardboard, or sawdust to prevent flies and fungus. The red wigglers are above ground worms that like drier conditions. You should keep your bin in a place that stays between 50 and 70 degrees for happy, healthy worms. Your bin shouldn't smell bad at all. If it does, add more sawdust. If it continues, you may want to consider starting over. Good luck with your worms!

Step 1:

1. Build or buy a bin big enough to hold the food scraps your household creates in two months.

Step 2:

2. Line the bottom with paper. (I soaked the paper in water that I had used to boil potatoes in. The starch in the water hardened when the paper dried.)

Step 3:

3. Put in three or four inches of organic soil.

Step 4:

4. Add in Night Crawlers (commonly used for bait and often found at general stores). They prefer a moist soil and will feed on dirt.

Step 5:

5. Cover with shredded newspaper, dead leaves, thin cardboard, sawdust, or any other paper (black and white ink only).

Step 6:

6. Obtain Red Wigglers, an above ground species of worm and put them in the bin.

Step 7:

7. Introduce first batch of food waste. (Food scraps should first be placed in a separate container to allow them to break down a bit and give off some of their heat.)

Step 8:

8. Completely cover the food scraps with sawdust, leaves, paper, or cardboard. (Cuts down on flies)

Step 9:

9. Cover with lid (not air tight).

Step 10:

10. When two thirds full, stop feeding scraps to the worms. Let them process whatever is in the bin.

Step 11:

11. Once mostly decomposed, put a small amount of food scraps in one corner of your bin to bait your worms into that area.

Step 12:

12. Once they have found the new food, you can harvest the worm castings from other areas in the bin without removing many worms.



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    7 Discussions


    2 years ago

    earth worms from your yard are deep burrowers the ones that compost stay in the first 3"


    8 years ago on Introduction

    hello all i wish to ask a question on the behalf of my mother why is using earthworms from my yard not reccomended?


    1 reply

    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    I read somewhere that the worms need to be able to handle the heat in the bin. Earthworms from the yard probably would prefer colder soil.


    7 years ago on Introduction

    Is it fine if I use an old aquarium as my compost bin. That way I can keep it inside without worrying about worms escaping. I do plan to cover the panes so they don't get too much light


    8 years ago on Introduction

    There's only one image, but it's a very good one, it shows what to put first, second etc, so I don't think more is needed.


    8 years ago on Introduction

     Yes Please!!  I was born a ''visual",  So I dont process or learn as well without my eyes.   Would be very APPRECIATED. 


    9 years ago on Introduction

    You need more than the one image. Can you get the use of a camera and show this in steps? L