Setting up an new worm composting bin system

jeniansmomJuly 16, 2010

I have been thinking about doing this for months, and I am ready to set up my bins and order my worms.

I have a question: I have been saving kitchen scraps for months. Are these scraps (which are mostly liquefied and somewhat moldy) ok to use or are they too old for the worms? I don't want to spend money on worms just to kill them off with bad scraps.

Thanks for any advice,

Jen in Maine

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There really isn't any such thing as too old for the worms. Worms eat decomposing organic matter, and you can't have organic matter that is too old to decompose.

However, if the food scraps smell like ammonia or sewerage, they have gone anaerobic, which can be harmful to the worms. The older the scraps are, the more likely that they have gone anaerobic. If they have liquefied, there is a good likelihood that they have gone anaerobic.

What do they smell like? If you are afraid to find out, don't feed them to the worms.

    Bookmark   July 16, 2010 at 1:58PM
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Thank you sbryce :)
So the sewerage smelling stuff has been disposed of, and the plastic containers it was stored in are soaking in hot, soapy water so maybe they can be salvaged :)
I have a container of month-old coffee grounds that is moldy but still smells like coffee and a container of egg shells that are fine.
Thanks so much for the advice, I want to give the worms a good start when I get them.

    Bookmark   July 16, 2010 at 2:23PM
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I actually have mine in the fridge for two to three weeks before they get to eat it. But it's also run thru a processor and put in mason jars, so it's pretty compact.
Some people on the forum have said they also keep things in the freezer and just put that straight in the bin.
I smell everything I give them first too. As long as it's not stinky they get it.
You'll find you try several things before you find what works for and the wormies. Just don't give up, it takes a little bit to get everything established.

    Bookmark   July 16, 2010 at 5:01PM
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I can't add anything to the above. Good luck on your new venture!

    Bookmark   July 16, 2010 at 5:06PM
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The coffee grounds should be fine. I have found that coffee grounds don't make good worm food until they are about a month old and moldy.

    Bookmark   July 16, 2010 at 6:23PM
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I always freeze the food for my indoor bins because it kills any eggs or bugs that might be on it or in it. I defrost it and then feed it to the worms. Hope you enjoy it as much as I do!

    Bookmark   July 16, 2010 at 7:28PM
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When I have scrapes that sit around and get a little smelly, I just toss them in my outdoor hot composting pile for a few days. That airs them out and gets the bacteria working on them (though make sure to turn the hot pile as usual).

Here is a link that might be useful: Worm Composting Guide

    Bookmark   July 17, 2010 at 10:52AM
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