I inherited a worm bin... and some problems

wembleJuly 9, 2008

My friend brought me a rubbermaid bin with partially composted material and worms. Great! But there are some issues.

It smells. Not just a little, but really bad.

The bottom is filled with water. I have taken most of it out using a turkey baster.

There are bugs. Lots of them, different varieties.

How do I salvage this?

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It sounds like you have done the right thing to remove as much of the excess water as you can. Too much water is definitely going to make the thing stink, and it also invites bugs.
I suppose that the bin has no drainage, right? I have always had holes in the bottom of my bin, but I know there are people whose worm bins have no drainage holes and they do all right.
Since this one is NOT doing all right, you could consider boring some drain holes to help remove the water. But whether you do that or not, you should put some dry stuff in to soak up some of the water. Pieces of corrugated cardboard would be my suggestion. You would need to mix the cardboard into the stuff in the bin, not just leave it on top.
If it were me, I think I would take everything out of the bin temporarily and lay a piece of wire mesh on the bottom, with some thin pieces of wood under it to lift it just a fraction of an inch off the bottom. That way you can get some air under there and have a place for water to collect.
Then add some cardboard and then put the original contents back in.
Maybe some other people will have other suggestions as to get rid of all of that extra water.
(Do you have the bin covered? If so, take the lid off!)
This isn't going to be a pleasant experience, is it? Good luck. And think how proud you'll be when you get it all straightened out!

    Bookmark   July 9, 2008 at 11:10PM
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squeeze(z8 BC)

not too unpleasant, and easily fixed - air is all that's needed - you could dump it out as said, on a piece of cardboard to absorb some of the moisture, mix it around to aerate, and add more bedding, shredded paper or cardboard would work fine - after airing it for a bit and letting the bin dry out, put it back and avoid adding ANY water except for what's oin the food waste, and add that sparingly at first to see how fast the worms deal with it


    Bookmark   July 9, 2008 at 11:20PM
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I would do exactly what mbetts said, as well as drilling the holes in the bottom of the container. In fact, I did exactly that with my last bin, and it helped things considerably.

    Bookmark   July 10, 2008 at 1:12AM
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