Is my situation right for vermicomposting?
(I originally posted this in the Compost forum, and then someone pointed out that there is a separate vermicomposting forum!)
I have set up a small compost bin on my apartment balcony for the first time, and am wondering if my situation is suitable for adding worms, or if it would be better to leave them out for now. My container is a plastic cooler with a lid that I've recycled (it looks like one of these: http://www.800buy.co.uk/uppic/2474/2517iol1/red-igloo-legend-6-cooler-980.jpg). I am not sure if this is large enough to add worms to (roughly 2 feet long and a 1.5 feet in the other two directions). Also, I've read there should be drainage and air holes; are these two things essential considering the bin is not completely air-tight even with the lid on?
Also, I live in Seattle, and I am wondering if worms can survive in my container in the winter here. My P-Patch started a worm bin last year, and they said some of the worms did survive, but some died as well. This year they discontinued the worm bin (the woman who was running it moved). My container is more insulated than the commercial one they were using.
This may be a silly question, but are Red Wigglers the only type of worm that should be used? Or could worms I find in the garden survive and help the compost decompose, too?
Finally, if I do add worms, what is the proper way to remove them when the compost is ready to be used? Should I filter them out somehow, or do most people actually just plant them in the garden with the soil?
Thanks to anyone who can advise me on these questions!