Lining a bin with a plastic bag

jasdipNovember 14, 2013

I need another bin, and instead of buying one, I'd like to use a recycling bin. Since ours have large holes in the bottom corners, I'm thinking of lining it with a plastic bag.

There's no reason why this wouldn't be a good idea is there? I can't think of any.

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"There's no reason why this wouldn't be a good idea is there?"

Yes. Worm bins....especially plastic ones....need drainage holes in their bottoms.

Besides, even if there were a reason to TEMPORARILY get rid of the drains (holes). just duct tape them.


    Bookmark   November 14, 2013 at 9:03PM
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Are you going to use this bin outdoors? If so, don't touch it - use it as is, if you want, line with lots of cardboard.

    Bookmark   November 14, 2013 at 11:56PM
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Plenty of folks successfully have worm populations inhabiting the lower portions of active Compost piles (below the heating area) continuing to process the material that has already passed the high-heat stage. Actually, it was from one such pile that I got my initial 200 worms that I started with 4-years ago.
As long as the composter isn't set up on concrete, so that the worms have somewhere to move to (in case it gets too warm).
I would consider it as a second option to a worm bin, but no plastic, Please. The worms definitely need air flow. My two Rubbermaid-type plastic bins do not have drainage holes on the bottom, but they do have 1/2" holes drilled all the way around the sides.


    Bookmark   November 15, 2013 at 12:41AM
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I use recycling bins that have four, half-inch holes in the bottom. I have carved cork stoppers for the holes. Every few years one rots out and I have to drink another bottle of wine to get a cork. Or I carve up a plastic cork. If your holes aren't too big, this could be an option.

I will add that I have never had enough moisture in my bins to need to drain them. But I do agree that air flow is important. Also, the more air flow you have, I think the less likely you are to need to drain moisture, as extra H2O will evaporate away.


    Bookmark   November 15, 2013 at 8:18AM
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I have a RM worm bin with no drainage holes. It's the 53 Liter one. It is running into the 2nd (or 3rd I don't remember) winter now and so far no problems. When starting or re-starting, the bottom was lined with rolled 1.5" strips of corrr. cb placed vertically. That will take care of future excess moisture and some additional air. If desired, you can add rolled corr.cb chimneys through out the bin. The walls are lined about 3 or 4 layers deep w. corr. cb. Supported by a piece of wood (just 1") it is tilted to 1 side and in 1 of the lower corners I placed a water bottle (cut at the bottom and part of the top). In case of pooling, I could insert an old t-shirt or something to wick the moisture out. Slow process but didn't need to do that yet so far and it is not messy around the bin. The VC at the bottom is wetter than ideal but not muddy or runny. This way however, you will have worms in all levels because of the wetter condition. There was a whiff of sulfur but is gone once exposed to air.
It does get fluffed (not overly, just put my hand in and sort of wiggle it a bit) at every other feeding. It is an outside bin with a repti heater cable. Add new corr. cardboard to the walls once the old ones are gone. Also watch the feed moisture.

    Bookmark   November 15, 2013 at 4:14PM
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I have never needed drain holes in the bottom, as my bins don't get wet. As far as the worms needing to breathe I agree, which is why I don't keep them covered.

I do have a lid with my actual worm bin, but it has aeration holes at the side. The lid is seldom locked on, usually ajar, or off completely.

Since the blue bin doesn't have a won't need air holes.

    Bookmark   November 15, 2013 at 4:36PM
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otis11: "When starting or re-starting, the bottom was lined with rolled 1.5" strips of corrr. cb placed vertically. That will take care of future excess moisture and some additional air." Interesting technique. It has a lot of merit. It addresses that thing we are all always trying to do which is get air to the airless areas of the bin. The cardboard sides are as always when I hear of them probably from your posts a nice touch. Sort of like a bread bowl for soup but vermi style. We are lucky to have so many on this board who have been walking their own paths so long that their systems are worked out well and fit their needs well. It is great fun to hear about them. That is why I read. And to "borrow" their ideas for my own worms comfort :-)

This post was edited by equinoxequinox on Fri, Nov 15, 13 at 22:58

    Bookmark   November 15, 2013 at 9:52PM
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Thank you for your kind words eq2.
When going to stores to collect corr.cb, the first kind I picked are the double ply corrugated cb which I find will supply more air between the layers.

    Bookmark   November 15, 2013 at 10:45PM
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Otis, I'm thinking of lining the bottom of the blue bin with cardboard. It will get wet and break down over time, of course. I'll find a lid of some kind to put under the blue bin so that the castings/worms don't fall through the holes.

I'm still unsure why plastic wouldn't work, as it won't have a lid........:(

    Bookmark   November 17, 2013 at 12:57PM
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Is there a reason why you cannot just plug the holes? Maybe use a real sticky tape on 1 side, fill the hole with caulking or putty and when almost set, another layer of tape on the other side. You can line the flat bottom with plastic before you put the cb down to prolong the life of the tapes but I wouldn't use a plastic bag to line the entire bin.
A plastic bag will have creases and worms and babies will get trapped in the creases and will not be able to get out and NO OXYGEN. Trapped in corr.cb doesn't matter because as we know cb is porous and decomposes. Just my 2 cents.
I am not opposed to plugging/getting rid of the holes because I have several not so small bins with no drainage holes myself and so far after at least a couple of years they're still OK..

    Bookmark   November 17, 2013 at 2:12PM
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I fail to understand WHY anyone doesn't WANT holes in the bottom. They'll get clogged up by vc anyway if not just gigantic.

My bins have holes on ONE end at each corner...about twice as big as this > O Holes are also an excellent indicator IF too much water is in there.

Lastly, worms ain't gonna try to escape UNLESS they need to get the hell outa there. It is, after all, a resort area for them....not prison. Unless you're REALLY screwing up.


I added this pic to show how much drainage occurred with the bin resting atop a beverage box (beer, I think)
for about 6 months.
(from the old days using 6 holes in the bottom)

This post was edited by chuckiebtoo on Sun, Nov 17, 13 at 15:58

    Bookmark   November 17, 2013 at 3:51PM
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Certainly adding some cardboard should take care of your problem with the large holes worms should stay put.

Since Ive been doing VC I have had no drainage yet my worms have been giving me some nice havests. At times when a lot of worms congregate on and around the lid I would remove the lid and let it air out for a bit and this method seems to work well for me. Did I mention mine is inside? In this bin which is plastic 24x17x7 9gal I felt it time to spit the troops so I now have a 19gal rubberized tote in which I did drill a few holes in bottom just in case . Afraid not to I suppose. In this bin I have egg shell cartons as the bottom layer and mulched leaves on top and squash on top of that. I mention this in reference to an experiment Im trying and explain in the next paragraph.

Since I viewed a similar youtube vid which had egg cartons and squash and nothing else added in an experiment to see how long it would take to turn the mix into pure castings [47days]. It was presented in a nice time lapse showing each day so I couldnt resist a similar experiment. Im not versed in time lapse but I may do a photo log and present at some future time. I started mine on the 11-15 after letting the squash sit for a few days before adding at least 1/2 lb of worms or about 500 Im guessing. I have noticed that all sections of squash have worms working them.

    Bookmark   November 18, 2013 at 12:18PM
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Steve, that's an interesting experiment. I'm on a break, with doing my harvesting. I filled my bin with shredded newspaper, egg cartons and leaves. I generally give them a day to get used to their new digs, then I'll give them some food from the freezer tomorrow.

Did you just lay down your egg cartons, whole? I break mine up, but I do have the lid part that I'll put in there just for kicks, thanks to you.

    Bookmark   November 18, 2013 at 3:18PM
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jasdip: So, is it done? Somehow I got an inkling you missed my reply from Sun, Nov 17, 13 at 14:12

    Bookmark   November 19, 2013 at 4:56PM
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Got 'er done Otis. I had a green wormbin that I used for storing extra flower pots. I piled them in the blue recycling bin, and used the worm bin for its intended use when I did my harvest. So one green bin has the finished compost and the other has the lads. I fed them today for the first time since I harvested and there was nary one to be seen on the lid. They're chowing down on the leaves and newspaper and egg cartons. I gave them some cantaloupe rinds for being so good :)

    Bookmark   November 20, 2013 at 1:52PM
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