We all have a problem with how to dispose of waste food. As summer progresses, more flies come into the house. The trash starts to smell, and you don't want to look too closely at the bottom of your bin for fear of maggots
The smelly waste is the organic portion, and many public waste collection programs now provide a separate bin for organic waste. And because waste separation by the homeowner and waste reduction programs means less waste to collect, collections may be reduced to fortnightly or even monthly.
Less Frequent Waste Collection Gives Rise to Bad Smells and Flies
Organic waste, whether it is in a separate 'brown bin' or mixed through non-recyclable waste, cannot really afford to sit around for two weeks waiting for disposal. It contains all the stuff that goes smelly and attracts flies. Your vegetable peelings, your plate scrapings, the past-its-sell-by-date food from your refrigerator. The fish skin, head and even guts from last night's dinner. Raw meat trimmings and leftovers – all end up in the bin. And as it waits for your rubbish collection it rots and begins to smell. Then it attracts flies, flies lay eggs which turn into maggots, which turn into flies which wait for the next bin food and so on.
Recycle the waste
What if you could never have more than a day's, or even a meal's waste waiting for disposal? If you could dispose of your food waste before it has a chance to decompose, and before the flies move in? If you could recycle the waste into something useful?
With a well-established wormery you can.
If you have a big enough wormery (at least one square foot of surface per person in the household) with enough composting worms (minimum of 500g or one pound of composting worms per person), then you have a worm-powered waste treatment machine at home.
So you collect the waste food in a small container in the kitchen, and bring it regularly to your wormery to be processed. And in a wormery, waste processing begins the moment you add the waste food and cover it with active material. The micro-organisms get to work straight away, even before the worms find the food. And even better - vermicompost (compost produced with the aid of worms), and the mix of micro-organisms found in a wormery - absorb and neutralise smells. A tight lid stops flies from getting to the food, and if you 'bury' your waste deep enough any emerging flies from eggs laid earlier, will be unable to reach the surface.
Valuable compost from recycling waste
After a few months you will be able to remove vermicompost from your wormery to use in your garden to improve your soil and grow more healthy plants.
In other articles I will describe how to set up and work with your wormery. I will also describe some of the many uses of vermicompost-such as use as an organic fertiliser, or to make a rich compost tea which will keep your plants strong and reduce the number of pests attacking them.