VermiComposting is the process of composting organic waste using different species of worms. Compost produced using this method is known as VermiCompost. Compared to regular compost it is richer in nutrients.
Vermicompost may be used for:
- Farming or Agriculture Applications
- Landscaping Applications
- Compost Tea
- Treatment of Sewage Sludge
VermiComposting is mainly used for applications of Waste Management on different scales. A common way to use this process is to build Vermicompost Bins or Vermicompster.
Standard Design Considerations for VermiComposting Bins
A Vermicomposting bin is a self contained ecosystem which is well ventilated and has provisions for drainage. A self contained and well balanced VermiComposting bin can produce a constant supply of fresh compost as organic waste is processed. For a self contained vermicomposting bin several considerations have been laid out.
Few standard design considerations are:
- A vermicompost bin is designed with several holes at the bottom that allow for drainage of excess liquid which may also be referred to as leachate. This drainage option enables to maintain an optimum moisture content in the bin which is essential for the survival of the worms.
- One of the most important components of the bin is the bedding as its purpose is to simulate the worms natural habitat.
- Organic Waste can be directly placed on the bedding or can be placed in a little hole in the bedding and buried.
- Another essential consideration for the bin design is ventilation. Air is not only important for the worms and the composting process.
- 0.45 kg of worms can be sustained in 1 m3.
- Ideal density for vermicomposting bins is 640 kg/m3.
- Ideal levels of pH of water/mixtures ranges between 5 to 9.
- Ideal Salinity levels of the bin should be below 0.5%.
- Functional Temperature range for vermicomposting bins ranges from 0° to 35° C and ideal composting temperature is between 25° to 30° C.
- Thickness of bedding should be around 150mm to 200mm.
- Thickness of Waste Layer above bedding should not exceed 300mm.
Suitable Species of Worms
|Common Name||Species||Native To|
|Red Wiggler or|
|Red Earthworm||Lumbricus Rubellus||Europe|
|European Nightcrawlers or|
Belgian Nightcrawlers or
|African Nightcrawlers||Eudrilus Eugeniae||Tropical West Africa|
|Common Earthworm or|
|Large Terrestrial Earthworms||Lampito Maruitii||India|
The highly recommended bedding ingrediants for the vermicomposting bin are:
- Shredded Brown Cardboard
- Coconut Coir
- Shredded Paper
- Shredded Newspaper
- Wood Chips
- Yard Waste/ Dried Vegetation
- Aged Compost
Other Facts about VermiComposting
- Compost Material created by worms is smaller than 20 microns
- Compost Worms can eat upto their body weight on a daily basis.
- Harvesting time of compost using this method can range from 3-6 months.