Last week I had the opportunity to visit the Waitakere Refuse and Recycling Centre with a group of kids to learn about what happens to our rubbish, and how we can manage it differently. If you have the opportunity, it’s a great educational experience.
One of the things we investigated while we were there, was the worm farm! It turns out that a lot of what we put in out rubbish bags every week is food waste, and a lot of that waste can be fed to the worms! The education section of the Refuse and Recycling Centre has it’s own worm farm in an old bathtub that was thrown away. It’s full of worms, but they aren’t the same kind of worms that we usually find in the garden. The worm farm is full of Tiger Worms! They have stripes, just like a tiger!
Apparently, tiger worms can eat their own weight in food every day! They love eating banana peels, apple cores, and egg shells. They even eat tea bags, paper scraps, coffee grounds and hair (yes hair! like out of your hairbrush!). There are a few things worms don’t like eating, like spicy food, bread, and citrus fruit, so it wont get rid of all your food waste, but if you’re throwing worm food in the rubbish, maybe you could make your own worm farm! There are instructions available online if you want to make your own, or you can buy a worm cafe to keep your worms happy. You can also download a handy poster to remind you what you should and should not feed your worms here.
In addition to reducing your landfill contribution each week, your worm farm will provide you with Worm Tea and Vermicast (worm wees and poos!), which you can put on your gardens to add nutrients and help your plants grow. Plus they’re fun to look at! Just make sure you don’t touch the worms with your fingers, as it can damage their skin.
Let me know if you have a worm farm at your house!