Why are Lower Mainland Residents turning to worm composting?
Starting January 1, 2015, the City of Vancouver and Metro Vancouver regional district banned food scraps from disposal as garbage. This has been long coming as organics waste disposal requirements were implemented in Surrey in 2012 and have been phased in since then throughout the Lower Mainland. We are adjusting to how to deal with food waste without mess or odor.
One solution is to put food scraps in a worm compost bin. A worm bin can be kept indoors or outdoors, so it is a great solution for people in apartments. The type of worms that work the best for this is Eisenia species (aka red wigglers, red wrigglers, red worms). Food scraps that worms will break down happily include kitchen scraps such as fruit, vegetables, bread, rice, pasta, tea bags, and coffee grounds.
What about meat and dairy waste?
Meat, dairy, and other oily foods do not break down well in a standard size worm composting system and can cause odors. It is recommended that they be stored in a container in the freezer. They are then disposed of in your city green bin on the day of your garbage pickup.
Yard waste and worm composting:
Trimmings from the garden, grass clippings and leaves can be broken down in an outdoor worm composter. They should be added in moderate quantities to prevent any imbalances or overheating of the worm habitat. Outdoor yard waste worm composters should be kept moist, protected from hot sun and freezing. Large quantities of yard waste, branches, weeds with seeds, or diseased plant trimmings should be disposed of in the your city green bin.
To learn more about how to set up a worm bin in your home, there are instructions here.