To get the most out of your Hungry Bin, it's important to feed your worms the foods they prefer, and avoid foods that discourage feeding and create an unfavorable environment. Doing so will maximize the success you have in creating nutrient-rich fertilizer from your home waste!
The wrong foods in your Hungry Bin will be ignored and not eaten, sitting untouched and rotting at the top of your bin. Not only could this cause your bin to smell, it could also encourage your worms to attempt escaping. While entertaining, it's not the best for composting.
Like humans, compost worms benefit greatly from a balanced diet. Read on for more information on what foods to place inside your Hungry Bin, and which to avoid completely.
Foods to Add
There are a variety of foods and household waste products that your worms will enjoy. Here are some top items:
- Fruit and vegetable scraps (with a few exceptions)
- Juice pulp
- Cooked food (Read more in Foods to Avoid)
- Used tea bags and coffee grounds
- Crushed eggshells (shell only)
- Hair, vacuum cleaner dust, soiled paper, tissues, handy towels, shredded egg cartons, toilet roll inners, paper lunch wrap
- Shredded moist newspaper & cardboard
- Lawn clippings in small quantities (spray free), weeds, clippings, prunings, dirt and leaves
- Sawdust and wood ash from untreated wood
- Animal Manure (make sure animals have not received anti-worm medication)
Foods to Avoid
If possible, avoid feeding the following foods to your compost worms:
- Fats or oils (or foods with high fat content)
- Shiny or waxed paper
- Bread, pasta and processed wheat products
- Meat and dairy products
- Spicy foods, onion, garlic, leeks, capsicums
- Citrus, acidic fruit skin
- Processed foods with preservatives
- Dog or cat waste, particularly if you plan on fertilizing your garden (gut parasites often exist and can potentially infect humans)
The following tips will also maximize the output you get from your Hungry Bin:
- Soft or smaller scraps: Worms can more easily break down and digest foods when softer and/or chopped into smaller pieces. Larger pieces are more difficult to consume and take more time.
- Add Variety: Don't feed the same thing day after day to your worms. Bring some variety, which will allow you to see what produces best.
- Minimize Lawn Clippings: Do not add to many lawn clippings at once, as fresh lawn clippings have the tendency to heat up quickly and cause problems.
- Don't Overfeed: Added food should be spread out evenly on the top layer. Do not add more than 1 inch per day. If food starts piling up, slow down. Uneaten food should not be deeper than 2 inches at any time.
- Balance Acidity: To keep your been fresh and smelling sweet, add fibrous materials on occasion: shredded paper or cardboard, dead and dried tree leaves, brown grass clippings.
If fed and maintained correctly, your Hungry Bin can process up to 4 pounds of organic waste every single day. That's over 1,400 pounds of organic waste each year!
But learning what your worms like and don't like will go a long way in determining how successful you are. Have additional questions? Please reach out to us by Chat, Phone, or Email, and we will work WITH you to help you succeed.