Recycle with a wormery in the office!

Posted on 12 April 2016.

Coffee grounds, tea bags, apple cores... Your office trash overflows with organic waste that is easy to compost. Get your colleagues involved in worm composting!

Recycle your trash, limit waste collection and get quality compost for your plants: that’s the office wormery promise!

Coffee grounds, tea bags, apple cores, bits of paper, cardboard... your office trashcan is full of waste just crying out to be recycled! So why not embark on a composting adventure? It’s the best way of reducing the amount of non-consumable organic waste – which makes up nearly 30% of the total volume of waste. It’s no longer just the preserve of green-fingered folk with a garden or a large balcony. And of course, having chickens eat the leftovers or mulching them, doesn’t fit in too well with office life! But there is a way of composting in your office kitchenette or even in the bullpen – a wormery. It doesn’t need much space and if properly ventilated is completely odor-free. The principle is simple: every day gluttonous Eisenia species of worms – but not the earth digger types - swallow the equivalent of their weight in waste and digest it. Coffee grounds, tea leaves, apple cores, cardboard, black and white paper, bread... your organic office trash will enjoy a second life. And will even produce high quality solid compost, which can be spread on employees’ gardens or be used to pot plants, along with a liquid fertilizer - "worm tea" which when diluted in 9 times its volume water is the perfect feed for your houseplants!

No worries, worms like the dark!

For those reluctant to have squidgy worms near their computer, have no fear! They are confined in the litter in the bottom of the composter – made up of compost and some sand, for example - safe from predators, where they can multiply and feed uninterrupted... with no desire to think out of the box or get out of it! Choose species that especially like the dark and that have no desire to bask in the light of your desk lamp! There are a number of sources of information for would-be worm composters, including the very serious composting school in Hauts-de-Seine, in Colombes. It offers training for individuals, local authorities and elected officials. You can also contact your urban community, ADEME – France’s environment and energy efficiency agency, or Veolia. In addition, independent consulting firms like Organeo or cooperatives and participatory companies like the Breton SCOP Eisenia offer support for self-composting projects. By internalizing the management of some of your organic waste, the office coffee machine will become yet another way of feeding your team spirit!