Porch Composting without Angering the Neighbors?

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CorriganLaFay CorriganLaFay
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Porch Composting without Angering the Neighbors?

I read in previous posts that worm composting is a great way to compost on an apartment porch without creating a foul smell.  Where does one even purchase worms?  I need a discreet container so I do not get fined by the landlord.  Also, what kind of container is cheap but effective.  I'm a college student so finances are tight.  Any advice or links for further reading would be greatly appreciated.  Most of the links I have found about composting seem to require an extremely large start up cost.
Jay Jay
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Re: Porch Composting without Angering the Neighbors?

May be a bit dated, but aside from the plentiful internet searches, Worms Eat My Garbage is the classic book on the subject. Many libraries carry it.
Cheapest would be to check with your school or any community gardens and see what they offer. Many schools are "going green" and have a plan in place for composting, etc.
To purchase worms, again, do an internet search for local/mail order sites. Red wrigglers, I think, are the classic, but just plug in "worms composting" and your local area. You should get lots of hits. Research how many you need before purchasing.
Good luck!
Jay Jay
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Re: Porch Composting without Angering the Neighbors?

Just to be a little clearer, the book tells you how to make a worm bin, as well as how to feed and maintain them.
It was written before the concept got commercialized :-)
MariaNoCA MariaNoCA
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Re: Porch Composting without Angering the Neighbors?

In reply to this post by CorriganLaFay
You might check the local company that picks up your trash or your city's webpage; my city sells all kinds of compost bins at a discount. Also there are also many other resources for zero waste on their website.
Sandra Sandra
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Re: Porch Composting without Angering the Neighbors?

In reply to this post by CorriganLaFay
You can easily build a worm bin by reusing materials you already own. One method is by drilling holes into the sides of a plastic storage container (two stacking storage bins are ideal). Here's a link from the Oregon Metro website that shows you how and includes details on how to maintain the worm bin properly. Instructions are at the bottom of the page, in a PDF link titled "Directions for building a worm bin."

For worms, if you can't find them locally, you can order them online through the ZWH's "store" link.  

Along the same lines, you can also build your own outdoor, aerobic compost bin by drilling holes into the sides, bottom and lid of an old, plastic garbage can. I wish I had heard about this concept earlier, before I went out and purchased a compost bin. It would have been a great way to re-purpose our trash can.
nikkinnora nikkinnora
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Re: Porch Composting without Angering the Neighbors?

In reply to this post by CorriganLaFay
I use three shallow 10 gallon rubbermaid totes that I nest to make a three tiered system. Check youtube for videos on vermicomposting, BigTexWorms has good information which I used to establish my pets. Make sure you do not get clear containers as the worms do not tolerate light. The bin has been kept in my apartment pantry for nearly a year without problems. They don't tolerate temperatures below 45 degrees or above 85 degrees. Search Craigslist for red wigglers, I bought a pound of worms locally for less than $20. Now I have approximately three pounds of worms. Weekly they are fed two cups of blended fruit and veggie scraps that I store in the freezer to kill any fruit fly larvae. They also get one cup of coffee grounds and about 6 ground egg shells. Also keep a paper shredder and a bag full of shredded newspaper, junk mail, and personal documents close by so that you can toss two inches of shredded paper on top to cover the food scraps. I haven't had any issues with pests by sticking to this method.
Jay Jay
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Re: Porch Composting without Angering the Neighbors?

Awesome! Sounds like an extraordinarily well organized system. Any chance of some photos?
Maria Carvajal Maria Carvajal
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Re: Porch Composting without Angering the Neighbors?

In reply to this post by nikkinnora
I tried composting with the worms but had trouble with fruit flies. I do not understand how you control them with veggie scraps?
maria
reed reed
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Re: Porch Composting without Angering the Neighbors?

They can be such a nuisance.
 
General tips:
1.  Burry the scraps 2-3” deep in the bedding.
2.  Keep a layer of moistened newspaper on top of the bedding.
3.  If feeding scraps from a questionable source, microwave them first to kill any fruit fly eggs.  4.  Let the scraps cool before giving them to the worms.
5.  (If inside) Keep bins away from fruit fly hotspots like windows or by garbage cans. Basements can be good for this.
6.  Don’t have your bin outside one part of the year and inside the other part of the year.
7.  If your climate is warm enough, have the bin outside year round and don’t worry about fruit flies—they don’t hurt the worms or the compost.

Hope that helps :)