Compost Bins

A great variety of containers are suitable to use as a worm bin. Because we have a fairly large operation our own bins are constructed from non-treated wood. If you choose to go this route, the only type of wood that we know to be UNSUITABLE for building worm bins is cedar. Most folks have a bin made of a large plastic storage container like the one pictured above. This is an example of the bins we prepare and sell.

Our "Worms @ Work" bins are 24" long by 16" wide by 12.5 '" deep (approximately 61 cm. by 40.6 cm. by 31.8 cm.) The holes in the sides for aeration are 1'" (2.5cm.) in diameter. The holes in the lid, again for aeration, are 2" in diameter. The prepared bin contains suitable bedding (dampened to the consistency of a wrung out sponge), worms, a small garden fork, and instructions. With this kit you are ready to start vermicomposting.

We do not put drainage holes in the bottom of our bins. Instead we tell our clients to keep the moisture level correct by adding dry shredded newspaper if too wet ,or spraying the bedding if too dry. This is what we practice in our large bins.

If you wish you to put drainage holes in the bottom of the bin, you need 8 to 10 of them and they need to be at least 1" (2.5 cm) in diameter. Then you need to put a catch tray under the bin and suspend the bin on blocks or bricks above the tray. The liquid that comes out is called leachate. IT IS NOT WORM TEA! The tray needs to be drained on a regular basis because if left too long, the liquid becomes anaerobic (no oxygen) and will smell. You can use the leachate watered down 1 part leachate to 5 parts water and then put on indoor or outdoor plants. The consistency of the bedding in your bin needs to remain as described above and even with drain holes you might need to add dry newspaper.

Alternately, you can build a bin of your own and just buy the worms from us. There are plans for building a worm bin is in the book “Worms Eat My Garbage" by Mary Appelhof. It is easy to find at your public library or you can purchase it from us for $20 (subject to availability).

If you do want to build your own bin...

The most important facts to know about worm bins are they must be aerated well, damp but not soggy, and they must not be subject to extreme temperatures.
Optimal temperature range is 15 to 25 degrees C (59 to 77 degrees F). Worms can work in your basement at 10 degrees C (50F). These worms will tolerate quite a wide range of temperatures but below 4 degrees C (39.2) and above 30 degrees C ( 86F) will kill them. It is VERY IMPORTANT to keep you bin out of direct sunlight. Because the worms survive better in a climate that is controlled and has little temperature variation, we reccommend that our bins NEVER be placed outside.

Getting a good mix of bedding is also crucial. (see below for suitable bedding material).

Can include:
Shredded newspaper
Shredded cardboard
Shredded fall leaves
Chopped up straw
Sawdust (none from treated or painted wood, no cedar)
Dried grass clippings (not treated with fertilizer or pesticides)

Below is a "Worms @ Work" bin with fresh bedding

For More Information, Please contact us at