Better worm composting by design. WormWorx is now selling the HUNGRY BIN.

hungrybin-diagramComposting with worms (or “vermicomposting”) has always been a good idea. Feeding food waste to worms reduces the amount of waste going to the curb, and it also creates high-quality fertilizer. Now there’s a new bin that takes a good idea and makes it better: the HUNGRY BIN.

What’s different about the HUNGRY BIN design?

The design of the HUNGRY BIN is unique. To begin with, there are no trays separating the older and newer contents of the bin. Food waste is added at the top of the bin, and castings constantly fall towards the bottom. This is called a “continuous flow system”, and it’s more efficient than the stacked tray system.

The HUNGRY BIN also has a unique shape: wide at the top and narrow at the bottom. This shape creates a larger surface area at the top, where the food scraps are. This gives the worms more room to eat and, as a result, they eat faster.

The combination of more eating room and a continuous flow system makes the HUNGRY BIN twice as efficient as traditional worm bins. Worms living in traditional bins eat half their weight each day; worms living in a HUNGRY BIN eat their full weight each day. A HUNGRY BIN can process up to 2 kilos (4.5 pounds) of organic waste per day. That makes it a great choice for restaurant composting, office composting, and multi-unit strata or apartment composting. The HUNGRY BIN also does fine with much smaller amounts of waste, so it’s suitable for small families and single people.

The narrowing shape of the HUNGRY BIN also compresses the worm castings as they travel downward. Compressed castings are less comfortable for the worms, which encourages them to stay near the top. By the time the finished castings reach the bottom of the bin, they are largely free of worms.

And when the finished castings do reach the bottom, the design of the HUNGRY BIN makes it easy to collect them. Simply remove the floor of the bin, and about 4 litres of castings can be broken off. This collection process is easier and less messy than with traditional worm farms. There’s no need to lift trays full of unfinished compost, which can be heavy and wet. And there’s no need to separate worms from the finished castings.

In addition to castings, vermicomposting also produces a liquid known as “worm tea”, which makes an excellent fertilizer when diluted with water. In traditional worm composters, this liquid is released through a spout located on the side of the bin. This spout can become clogged. With the HUNGRY BIN, the worm tea passes through a filter in the floor of the bin and falls into a drip tray below. The filter prevents the drain hole from becoming clogged and can be removed for cleaning.

And finally, unlike other vermicomposters, the HUNGRY BIN has wheels. You can roll the bin over to your garden, collect the finished castings, and put them straight into the soil. And you can move the bin into the garage during the colder months if necessary. (Compost worms don’t like temperatures below five degrees Celsius.)