Awesome Vermicomposting System!

RWC worm friend, Cassandra Truax, recently shared a really cool link on the RWC Facebook page and I knew I just had to share it here as well. I’m not sure how long the video and article will stay online (News websites can be bad for quickly removing, or at least moving content) so be sure to check it out while you can.

The video above features a very cool new vermicomposting system that was developed at Saginaw Valley State University (SVSU).

Here are a couple of blurbs from the article (basically just transcript of video):

This machine, developed at SVSU, speeds up the process by grinding up things like wasted food and grass clippings. That material is then sent into a chamber filled with thousands of worms.

SVSU officials think they might be able to mass produce the Worm Factory for about $1,000 per unit. Widespread use could go a long way in reducing the amount of wasted food and paper products sent to landfills

Here is a link to the original article: Recycling project designed to feed worms, not landfills

Thanks for sharing this, Cassandra!

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  1. This looks like an oversized food processor. Where do the worms go?

    • Don
    • May 31, 2011

    I’m glad Patrick said that 😉 all I could think was that this was a worm bin with a grinder front end. This is just way over-complicating a simple process.

    Are the worms are in the tumbler, being constantly tumbled? It seems to indicate so, but man, they would seriously disrupt the worms. I guess it may be turning only when grinding or on a timer.

    • Bentley
    • May 31, 2011

    Haha – good questions guys!
    I’d be surprised if the worms were constantly tumbled – but you never know. Whatever the case may be, they seem to be having success with it!

    DON – while I agree that the vermicomposting process works well with a K.I.S.S. approach, I definitely see some value in more of an optimized approach like this, especially for larger scale applications. Grinding up the material like that is an excellent way to really improve the efficiency of the system (and thus speed up the process).

    Anyway – looking forward to learning more about this project as it develops!

    • Ruth Ann (from PA)
    • June 1, 2011

    This idea is already used (without worms) in Europe. Check out the link for this composter that can be used on a large scale.

    Would the composting happen without the worms? It doesn’t appear that they have discovered anything new.

  2. I have something like this at home home. It’s Called “Jack Lalanne’s Power Juicer” I feed all the pulp to the worms. They gobble it up in less than 14 days Bentley. It’s contains just the right amount of moisture. I freeze it first of course.

    Also, Getting a little tired of people calling leechate “Worm Tea”.

    • John in Huntington Beach
    • June 15, 2011

    What caught my eye is a processing cycle of less than a week! At that flow-through rate, a relatively small unit can process a huge amount of waste on site. Huntington Beach is looking for ways to make a serious dent in what goes into landfill. All California cities are but I live in HB and so feel their efforts more directly. Our downtown area has a lot of restaurants in a small area and a unit along the lines of W-FARM could serve the area very effectively. If W-FARM could reduce acceptable waste by 95% in under a week, that would be fantastic. I think the students and teachers at SVSU should be congratulated and encouraged. They would like some more “likes” on their facebook page. What say we Bentley-fans give them a boost??

    • Mary
    • October 24, 2014

    Why does Pauly freeze his juicing pulp?

  3. Hi Mary,

    Worms depend on microbes to break down the food first so that the worms can slurp up the microbes. Freezing bursts the cell walls of the plant speeding up the decaying process. Just like in nature during the winter freeze and spring thaw. This spawns much decay in spring for the growth microbes, worms and plant life.

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