I just thought I would provide a quick update on my ‘Creepy Pants’ vermicomposter experiment. Since writing my first post about the system I have had the chance to test it out a little and iron out some potential issues early on.
One thing I didn’t really touch on was the fact that jeans are themselves somewhat biodegradable, so the system is definitely going to deteriorate over time, eventually falling apart completely. This will likely take quite a long time, but it is something to keep in mind nevertheless. I’m sure you would have ample warning before materials (compost etc) start to fall out on their own, but you may still want to locate a system like this in an outdoor location, or at least in a basement (as I have done). One solution would be to use synthetic pants (wind pants / fitness pants) – these could work very well and would be very resistant to decay. Just make sure to keep them out of direct sunlight (a good idea just for the sake of protecting the worms anyway), since it will weaken the fabric over time.
As I discovered, it is also helpful to provide enough support ropes to keep the composter in an nice upright position – not only will this make it easier to drop waste materials down inside, but this also helps to keep the moisture distributed more evenly. I originally only had the one rope attached to two of the belt loops. I ended up adding another rope (for two more of the loops) along with a single bungy cord as well to help pull up a drooping corner.
Similarly, I realized that there should also be some sort of prop wedged between the two legs to hold them apart – otherwise you will end up with wet contact zone where the pants themselves are likely to start rotting much more quickly. I found that a single toilet paper roll works very well!
I’m not really sure how things are shaping up inside the composter, but I suspect the worms are doing just fine. I’ve added a fair bit of waste and have watered the contents of each pant leg every day. I’ll likely now just leave it as is (continuing to add water though) and monitor the waste zones from above (using a flashlight) to see if I can detect worm activity. Once I see that the materials are being consumed I will continue adding wastes once again.
Anyway, that’s all for now! I will continue to provide updates as things progress with the pants.