Coffee Cup Challenge – Day 75: It’s a Wrap!

Coffee Cup Decay in Worm Bin

I felt like an archaeologist this morning as I scraped away layers of vermicompost in an effort to unearth the remains of my two coffee cups!

Needless to say, it’s been awhile since my last update! I figured today would be as good a day as any to wrap up the challenge once and for all. I had no idea it was day 75 until I counted forward from our last update, but it definitely sounds like a good number to finish with.

Not too surprisingly, there isn’t much left – basically just the plastic liner that comes inside each cardboard coffee cup. As you’ll see below, one of the cups does still have a little cardboard on the bottom, but that’s about it.

All that's left is the plastic liner
Here is a close-up of one of the liners as I dislodge it from the rest of the bin contents

Still a little cardboard left on this one
As mentioned, one of the cups still had a little bit of cardboard left on the bottom. In case you are wondering, the small, round, yellowish objects are worm eggs. There seem to be quite a few of them in the bin.

Red Wiggler - Up Close and Personal
I took a few close-up shots of red worms while I was at it – this one turned out quite nicely! (you know you are a true worm nerd when you say things like that!)

All in all it was a fun little experiment. To be totally honest, I did know what the outcome would be (since I’ve composted coffee cups before), but I figured it would be fun to document the process (with photos) on the blog.

I can’t remember if I mentioned in already, but for my next challenge I’m going to attempt to see how quickly red worms can reproduce. I’ll get a new bin ready, then simply add a small number of adult worms (5 or fewer). Like the CC Challenge, I will be sure to write periodic blog updates. Should definitely be interesting!

By the way, in case you’ve missed any or all of my Coffee Cup Challenge posts, here are the rest of them:

Coffee Cup Challenge – Day 0
Coffee Cup Challenge – Day 6
Coffee Cup Challenge – Day 17
Coffee Cup Challenge – Day 33
Coffee Cup Challenge – Day 36

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  1. I’m so impressed with your blog and your worm farming! I’m a worm nerd, too. Started with it about three years ago and have spread worm colonies across the state of Virginia. Right now I’m living in Pennsylvania and experimenting with an inside-the-apartment bin. So far it has required a high tolerance for fruit flies. But I am continuing to work with the process and buying a fair amount of fly paper. As far as starting a population from scratch, I am accidentally having that same experiment myself, as I spent a ridiculous amount of money on worms and then carelessly let their environment become too hot. I lost most of them, and for a good while could only find the occasional worm or two no matter how hard I looked. After four to five months of waiting and tending, I *think* I have a modest-sized sustainable worm population again. I hope I didn’t add too much heat-producing food before I left for a week in New York. Will find out when I get home.

    Good luck! I love your pictures, too! What makes some of us so susceptible to worms, I wonder?

    • Bentley
    • August 22, 2007

    Wow, Martha! Thanks so much for your kind words.
    I’m hoping to spend quite a bit more time tending to the blog in coming weeks and months! Have a few other interesting (and related) projects up my sleeve as well. Should be fun!

    You are right – there are just some people who absolutely fall under the ‘spell of the worm’. I’ve reached a point of actually being quite shocked when someone is disgusted by the idea of composting/vermicomposting. That just seems so foreign to me now!

    Anyway, thanks again!

    • Vernon
    • May 29, 2015

    Hi I have restarted my worm farm six months ago with worms I have collected out of garden and compost bins it is taking awhile to get numbers up. I am interest to see how is your experiment goes

    • Celina
    • September 24, 2019

    In my zero waste group I used this as a suggestion when someone asked what to do with their orange juice carton but was met with the criticism that this is bleached paper and should not be fed to worms. Thoughts? Any discernible effect on the worms?

    • Bentley
    • October 8, 2019

    Hi Celina – some people love to take strong positions on things like this. OK – bleached paper might not be the BEST carbon source – but I have added LOTS of it over the years without issue. I guess my only recommendation would not be to set up a system with only this material. Orange juice (and similar) cartons are another kettle of fish (can of worms? lol) altogether though – they are heavily waxed. My recommendation would be to recycle them instead since the wax (or perhaps plastic) coating will cause them to break down much more slowly. This post you have commented on was just for an experiment I did. I actually don’t typically try to compost these sorts of containers.

    • JOLJ
    • April 13, 2021

    eating coffee cups, I got a paper shredder to run mail though to feed to worms.

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