Composting Dryer Lint – Update #1

Red Worms in Dryer Lint

Last week I wrote about adding a lint ball to one of my worm tubs. I just thought I would provide a quick update to let you know the decomposition process is coming along.

One thing is becoming abundantly clear – it is going to take a LONG time for this lint to fully decompose! Even though I soaked it in yummy ‘homemade manure‘, I was only able to find a few worms burrowing into it – unlike the situation I wrote about with the Natura Eco cloth some time ago.

Red Worm in Dryer Lint

The important thing to remember however, is that a week hasn’t even passed yet. I suspect that over time, more worms will move into the lint ball as it breaks down further.

There do seem to be a lot of springtails associated with the lint (they are the small white flecks in the photos above), but there are loads of them in my bins in general so it’s hard to say if they are particularly attracted to the material. Even if they are, it is almost certainly due to the coating up blended food waste!

Anyway, while I certainly won’t bother to provide updates very often (since they will getting really boring REALLY fast), I’ll definitely keep tabs on the lint ball and let you know how things are coming along from time to time!

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    • Rich A.
    • November 24, 2008

    This is a little off topic, although it relates to your penchant for experimentation. Have you ever tried cutting the top off a pumpkin and adding some material from a worm bin (including of course worms)? I am wondering if it would make a good temporary bin with the worms eating their own bin along the way. (As you can guess, I have a few large pumpkins that I would like to compost but are too much for the worms to handle all at once.)

    • gary
    • November 25, 2008

    looks like there was alot of hair in your lent ball which will probably never break down. what species is the worm in the pic?

    • Bentley
    • November 27, 2008

    Rich – that is a really interesting idea. I think it could become an unholy mess though. Pumpkins (and squash in general) seem to just liquidate after a certain amount of time, so it might get ugly. If the entire thing was somehow housed in another container FULL of dry, shredded cardboard/paper perhaps that would help. The other thing I would worry about is fruit flies – if they laid eggs in that pumpkin – LOOKOUT!

    Gary – it’s true, hair is very resistant, but given the right conditions (moisture, warmth, lots of microbes) it will certainly decompose. Should be interesting to see what happens.

    The worm is a Red (Wiggler) Worm (Eisenia fetida)

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