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I have a worm compost bin, but 1) they're so much slower than I thought they would be and 2) I can't put meat, dairy, or anything very fibrous like potato peelings in there.<br><br>
So first I'm looking for ideas on how to speed up my darn worms. I have plenty of worms and they seem to be pretty active--when I lift up the shredded newspaper they're happily munching away on the food scraps. But instead of eating half their weight per day, the number I see bandied about on worm composting info sites, it takes them more than a week to eat a few strawberries, banana bits, and apple pieces. The bedding is reasonably moist and they're sheltered from the heat and cold. What else should I do?<br><br>
Second, I would love to hear about composting meat, dairy, bread, etc. Basically I would like to get all food items out of my garbage. Is this possible? My city offers yard waste composting, and I have a townhouse with a small patio anyway, so I don't need to compost yard waste. I was looking at the NatureMill indoor composter. Has anyone here used it? Is there a less expensive option? A few less expensive items I saw required you to stop filling them for varying amounts of time after they were full. For example, the Bokashi-based composters need 2 weeks to ferment with nothing else added.
 

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bump <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngbiggrin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="orange big grin">
 

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Thanks for the bump! It looks like 86 other people want to compost meat, dairy, or cooked food scraps, but no one's got a good recommendation. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"><br><br>
When my husband found out the cost of the NatureMill, he wanted to try to make a knock-off himself. He's still considering it, but is a little daunted by the complexity (must completely keep out pests and odors, must turn (1 motor), grind (another motor), and heat the items, must be continuous-use).<br><br>
I wonder if anyone's had success putting meat or dairy in a outdoor spinning compost bin without attracting wasps or rats. They seem like they might be pest-proof and <i>might</i> get hot enough to properly compost meat and dairy, though it would require a lot more monitoring and finagling.
 

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IDK much of anything about composting tbh... However! We have been composting for uh.. IDK, as long as I can remember. All we do is dump all the leftover bits of fruit/veggie/bread/occasional bit of cheese in a pail w/ lid under the sink an when it gets full we go dump it in the... compost bin, which, as far as I can tell is just a big piece of black plastic w/ an ill fitting lid and no bottom <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngtongue.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Stick Out Tongue"> It slowly breaks down, and occasionally some gets dumped out the bottom and you keep adding to it... Its very unfancy <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngtongue.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Stick Out Tongue">
 

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is all the composting you have the worm bins? if so, you might want to connect with someone who has a hot compost pile who can take your meat/dairy.<br><br>
if you have a secondary compost bin (an outdoor, cold compost), i would recommend a bokashi bin. bokashi is a japanese process of fermenting the scraps, which breaks them down so that they can be either A. buried 12 inches down in the soil where you are going to plant or B. put into a regular cold compost bin.<br><br>
bokashi liquor is also very useful for cleaning the drains in your house, so save it and/or sell it for that purpose, or it can be diluted 1 parts bokashi liquor to 100 parts water for fertilizer. of course, worm compost liquor can be put directly into the garden as fertilizer (people also sell this. try craig's list if you need to sell some).<br><br>
i have not tried adding fermented compost to a worm bin. essentially, cold compost is a large worm bin, and of course the bokashi can be put in that, so it might be able to be put into worm bins as well. i just haven't done it myself. and it's also quite moist, so you might have to add some dry ingredients with it (newspapers or egg cartons). it might be possible, but i would use it just cautiously and experimentally at first.<br><br>
the only thing that bokashi cannot handle is straight up grease. we do not use heavy grease or fry things, so we have no issue with that ourselves.<br><br>
we also boil off our bones (bone stock), and grind them down and just put it into the cold compost as grit for the worms (just as egg shells). works out no problem.<br><br>
so, we have two levels of compost here: bokashi and then cold compost, as hot compost takes a lot more space. we do have a resource for hot compost if we need it, but so far we haven't needed it.
 

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Not that I would rcommend this, but my grandmother use to feed a family of raccoons her extra non-compost scraps to avoid throwing it out (or maybe just her clever way of keeping the raccoons out of the trash?)<br><br>
Really though, when you think about it, what eats those kinds of things, not worms, but scavengers and flies. So unless you want to attract those kinds of things to your house, then you may want to rethink it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>zoebird</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/15486391"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">is all the composting you have the worm bins? if so, you might want to connect with someone who has a hot compost pile who can take your meat/dairy.<br></div>
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Yep, all we've got is the worm bin right now, and these dang worms are slow! I would say they're not even eating 1/2 of our scraps of "worm friendly" items. Hm...finding someone with a hot compost pile is a good idea. I'll post on my local parenting club to see if anyone has a hot compost pile. With a townhouse and two small patios, we don't exactly have the space for a true hot compost pile here. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"> (plus I believe that any compost is officially against the ridiculous HOA. We might be scofflaws with our worm bin as it is.)<br><br>
Our city's compost is hot, and they'll take all of our yard waste, but nothing else.<br><br>
It's not like we're throwing away tons of food each week, but it sure would be nice to be able to get trimmed fat, potato peelings (not worm-friendly), and any uneaten cheese out of the trash.<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>elsie</strong></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Really though, when you think about it, what eats those kinds of things, not worms, but scavengers and flies. So unless you want to attract those kinds of things to your house, then you may want to rethink it.<br></div>
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The appeal of the NatureMill is that it's totally pest-proof and supposedly odor-free. I don't think it's $399 worth of appeal, though!
 

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Can you not put the meat/dairy/cooked food in your yard waste? Where I live, the city wants people to put it all in with the yard waste. It might be worth giving the city a call and see if it might be in the works?
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>rainyday</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/15487035"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Can you not put the meat/dairy/cooked food in your yard waste? Where I live, the city wants people to put it all in with the yard waste. It might be worth giving the city a call and see if it might be in the works?</div>
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Unfortunately, they only permit yard waste as of now. We can't even put in vegetable waste. The city does have a Zero Waste 2021 goal which will ultimately have a composting component, but right now they're not supporting it very well.
 

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i think you have to bury it about 12-18 inches deep at least. that can be pretty deep for most yards/areas, and in a condo, land might be at a premium.
 
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