Using a Plastic Tub for a Worm Compost Bin

What You'll Need
Plastic tub with cover
Tray to fit under the plastic tub
Bricks to lay just under the side of the tub
Red wriggler worms
Bedding such as newspaper or leave (slightly damp)
Dirt or sand
Food waste

It is possible to create a worm compost bin using a plastic tub. Worm composting bins are generally set up for use inside, sometimes in a large, low cupboard. 

Worm composting, also known as vermiculture, is a great way to recycle table scraps and other food waste. The compost created from this type of composting can be used for houseplants, outdoor gardens and around trees. 

When set up and maintained properly, there will be no strange odors coming from the compost bin. No one will know it is there unless the bin is pointed out to them.



Step 1: Gather Your Tools and Materials

First, gather the tools and materials listed above so that everything is in one place. 

Try to guess at how many pounds of food waste is generated per week. Make sure that the plastic tub is about a foot deep and allows for a square foot for each pound of table scraps or other food waste that is generated in a 1 week time span. It is okay if more than one bin is needed. 

When ordering the red wriggler worms, be sure to purchase 2,000 worms for every pound of food waste generated per day. Dirt or sand is used each time food waste is added to the bin, so always be sure to have some on hand. It provides grit for the worms and helps with the composting process. 


Step 2: Set up the Compost Bin

Drill 8 to 12 holes in the bottom of the tub where it will not be resting on the bricks. The holes provide drainage when the moisture level is too high in the compost bin. It also aids in aeration. 

Set the tray in the area where the compost bin will be set up. Then set the bricks in place. The bricks are used to elevate the bin so that it will drain properly. Place the plastic tub on top of the bricks. 


Step 3: Filling the Bin

Put the slightly damp bedding into the compost bin, moving it slightly for air circulation. Move some of the bedding and add the food waste, covering it with the bedding that was moved. Add a cup of dirt or sand to the bin in the area where you put the food.

To maintain the food bin, simply add food waste in different areas each time remembering to add the soil or sand as well. Be sure that the food waste is always covered so as not to attract fruit flies and do not add meat, fish or dairy products to the bin. 

Compost can be harvested any time from around 6 weeks onwards although this will be dependant on how much waste is being produced. Worms and bedding can be circulated around different parts of the bin to allow for fresh composting areas.