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How to Compost Under Your Sink
1. Forage or purchase a good worm container that will fit under your sink. It should have a well-fitting lid and be translucent (ideally), wider than it is deep, and modified with very fine air holes. These air holes should be plentiful, but extremely small.
2. Shred a lot of newspaper (no shiny plastic inserts) into thin strips and dampen it to the point of feeling like a wrung-out sponge. Fill your container with this damp newspaper, making sure it is really fluffy and that the container is at least 3/4 full. You will need a surprising amount of newspaper.
3. Forage or purchase red wiggler worms (Eisenia foetida). Something that goes under your sink will probably hold about 2-3lbs of worms; start with a pound or so and let the population grow to fit the space.
4. You can safely add any veggie or fruit scraps, plus egg shells. The trick is to chop up any really large pieces and to bury everything really well in the newspaper. The worms will eat in the dark. To prevent fruit flies, always keep at least six inches of newspaper on top of the food. Flies don’t dig. You should expect to continually add dry shredded newspaper to the bin for this reason, and also to wick away excess moisture.
5. Learn more! How do you plan to harvest and use the finished compost? How do you troubleshoot this system? Where can you buy worms? Lower East Side Ecology Center sells worms and “Worm Condos,” and is NYC’s trusted source for vermicomposting wisdom. Check out the NYC Compost Project resources where you live. This is an NYC Department of Sanitation-funded program with host sites in each borough. Rot on!
Kate Zidar, North Brooklyn Compost Project