Are Worm Farms any better than Landfill?

Tackling the issue of recycling my household organic waste was my first goal when I decided to live ‘greener’.Living in the inner city, my household is apart of Sydney City Council and after checking out their website I discovered that they run courses on worm farms (as well as many other environmental projects).  The greatest part was after completing the two hour course, everyone received a free worm farm or compost bin.

Click this link for more information or if you are not apart of the Sydney City Council, check out your own Council’s website to see what they are doing in your local community on the subject ‘being green’.

Since coming back from holidays in Thailand, I have been researching the subjects; worm farms, Bokashi buckets and recycling doggy poo.  I wanted to see if I could find answers to questions I have yet to fully understand.

 

The main issue was around a couple of comments friends emailed me with regards to my post ‘doggy poo loo’.  Here is one such comment:   “…doggy poo being picked up via degradable doggy poo bags and put into the garbage (will decompose at tip)……”

 

It was the comment of doggy poo or for that matter any organic waste decomposing at the tip that got me thinking.  My initial reaction was “waste decomposing at the tip is not the best environmental way to handle waste” but I have to be honest that I didn’t know exactly why.  So hence the research began.

 

First stop was to understand how landfills work. 

 

From this website I learnt that because landfill is underground and airtight the process of waste being broken down by the absence of oxygen is called anaerobic.  Apparently the byproduct of this anaerobic breakdown is landfill gas, which contains approximately 50 percent methane and 50 percent carbon dioxide with small amounts of nitrogen and oxygen.

 

Second stop was to understand more about Methane. 

 

According to this website and I quote “Methane (CH4) is a greenhouse gas that remains in the atmosphere for approximately 9-15 years. Methane is over 20 times more effective in trapping heat in the atmosphere than carbon dioxide (CO2).”

 

If the brake down of waste in landfill creates Methane ‘greenhouse gas’, is my worm farm any better as a waste management system at home?

 

This little article helped me understand what I now needed to do with my worm farm.

 

And I quote this article “….Composting sounds easy – lift the lid, chuck the stuff in and forget. But you need to turn it (poke it around and lift it a bit) to get the air in there – otherwise you’re a domestic methane production facility (and that’s as bad as sending scraps to landfill).”

 

Though this was referring to composting I think it may still refer to worm farms. Hence my new lesson from this week’s research is basically I need to aerate my worm farm.  I will do this every time I add new food scraps from now on!  Of course doing this very gently as I do not want to hurt any of my little wormy friends.


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6 thoughts on “Are Worm Farms any better than Landfill?

  1. Pingback: What I have achieved so far on my green journey! « Greener Me

  2. Pingback: Reviewing Our Worm Farm « Greener Me

  3. Hi Josh,

    Sorry for the delay in responding. Your comment ended up in my spam folder.

    I am really glad you are reading my blog. The more I journey green the more I realise I have a lot to learn.

    Appreciate your comments.

    Sarhn

    Like

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