Archive October 15, 2013

Vermicompostable Waste

Vermicompostable Waste

What is truly vermicompostable waste?

Vermicompostable Waste

Unlike outdoor compost where you can put all the waste of natural origin, the worm composter is choosy. Obviously, the fauna that has been artificially introduced is much more limited. However, an apartment fireplace does not have the same requirements as a house fireplace.

And again, let us remember:

The luxury of compost is slowness in silence

The list (non-exhaustive, to be completed according to your experiments)

–Wet waste—

  • Fruits (peels, cores, seeds)
  • Vegetables (peels, seeds)
  • Citrus fruits cooked or raw in small pieces
  • Leftover meals: starter, main course, desserts whatever the sauce
  • Crushed egg shells
  • The faded flowers
  • Coffee grounds and tea bags

Cooked garlic and onions, despite popular belief, are completely vermicompostable! Worms never have bad breath!

See Also: The Tradition of Gifting Flowers on Anniversaries

Vermicompostable Waste

–Dry waste —

  • Newspaper
  • White paper (bill type, cheese paper)
  • Rolls of toilet paper or paper towels (in fine pieces)
  • Cardboards without paint
  • Stale bread
  • Hair and nails

Humidity balance of the vermicomposter


To ensure a balance between nitrogenous and carbonaceous materials, be sure to compensate for the addition of too much moist material (such as peelings, end of sauces, salads) with drier materials such as cardboard (such as toilet paper rolls or small packaging) or cut newspaper into pieces.

Did you know that if the cardboard you place in your municipality’s sorting bin is smaller than a music CD cover, it will be incinerated? You might as well give it to your apartment worms!

Likewise, if the paper wrapping cold meats or cheese can be easily torn by hand (no plastic film), it can definitely be given to your worms in small pieces!

Non-vermicompostable waste

Worms in worm composters are more demanding than their colleagues in outdoor compost. In addition to non-compostable waste (anything synthetic, rocky or metallic), here are a few more items that you should definitely not worm compost.

The list (non-exhaustive) :

  • Cleaning products (even labeled ‘organic’)
  • Anything too spicy, salty or vinegary.
  • Bones
  • Fish and meat
  • Glossy papers
  • Branches or other woody waste
  • Glass

So anyone who plans to clean their worm composter with bleach, all they have to do is find a pipe long enough to connect their exhaust pipe to the passenger compartment of their car, turn on the ignition, sit in the flying by closing all the exits then take a deep breath. A long time.

Experience of contact with nature


Testimonial from a worm composter! (excerpt from Jacqueline Croza’s book, “Vermicompost and Nail Polish”)

“I had always wanted to make a worm composter but I lacked the courage. Touch these little crawling and disgusting creatures. These long slimy stems that dig into the earth in such a horrible way.
That’s what I thought before following my treatment with Dr. Verheim. I recently went to Wiesenthal, Germany, for a week. I was welcomed into a delightful environment, a small building surrounded by a flower and vegetable garden. Everywhere I looked, there was nature. I didn’t understand what an expert in apartment worm composting could do around here!
The room allocated to me contained 2 aquariums filled with small worms with which, I later realized, I would have to live more actively than by just looking at them…”

(For reasons of conflicts with the publishing house, we invite you to buy Jacqueline’s book to know the rest of her story)

More to read: Compost your tissues!

Compost your tissues!

Compost your tissues

How to get rid of your tissues or germ nests?

Compost your tissues

For the majority of French people, blowing their nose into a tissue has become a great progress since the “tissue tissue” years of our grandparents. No more risk of putting your hand in your pocket and coming out sticky, covered in a layer of nasal mucus. Continuing the ‘disposable everything’ society, paper tissues are still the least polluting of modern accessories. But where can we throw them? Is the quantity of microbes that we extract from our body by blowing our nose not contagious and will they not proliferate in our trash?

Compost your tissues and not blow your nose in the compost bin!

Stop throwing your tissues in the trash.

Wood residues, handkerchiefs are made of cellulose, a highly biodegradable material. By vaguely considering its material with a distracted eye, Trees Down Under found that 78% of French people threw their used tissues in the sorting bin. TOTAL HORROR! Horror yes, but this corresponds to the following statistic: 85% of this same sample did not realize that the recycling bins were re-sorted by hand…

Compost your tissues

Even when gloved, you can imagine that it is not pleasant to handle the handkerchief used by a stranger . Especially when the risk of projection is so great when the bag explodes on the sorting belt. It is estimated that 47% of sick leave observed in sorting factories are directly attributable to tissues improperly placed in the sorting bin and are thus factors in the spread of winter flu.

It has been estimated that in the event of a return of the Black Death, the French population, given its current waste management habits, would drop from 65 million to 2.6 million inhabitants.

Forget your preconceived ideas about microbes


Obviously, if you rub your face with the handkerchief that was used a few minutes previously by a patient, you risk being contaminated. But from the moment the tissue is thrown into an environment from which it will no longer come out (such as a trash bag or compost), it already begins to soak up the substances it encounters and initiate defragmentation. The microbes, viruses or other bacteria present on the tissue mix with the medium and, if they do not find living hosts (animal type, insect type) nearby, they die.

Outside of a living organism, viruses die within a few hours.

Composting your tissues, a more than logical gesture!

It is therefore completely absurd to believe that only the incineration of our handkerchiefs is possible to get rid of its miasma. On the contrary ! Composting is the most coherent solution for health and the environment for managing tissue corpses. Indeed, the handkerchief being basically made of highly biodegradable cellulose, placed in an environment of adequate decomposition, it will degrade in less than a week… A week! The time it takes to get rid of a cold (7 days according to doctors).

In addition, its strong absorbency will compensate for the liquefaction of certain fruits or vegetables in your compost bin placed in the kitchen and will avoid attracting midges or creating an unpleasant odor.

Very easily biodegradable, usual dry matter, the tissue is a blessing for the compost!

Anything can be used as a tissue, but is it compostable?

Here is a list of some used nose blowing materials with their compostability:

  • Our ancestors used this good old cloth handkerchief which disgusted us so much. Maybe. But in addition to being practical, at least it did not waste tons of paper for noses that had become more delicate and then more easily irritated by the aggressiveness of the cellulose. The fabric is obviously compostable, as long as it is not made from petroleum (polyester), which is quite rare for handkerchiefs. However, it is better to wash it in the machine, it is more relevant.
  • The paper towel is compostable. Its double or even triple thicknesses are even more absorbent for storage in a composting bin, which makes it essential for the carbon balance of the compost.
  • Toilet paper or PQ is also compostable unless it has been previously used for poop wiping purposes. We cannot emphasize enough that the bacteria present in human waste are harmful to compost fauna.
  • Socks with holes (see fabric handkerchief)
  • Fingers are washable in the sink :!

A little advice for the road.


To blow your nose correctly, remember that it is essential to blow your nose one nostril after the other so as not to cause sudden increases in pressure in the brain . These cause ringing in the ears and damage the eardrums. Although there is no direct evidence of deafness following chronic pressure attacks, migraines or temporary deafness are often reported after particularly intense flus.

The best thing all the same, to avoid this kind of inconvenience, is to ignore the flu when it arrives. And to do this, what could be better than a little fasting at the beginning of autumn?

More to read: Preventative Tree Lopping: Ensuring Safety Before Problems Arise