12 December 2013 | Volunteering | Back to Blog

A-Way with Worms

by Lawrence

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A bit of lateral thinking is making a big difference to the communal recycling and waste management at Robin Hood Gardens. Resident-led initiatives are really productive and give great rewards. They take more effort and getting your hands dirty, but are more fun and ultimately better for the environment.



A few mates and I decided to tackle the issue of waste management head on. Having not lived here for that long, we didn’t think it was appropriate or practical to start a campaign (not yet anyway), so we started small to see where things might lead.

After looking around to see what’s out there, we came across the perfect piece of kit – a wormery. The council sell heavily subsidised systems to residents for a snip at £5 (they’re not all that bad really). You buy it online, collect the hardware from a local recycling centre or city farm, assemble it and send off for the worms which come through the post a few days later!

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So we are now the proud owners of a wormery, home to plus 250 worms and lots of decomposing waste.

After an early encounter with a curious fox, things are looking up. It took about a month for the worms to get going, but slowly through careful collective management our worms have a constant supply of food which they are breaking down into compost and concentrated plant feed.

Worms don’t have a particular diet but they can’t really stomach acidic foods, so onion peel or used lemons left by dozy mates are swiftly dealt with. Remember the getting your hands dirty bit.

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So there it is, a simple way of living more sensibly. Hopefully the worms will get through winter unscathed and we’ll be able to use the harvest come the spring.

If you live in Tower Hamlets and want to find out more about waste management visit www.towerhamlets.gov.uk/lgnl/environment_and_planning/recycling_and_waste.aspx.

And if you want to find more about wormeries, google it!