Millburn Central Worm Condos
These hardworking animals are chewing up lunch garbage here at school. Munching on apple cores, sprouts that have gone gooey, potato peelings, dried tree leaves and other assorted vegetal matter, the red wigglers of Millburn Central have produced rich, fertile compost.
Spring 2011 Rotting Away
All fourth grade is getting into the lunch compost game. Worm ambassadors will supervise the collection of all compostable waste for each class to be put in their labeled bucket. Ambassadors and club members will make a run out to the garden compost center each week to transport the food waste to begin its recylcing process.
The recycled matter in the worm bin finished tray is being added to the peat pots starting the tomato plants for the garden plots west of the school building.
Winter 2011 Results;What a mound of Soil
Organic (made from plant or animal parts) waste put in the worm bins January through March:
orange peels, egg shells, coffee grounds, pear cores, banana peels, wilted salad greens without dressing, wimpy carrots, rotting or brown bits on apples, apple peels, avocado peel, throw away hot cup
Inorganic bits added to watch:
styrofoam cup, plastic wrap from microwave popcorn, Live Strong bracelet, fun-bands toy, twist-tie
Students have found little trace of the organic matter with the exception of the wax lined paper hot cup. It is mushy but still easily recognized. The plant matter has been changed into a airy, medium brown colored compost that is dry to the feel. The worms with some other decomposers that live in the worm condo have done their jobs.
Of the inorganic objects placed to be decomposed, none have softened, changed shape, or lost any portions. in other words, these things are waste that remain unchanged by the process of decomposing (rotting). The Live Strong and fun-bands objects even resist any grains of compost sticking to it because of the silicon surface.
Autumn 2010 Decomposition Experiment and Photos
Fourth Grade and Ecology Club Members are choosing items to watch over the next two months.
In the autumn, 3 cups of table scraps plus some leaf litter were transformed into 4 cups of moist compost.
This winter, 6 cups of the same "garbage" were digested and turned into glorious soil used around the school in potted plants.
Now in spring, fourth grade lunch scraps are being added to the worm farm working bin to continue reducing the amount of garbage we throw away in the lunch room.
In October, one piece of plastic wrapper and a chunk of styrofoam were added to the working worm bin. Each time soil has been retrieved, the plastic is coated in loose soil but has changed not at all.