How To Compost Meat in a Worm Bin

 Composting Animal Products in Worm Bins

Conventional wisdom says that you should never attempt to compost meat or other animal products, especially in a vermicomposting system. Websites that list the "do's" and "don'ts" of compost almost always list meat as a "doughnut." Many claim that meat is specifically banned in worm bins, claiming that red worms used in vermicomposting are strict herbivores that cannot digest meat protein. But I'm here to tell you that these claims are completely false!

My Experience With Vermicomposting

I purchased my Worm Factory 360 Worm Composting System about a year ago (at the time of this writing) as a way to reduce the amount of waste my husband and I send to the landfill each week. The first thing I did after ordering the system was read up on how to set up the system, how to manage it properly, and what types of things can be put in the box. . The second thing I did was completely ignore these instructions.

Myth: Never Compost Meat

One thing I noticed during my initial research is that most articles about vermicomposting and composting, in general, claim that only plant material can be composted, and not animal material as well. Animals are organic and biodegradable like plants, so why?
Won't you be able to compost them?
Nature created all of these things long before humans existed. There is no reason why meat and other animal products cannot also decompose in a human-directed composting system. Meat is as good a source of nitrogen for your compost as any fresh plant material.

The Real Deal: Attracting Wild Animals to Outdoor Bins

After further reading, it became clear that these guidelines only exist because of concerns that meat in outdoor compost piles and bins may attract wildlife. If you throw chicken bone scraps on top of your compost pile, wild animals, such as coyotes, skunks, and bears, are sure to smell them and start creating problems on your property.

However, if you use small amounts of meat and animal products in secure containers, or if they are buried deep enough in a compost pile or trench so they don't have an odor, that's okay.

Myth: Worms Are Vegetarians

When I really thought about it, the claim that red wavy organisms couldn't process animal protein didn't make any sense. Inside the worm box, the worms hatch, live out their lives, die and are absorbed back into the system. This is the circle of life on a small scale. If insects can handle their fallen brethren, why can't they handle the remains of an expired package of cold turkey chops, or perhaps a piece of steak that has fallen to the ground? In the grand scheme of things, these types of meat are no different from self-dead composting worms.

My husband and I have a bad habit of buying a lot of meat and then forgetting to eat it before it spoils. Really, we should just work on reducing the amount of waste we start with, but once it expires, there's nothing you can really do, so finding an alternative to sending it to a landfill is best. I can't bear to throw away meat, because it seems like the animal died for no reason. But if you can compost it, at least it gets used in some way.

How to Compost Meat in the Worm Bin

Cut them as small as possible. To break down meat faster in Worm Factory 360, I first cut the meat into smaller pieces. If there is paper in the package, such as cold cuts that come from the deli counter, I cut the paper to look for carbon added with the meat.

Mix it up. Then I mix it directly into the worm bin or into the compost collection bucket on my counter (depending on whether I'm ready to empty the bucket yet. I don't put the meat inside the countertop bucket. Leaves).

Cover him with a bed. Once the meat is in the worm bin, I make sure I cover it with plenty of bedding material, which is what you should do with anything, whatever, you put in the bin. All newly added food scraps should be buried in the top drawer of the worm bin to avoid odors. The stinkiest problem I had with my worm bin this year was not burying the moldy bread crumbs deep enough.

Check it in a week. When I check back a week or two later, the meat is always gone. The insects appear to process lunch meat just as quickly as they process their favorite fruits, like strawberries. I've seen carrot slices last longer than meat in a can of worms.

Does meat rot in a bin?

Clearly, red wiggler worms can properly process meat products, as I have never seen rotting pieces of meat in the can, nor have I ever encountered any of the odors you would expect. When digging into a can, one would expect the meat to rot. There is nothing wrong with cutting a small amount of meat into small pieces and adding it to the worm bin.

Experiment With Your Composting

There are a lot of misconceptions about composting on the Internet, as most articles are just rehashes of outdated information written by other people. When you first start composting, either with a worm bin or a traditional compost pile, the best thing you can do is experiment to see what works and what doesn't work. In general, anything that is alive can be composted.

Make Sure you Mix Your Browns and Greens

It's also important to make sure your compost contains a good mix of "brown" (carbon-rich material, such as dead leaves, paper or cardboard) and "green" (nitrogen-rich material, such as fruit, vegetable and meat scraps). Add the mixture. and other food waste). Different people have different opinions about the appropriate ratio of these ingredients, but in general, you'll want more "brown" than "green" in your mix.

Also make sure to cover the newly added "green" with a layer of "brown" to prevent any odors. If done correctly, your compost bin should have a pleasant “earthy” smell, and should never smell musty, even if you use meat scraps as one of the compost ingredients.

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