If you’re looking at buying a brand-new wheelie bin from us, the chances are you have an old wheelie bin (or 30!) that you need to dispose of.
Luckily our HDPE wheelie bins are fully recyclable, and so they never have to end up in a landfill.
However, you can save them from this fate for even longer by repurposing them first. The environment will thank you for it!
So, what can you repurpose your wheelie bin into? A worm farm is an excellent use of your old container.
Why a worm farm?
Making your own compost is an excellent use of kitchen waste and can provide your garden with an unparalleled nutrient boost.
Adding worms to your compost bin will speed up your compost production.
Worms can consume their own body weight in food per day and will eat all manner of food scraps — rapidly turning it into a nutrient-rich fertiliser.
Why use a wheelie bin?
An old wheelie bin is usually free of charge and can easily be converted into a worm farm.
It also offers a large capacity for worm manure production. Additionally, a wheelie bin doesn’t take up much space on the ground, and it is easily moveable thanks to its wheels.
How to convert a wheelie bin into a worm farm
It is a surprisingly simple task to create a worm farm in your old wheelie bin.
- Firstly, you need to choose a position in the garden for your worm farm. Opt for somewhere that is easy for you to access and also somewhere where it’s not likely to overheat or freeze. You may need to move it in the height of summer and winter.
- Next, drill a hole around two inches from the bottom of the bin, on the front panel. Here, you can install a tap for the leachate or create one yourself using the top of a two-litre plastic bottle, inserted through the hole (make sure you keep the lid!) Adjust the size of the hole in the bin as necessary.
- If you do use the bottle technique, you will need to make it watertight around the hole and bottleneck, which you can achieve using duct tape. Test this to make sure it is waterproof.
- Around six inches from the base of the bin, drill holes six inches apart around the circumference of the container. Then add a few holes to the lid of the bin, also. These holes are for drainage and humidity purposes.
- Further up, you can create a hatch for retrieving compost, or you can access it from the top — it’s up to you.
- Place your wheelie bin on a couple of bricks to raise it up off the ground, then fill the bin with gravel up to just above the line of holes. This will prevent them from getting blocked by compost.
- Next, create the ‘sump’ by pouring water into the container — almost up to the level of the row of holes. The water will soon be filled with nutrients and will make a lovely liquid feed for the garden.
- Place small pieces of untreated wood in a criss-cross pattern on top of the gravel. Then, add some compost — either from a friend’s wormery or shop-bought.
- You are now ready to add the tiger worms. Don’t try to use standard earthworms as they won’t survive in a wormery.
- With the worms, add some chopped up fruit and vegetables. Cover it all with a thin layer of compost, add some shredded newspaper, give it a quick water with a watering can and you’re ready!
- After a few weeks, add in a little more chopped up fruit and veg. Assess the acidity levels in your worm farm and make changes to balance it.
- Feed your worms just raw fruit and veg — no cooked food, no meat, no dairy, and minimal citrus fruit.
Are there any drawbacks to a wheelie bin worm farm?
In terms of results, there are no drawbacks to this method of composting; however, some groups are opposed to the idea. Some vegans, for example, believe that the worms are being held in captivity against their will. Others argue that the worms are very happy.
Other than this, please note that it is essential to gain permission from your local council if you want to turn one of their wheelie bins into a worm farm. If you are replacing it with a new one to use for your household waste, they will probably agree.
In addition to this, if you don’t have an old wheelie bin you can use, your local council may be able to provide you with a broken one for free or a small charge. Of course, you could always purchase a new garden wheelie bin at a great price, otherwise.