How to Setup a Worm Bin

Simple step by step guide to setting up a worm bin for recycling kitchen wastes.


  1. Select a container to house your worms. Both wooden boxes and plastic storage bins work well.
  2. Determine what size you need based on the amount of waste you generate per week and average household of 4 creates 6lbs. of food waste per week. They would need a six square foot bin. (2’x3′). Keeping your container fairly shallow 12″-18″ helps keep the bedding from compacting and makes it easier to handle.
  3. Your bin should also have a lid to keep predators out and protect your worms from exposure to light and sudden temperature changes.
  4. Drill holes 1/8in. diameter in the sides and bottom to provide air circulation and good drainage.
  5. If you keep your bin indoors, set it up on blocks and place a tray or thick layer of newspapers under it to catch the drainage.
  6. Add damp bedding to the bin. Strips of old newspaper, leaves, peat moss all work well. Use what you have. Make it about 6″ deep.
  7. Add the food waste. You can add the food in piles or spread it out into a shallow layer. But cover it with another 2″ of damp bedding.
  8. Each time you add food, stir the bedding up to loosen it and keep it from becoming packed down. It is important to keep the air circulating to allow the rotting process plenty of oxygen. If you’re bin gets stinky the food is not getting enough air to decompose. Frequent stirring will prevent this.
  9. You may need to add moisture from time to time in addition to the food. Never let the bedding dry out. Water is fine. Fruit juice or water from cooking veggies is even better. If the bin is to dry, the food will stop rotting and the worms will not be able to eat it.
  10. The process is very slow. You won’t see much change from day to day. The worms will grow if you provide the basics: Moist environment- Food – Bedding to allow air circulation – Stable temperature between 60-75° inside the bin.