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👩‍🎓 | Succeeded in recycling leftover food leftovers with the power of earthworms and composting usefully Osaka Prefecture University


Succeeded in composting useful food by recycling leftover food with the power of earthworms Osaka Prefecture University

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From the above, it was demonstrated that in addition to the fact that earthworm compost can be produced from the food residue that has not been used so far, the compost is more useful than ordinary compost.

One of the "food losses" that has been regarded as a problem in recent years is the residue (leftover food) in school lunches.School lunch residue is for children and students ... → Continue reading

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Earthworm compost

Earthworm compost(Earthworm Taihi, Vermicompost or Worm compost, etc.) are of several typesEarthwormUsingorganic matterIt is obtained by decomposing.Earthworm compost is a nutritious naturalfertilizerOr, it becomes a soil conditioner.The process of producing earthworm compost is called vermicomposting.Smaller ones are suitable for turning kitchen waste such as food residue and cooking debris into quality soil.

The most commonly used types of earthworms are(English edition) OfStriped earthworm(Eisenia fetida), Especially rottenplant,compostIt adapts to such factors and is rarely found in ordinary soil.Earthworms that can be used for composting are from earthworm farmers.Mail orderAndfishingIt can be obtained as fishing bait from a tool store.vice versaHitotsumon MizuIt often lives under the fallen leaves.(English edition)Earthworms have different eating habits and are not suitable for composting.

In addition to earthworms, healthy vermicomposting equipment昆虫,Mold,BacteriaOrganisms such as are included.Although these organisms also play a role in the process of composting, earthworms play a major role in composting.


Vermicompost containers vary greatly depending on their use and scale.

For small scale

Various wide containers can be used for small-scale vermicomposting equipment.In addition, we sometimes make special containers, and there are also ready-made products.Generally, the container is oldPlasticContainers, trees,StyrofoamAnd so on.

Some container materials are not suitable.Styrofoam is said to release substances that are harmful to earthworms.Metal containers have too good heat conduction and are prone to rust.重金属Is often a problem, such as the release of compost.

The container is often provided with an air hole for ensuring ventilation on the side surface and a compost outlet on the bottom surface.Since plastic containers are non-hygroscopic, they require a larger outlet than wooden ones.Usually, the structure of a small container depends on where you are going to store the container and how you intend to feed it.Most small containers can be classified into the following three types.

Stand-alone type
By a single container.Place the bedding material on the bottom of the container.Place earthworms and organic material for compost on the bedding.When the bedding is placed on it as a cover, the earthworms begin to fertilize the organic matter and the bedding.This type of container is often used due to its small size and simple structure.However, the drawback is that all materials and earthworms must be completely emptied when recovered as fertilizer.
Continuous type
Compost can be easily harvested by taking advantage of the habit of earthworms, which consist of multiple vertical and horizontal compartments and move to food sources.
Vertical type
It consists of a series of vertically stacked containers.As with the stand-alone type, the bottom container is filled with bedding, earthworms, organic matter, and coverings, and after composting has progressed, leave the lower container as it is and add organic matter and bedding to the upper container. ..Earthworms finish making fertilizer in the lower container and move to the upper container when they run out of food.After the earthworms have moved sufficiently, remove the lower container and harvest the earthworm-free compost.This method makes it easier to take out compost than the stand-alone type.
Horizontal type
Consists of side-by-side (or split) containers.Usually, the container is divided horizontally or multiple containers are arranged side by side.Usually coarseWire meshDivided in half by, one is used until composting is complete and the other is filled with bedding and organic matter.Over time, earthworms can move to the food and harvest the remaining compost.This type of container is easy to harvest compost and is larger than the stand-alone type, but can still be small enough to be used indoors.

For large scale

Large-scale vermicomposting systems usually use worm-dwelling bedding instead of large containers, as it is impractical to incorporate physical containers.Organic matter is added to the bedding.The lining material does not have a barrier to prevent earthworms from escaping, but if there is abundant organic matter to feed on, earthworms will gather around them and will not escape to the outside.The lining material is also used to prevent foreign enemies from harming earthworms.A characteristic of large-scale bedding is that when organic matter is eaten as food, earthworms move in groups in search of new food, making it easy to harvest the remaining compost.

Start using

When you start using a vermicompost container, put a damp bedding in the container and then put as many earthworms as possible.First, feed the leftover food in the kitchen, which is less than half the weight of the earthworm, per day.Once the earthworm has become accustomed to the environment, it can be given up to the weight of the earthworm per day.

Bedding material

The bedding is the home of earthworms and food.It is a substance with a high carbon content and corresponds to the dead leaves that are the natural habitat of earthworms.Earthworms breathe on the lining materialorganic matterMoisture and low density should be used to facilitate decomposition.

As a material for beddingSoy inkUsednewspaper,Sawdust,hay,Corrugated cardboard,Pete Moss, Immature compost etc. can be used. 

Newspaper glossy paper, magazines, as containing substances harmful to earthwormsdirect mail,andshredderWaste paper (including heavy metal and petroleum-based inks) from the office hung on the stool may be avoided.By devising the bedding material, it is possible to easily add organic matter and to easily harvest compost.


For earthworm composting systems, 12-21 ° C is suitable.The temperature of the fertilizer bed should not drop below 0 ° C or exceed 30 ° C.

Kitchen garbage

When a large amount of kitchen waste is added, the earthworms cannot be processed and become waste.To make it easier for earthworms to work, maintain a balance between "brown ones" that have a high carbon content, such as newspapers shredded for bedding, and "green ones" that have a high nitrogen content, such as leftover food in the kitchen. Must.This is often referred to as the "carbon-to-nitrogen ratio (C / N ratio)" and should be high in carbon at approximately 2: 1. Covering kitchen leftovers with a layer of "brown" may reduce odor and insect problems.InsecticidePlants such as cut grass sprayed with should be avoided.In small containersbananaAdhered to the skin ofPost-harvest pesticideMay annihilate earthworms.
Included in meat piecesproteinとfatCan be treated in vermicomposts, but tends to attract, which can be a problem.Earthwormsbone,Synthetic fiberCannot be processed.

Care must be taken to maintain proper humidity.In the stand-alone vermicomposting container, excess water can be discharged from the faucet and used as liquid fertilizer for plants.Since it is difficult for moisture to be retained in the bedding material in the continuous type container, moisture may be added.citrusIt is an aromatic component of the skind-limoneneByAcidicA handful oflimeIt is said that it is necessary to neutralize the acidity by adding. pHThe level isneutralOr weakalkalinityShould be.coffeeDregs may be avoided as they are highly acidic, but analysis results show weak acidity at pH 6.2[1].

A large amount of oil may interfere with the cutaneous respiration of earthworms.EarthwormsOnions,Garlic, ま た はSalted productsAnd a lot ofSpicesIt is said that he does not like foods containing.

Earthworms and others in the process of compostingmicroorganism oxygenThe container needs to be ventilated as it requires.Ventilation can be ensured by perforating the compost container or by using a continuous container to remove the fertilized material on a regular basis.Stronger against anaerobic rot if not adequately oxygenatedStenchOccurs.Also along with thisBlack soldier fly,Ptecticus tenedaMay occur[2]..However, theseSoldier flyAlso because it mainly feeds on kitchen wasteBeneficial insectYou can coexist without removing it, or evenChickenSuch as家畜-家禽,Aquaculture魚 のLive foodIn some cases, this species is bred in order to[3][4].

How to add organic matter

There are two ways to add organic matter to a container.

  • Place on top: Place the organic matter directly on the bedding and cover with yet another bedding.Repeat this when feeding organic matter.
  • Pocket food: Divide the organic matter and bury it under the bedding material in different places.If you run out of bedding, add the bedding from above.

Both methods are used in combination for vermicomposting.Exposed organic matterFruit flyIt is important to cover it with a litter as it may attract.


Usually due to lack of ventilation or excess of nitrogenous organic matter in the container.Make air holes to prevent bad odors caused by anaerobic putrefaction.Carbonaceous organic matter such as paper and dried leaves should be added to suppress the odor, but large amounts of carbonaceous delay the decomposition.
Large amounts of kitchen leftovers and meat attract flies.It can be prevented by a container with a structure that does not allow flies to enter, but at the same time it becomes difficult for air to enter and exit.Also, ants can be a problem.Ordinary mosquito avoidance screens have coarse eyes and cannot completely prevent fruit flies and ants.
Impact on ecosystem
The earthworm to useExotic speciesin the case of,Native speciesCompost containing earthworms should not be dumped into the natural world as it may have an effect such as eradicating earthworms.
Malicious business law
1976Due to the boom in earthworm farming from Japan, while buying cultivated earthworms and earthworm droppings at a high price, inadequate aquaculture method guidance and damage caused by investment solicitation without securing sales channels for earthworms and droppings became a social problem. ..It is said that there is still a vicious earthworm aquaculture investment offer.


[How to use footnotes]


  • Supervised by Yoshio Nakamura, Midori Sahara, "How to Make a Mizumizu Palace to Eat Garbage-Mimizu Compost Complete Manual", 2000.ISBN-4 900550-90-6: The specific method of composting earthworms is described.
  • Yoshio Nakamura, Mizu, Soil, and Organic Agriculture, 4th Edition, 2004.ISBN-4 88340-054-9 : Scientifically describes the relationship between earthworm ecology and soil / fertilizer.

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