Worm bins can be any shape and size, and many are sold commercially already complete and just waiting for worms and waste.  One of the easiest is to use a large plastic storage container that provides 2 square feet of surface area for worms. This means the bin can handle up to 6 pounds of food scraps each week, no more. It is big enough to handle the waste for a one person household.  Two bins can handle two people, and so on.

Let the following guide you:

  • make sure you have 2 square feet of bin surface area per person in the household.
  • Also keep in mind: The amount of square feet you have in your bin dictates how much food you can give the worms each week. Multiply your square footage by 3 to get this number (ex: a bin with 2 square feet of surface area can handle up to 6 pounds of food scraps each week: 2×3=6).
  • A bin that is 2 square feet in surface area should be started with 1 pound of worms (that is 1,000 to 1,500 worms). To determine how many pounds you need when you start a worm bin, divide the square feet in half (ex: 2 square feet divided by 2= 1 pound of worms).
  • The bedding should be damp enough that a couple of drops of water come out of it when squeezed in your hand.
  • An alternative to loading the bedding and scraps and waiting two weeks is this: Load the bin with a four inch layer of damp bedding, add about a shovel full of a damp potting soil, add the worms. Then, add a two inch layer of food scraps, and a two inch layer of bedding. No need to wait, just feed the bin weekly after this.