Last week, we wrote about the possibility of mealworms that could help to solve the plastic waste problem. It seems like worms might be the solution for a a few other waste issues too, this week a piece in the Guardian highlighted the potential for worms to be natural composters of food waste, reducing what is sent to incineration, while also creating planting soil.

It is estimated that 1000 worms can consume up to 2kgs of organic waste per week, and because they reproduce quickly, growing the size of a composting operation wouldn’t take long.

Zurich-based startup, “WormUp”, has turned this possibility into a business model. They’ve developed specific boxes for worm composting and sell the invertebrates as both waste and gardening solution. Targeted at cities, where there isn’t much excess space and designed so that they boxes do not need to be ‘turned’, their initial product is marketed primarily at households. The plan is to release a larger institutional scale product at some point in 2016.

Solutions like WormUp may remain at small scale for now and the idea of city dwellers ordering a supply of worms to treat their food waste may seem far-fetched. However, the business model is working for WormUp, demonstrating how changing cities and public mindsets can take a far-fetched idea and quickly make it the norm. What else might worms be able to do?

Source: Worms in the kitchen: how food waste could be solved by the humble invertebrate

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