We spent a few days with my niece in Oregon and became firm believers in the power of earthworms.
She has her own little worm farm in her basement and they take care of most of her organic kitchen waste. She bought a worm factory, a multitiered pagoda-like structure that contains trays for worm raising. And a pound of red wigglers ... they are great little eaters.
Several days a week she visits the factory and brings the kitchen scraps that she has saved. She is a vegetarian, so has little or no meat scraps, but has lots of fruit and vegetable peelings, bread crusts, fruit cores and coffee grounds to feed her little friends. She mixes the scraps into the dirt in the trays and lets the worms do their work. A worm farm consisting of five trays can digest nearly 5 pounds of food per day.
In return, she gets the richest dirt in the city to spread around her yard. The bottom of the factory collects "worm tea" which she waters her indoor plants with....she has best looking flowers and plants in Portland!
You use a system of trays, initially placing the food in the bottom tray, and the tray above it is mostly fiberous material. Then you stop feeding them on the lower tray and then start adding food to the tray up above, and then adding another more fiberous tray. This system eliminates the feeding the worms in one spot and then pulling out the castings, trying to leave all of the worms in there you can. The worms have more mobility in case the feeding area is too small or wet they can move around. Oh yes, they are great little reproducers....she puts the overflow of worms into her yard.
Interested in owning a worm factory? There are several listed in this blog. They will give you full instructions on how to start saving the planet, one step at a time.