Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Worms at Work by MCR Trina G.

Photo Credit via
“Can I feed the worms?” a co-worker asked me as I was digging around in their little home in the kitchen.
“Sure, whatcha got?” I asked.
“An apple core,” he tentatively offered to my wiggling wormies, “will they eat that?”
Yes, yes, yes they will!  So my co-worker got to feed the worms.  You would swear I’d given him a gift from the look on his face.
The truth is I had given him a gift - a bit of education on vermicomposting.  He, among others around the office, ask constantly how the worms are doing.  
My confession: these are my best-kept secret at the office.  I keep a small container of worms under my desk, feeding them offerings from the coffee machine and from co-workers once every two weeks. How did I accomplish it?
Getting everyone on board
  • I informed everyone I was going to be bringing in a small, unobtrusive tub for composting in the office and answered any questions my co-workers had.  (Will they crawl out? No. Will it stink? Not if I do it right.) For those who don’t like worms, I don’t pull out the bin around them.
  • I assured my co-workers that even though they were contributing, they would not have any responsibility other than finding a home for the compost at the end of the process.
  • I put a well-labelled ice cream pail in the kitchen, detailing what can be fed to the worms.
Keeping everyone happy
  • I empty the pail regularly.
  • I invite people who want to feed the worms into the kitchen to help me fluff the bin.
  • I feed the worms in the kitchen and clean well afterward.
  • After I had some compost built up, I found out when the green thumbs on my floor were going to transplant or add soil to their plants and did a harvest right then for them.
  • When I was done harvesting, I asked others if they wanted the extra compost. We buried a bit in their soil right then.
  • I talked to those who took compost a few weeks later and asked if they saw the difference in their plants. Many did! That improvement convinced them of the value of compost.
Keeping my compost in the office has been a great experience, but it does take work. What are my keys to success with having wiggly worms in the office? 
  • Building relationships with my colleagues first and foremost.
  • Starting conversations prior to bringing in the worms, answering questions.
  • Encouraging participation.
  • Thanking them with compost!
Trina graduated from the MCR program in May 2014 and is dedicated to helping others reduce their waste footprint through fun and creative methods. Her goal as an MCR is to educate others, help them find solutions for waste issues that are important to them and encourage them to take action!


  1. Way to go, Trina! Too bad I'm only working part time, or I'd follow your lead! Love your B-SET acrostic.

  2. What a great article! I have been wanting to bring some wormy friends to work for a while now and your article has encouraged me all the more!

  3. Me too. Although I live closer to Lethbridge than Calgary, I'll be trying Ebay for red wrigglers.