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In an effort to improve waste recycling in some Illinois communities, a test program is underway at the Flood Brothers Disposal & Recycling Services, headquartered in Oakbrook Terrace, Illinois’ plant to recycle food waste in an innovative way.

Food scraps and other organic material – collected from restaurants, food service organizations and grocery stores – are placed in Bio-Bins filled with earthworms. The worms eat the nutrient rich fruit and vegetables, turning them into compost. This compost is known as vermicompost, which is valuable as a plant fertilizer.

To create the right composting environment, the bins are filled with recycled newspaper strips. For the process to be successful, the worms need moisture, air, food, darkness and warm (but not hot) temperatures. The newspaper strips hold moisture and contain air spaces for the worms. Temperatures of the bins are monitored regularly to ensure temperatures are within the proper range.

Compost is very versatile. It can be used immediately or stored for a later gardening or planting season.  

After the testing phase of the program is complete, Flood Brothers plans to increase the number of Bio-Bins and capability for composting. The compost will then be made available to customers at a nominal cost. It’s an earth friendly way to improve the environment by reducing food waste in landfills and reintroducing it into the soil naturally.

 

 

Published in the May 2015 Edition of American Recycler News