Worms recycle coffee grounds


There are quite a few ways to recycle coffee grounds. People use them to

  • fertilize some of their garden plants like lawns and carrots,
  • as pest repellents in the garden
  • to clean old stubborn dirt of tiles and other kitchen surfaces 
  • and to counteract bad odors.... The list goes on!

My favorite way to recycle coffee grounds is to feed them to earthworms that will convert them to nutrient rich worm castings which are one of the best natural plant foods and soil conditioners known to man. A few of the thousands of types of earthworms that  can be found on the  planet specialize in the recycling of rich organic materials that have started to decompose. Those compost worms like for example the 

  • Red worm (Eisenia fetida)
  • European Nightcrawler (Eisenia hortensis) and the
  • African Nightcrawler (Eudrilus Eugeniae)

can be domesticated in specially designed worm bins, have a huge appetite which allows them to eat up to half their body weight per day and multiply rapidly.

coffee grounds can get recycled by earthwowmsCoffee grounds can get recycled by earthwowms

Worms recycle coffee grounds

Domesticated compost worms will feed on a wide range of food waste as well as garden- and pet wastes. Important for the speed with which they can devour their food are the size of the food particles, the moisture level and the hardness of it.

Worms don't have teeth and can only feed on materials that are soft enough, small enough and moist enough to fit into their mouth. Soft fruit like watermelon or pears are as good a food for hungry worms as coffee grounds. Although the grains of coffee grounds are usually not very soft they are small enough for worms to swallow and digested. 

Big compost worm Big compost worm "Eisenia fetida"

Compost worms could actually help restaurants and coffee houses to reduce their carbon footprint. Compost worms can recycle coffee grounds in large quantities. Just 24000 worms can convert more than 3 kg  / 6.60 lbs of organic matter like coffee grounds per day which would add up to 

more than 1 ton / 2204 lbs per year. The worm castings that they produce are a fantastic natural plant food and can be used to improve garden soil or be sold with a good profit to private gardeners or nurseries. 


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