There's a fun story on the challenges of urban composting in the Times's Home & Garden section today. For those of you who usually skip those pages due to a lack of home or garden, here's the breakdown: The Lower East Side Ecology Center gives workshops for people looking to recycle their food waste without totally stinking up their apartments. One attendee explains, "I’m a little nervous because I’ve heard the stories." She's referring to the harrowing tales of fruit fly infestation and runaway worms; the popular "worm condo" vermicomposting method uses about 1,000 worms to eat through scraps and, over the course of four months, excrete the "castings" that make up compost. (It can then be given to community gardens or distributed as gifts!) But despite one couple's choice to keep their worm condo underneath the bed, these people aren't so radical, just concerned about the environment. And rightfully so; the E.P.A. says keeping discarded food out of landfills does more than twice the good of keeping mixed paper out, because decomposing food that's buried and cut off from air releases methane, a potent greenhouse gas, at higher rates than paper.
Urban Composting Adventures: "Worms Were Trying to Escape"
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