Worms in waste and environmental management
Some areas that have more developed systems of vermiculture have begun using it as a large-scale tool for waste management. This is usually done by the separation of organic material from non-organics in the municipal solid waste stream. The organic portion is sent to an area that has large tracks of worm beds. The worm company receives pay for accepting the garbage, and also sells the product, vermicompost, as fertilizers. Systems such as this are highly efficient, but require large capitol investment. There is a need for mechanical equipment to move the material, mechanized sorters, and in most areas sprinkler systems are needed to keep the areas moist enough.
All systems for waste management do not have to be this large. In fact even the smallest home system helps to divert organics from the waste stream. If every household used a vermicompost system to handle their organic waste, the garbage stream may be reduced by up to 80%!
Vermicompost systems can be designed to handle the by-products of industry and agriculture systems as well. Many of these have large amounts of vegetative waste that was used in the production of another product, such as food production. Animal stockyards also have high amounts of manure that must be managed. A vermicomposting system can be used to handle all of these since they are all entirely organic matter.
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