Schools For a Sustainable Future
Joseph Natoli, SFSF Project Director, surrounded by happy, enthusiastic children
synergy vol 1 issue 1


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Ze Verms, Ze Verms
look at ze little verms eat!

Vermicomposting is the process of using earth worms to convert organic waste into black, earthy smelling nutrient rich humus - a valuable fertiliser.  CERES, a community environmental park in East Brunswick, is an expert on the process...


During the two week period of our waste audit, we produced 152.2kg of landfill.  In two weeks, we threw away 31.25kg of useless rubbish, 5.35kg of recyclables, 52.1kg of organics and a massive 63.5kg of paper. 

WOW!!!  On average we would send 3120.1kg per year to the tip as landfill.  That's just over 3.1tons!  A third of this total is organics.  Paper also takes up a third. 

By recycling organics, paper and recyclables we can bring this total down to just over 1ton.

Around the world, garbage is a growing problem.   Population growth and an accompanying increase in solid waste is putting enormous pressure on our land and seas.  Did you know, however, that over 50% of the total waste going to landfill is organic?  This means that it can easily break down and return to the earth from where it came - but only with help.  The humble earth worm is the best helper we have.

Using a worm farm to break down your kitchen waste not only reduces the amount of garbage going to landfill; it also returns rich nutrients back to where they're most useful: your garden.  Even if you don't grow vegies, maintaining the quality of our soil is a crucial step in ensuring that it can support human life in the future.  Having your own worm farm also brings you closer to the natural cycles which sustain life: you become part of the ecosystem in your own backyard, and you experience, first-hand, the patterns of growth and decay so integral to life.   And of course, slimy worms are fun!  Especially for kids.

In the heart of metropolitan Melbourne, the CERES Worm Farms Project is underway.  Since it began 15 years ago, CERES (Centre for Education and Research in Environmental Strategies) has practiced both traditional and earth worm composting, and encouraged the recycling of organic waste within the community.   Nowadays, all organic waste generated by the CERES animal farm, nursery and cafe - as well as seven 25kg drums of food residues from the local Organic Health Food provider each week - are converted into rich, healthy soil with the help of earthworms.

CERES designed the sturdy 'Monster Worm Composter' for the Worming Into the Community program.  The composter is manufactured from dense kiln-dried plantation treated pine, and is glued and screwed for long life.  Now in use in over fifty schools, as well as in Councils and households, the Monster composter has been built to last.  Schools and the community are invited to visit CERES to view the composter in action, as well as take part in the many other inspiring CERES activities.

CERES sells a variety of worm farms, ranging in price from $90 to $150 for the standard Worm-stacker range (with additional stackable levels costing $45); and from $230 to $490 for the Monster Worm Composter range.  Worms cost $20 for 1000, or $35 for 2000.

To purchase a worm farm, please call in at CERES, 8-10 Lee Street, East Brunswick, between 10:00am and 4:00pm.  Monday to Friday; or by appointment by phoning Manuel Ortegon on +61 03 9387 4472 or 0411 443 429.


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Schools For a Sustainable Future

1 Curdies St.
E. Bentleigh Vic. 3165
Joe Natoli
Ph: (03) 9579-7224     Fax: (03) 9579-6153      Mobile: 0411-568-523


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