Six Million Worms…and Counting

>>This facility was spending about 60 thousand
dollars a year on food waste disposal, so we looked into different ways of dealing with
that, and how to reduce that. One of the things some places were doing was worms. Today we
have over six million worms and we have a capacity of about 10 thousand pounds a month
of food waste that we take. So, that represents a savings potential of about 21 thousand dollars
a year to the food waste cost here. So, everything that you are going to see from here on out
is built out of throw-away materials, so we really have zero operating budget. Everything
that we get is somebody else is throwing it away. A lot of the stuff we get is from the
mattress factory, so you’ll see a lot of bed parts that used to be parts to Sleep Number
beds and stuff like that and we take them, design bin plans for them and put together
worm bins. So what the guys are going to do right now is they are going to feed this bin. [sprayer sound]>>These are our flow-through bins. So we monitor, we manage these bins specifically for food
waste management. So, every week these bins get anywhere from six to 10 gallons a piece
of food waste. And that’s just the organic stuff, just the fruits and vegetables and
breads, things like that come from the IK. We process it, cut it up in a food processor
and then it gets fed to the worms. As you can see, as Ross is moving this stuff around,
there’s no, you’re not seeing any food from last week. So, the worms have eaten everything
that we fed them last week. So, we put a layer of paper over the top to kind of help with
the flies and whatnot. And then worms also use that, they will eventually eat that paper
too. So that’s another thing that we do. We take some of the recycled paper that’s not
being used for other recycling things and we put it on there.
The thing that really excites me about this particular project is it’s got, it’s green
jobs, and they are jobs that guys can really have a realistic expectation of getting when they
get out on the streets. You know, it’s difficult to come out of prison with a record and find
a conventional job. But this field is a hugely growing field and you know, food waste, recycling,
all of those types of things, it’s not going to get cheaper or smaller, it’s only going
to get bigger from here on out. We’re doing a lot of things here that really haven’t been
done before. We’re designing systems that nobody has ever designed before. There’s really
nothing like this out on the market right now. This is a real job that guys could really
expect to be able to learn in here and do out on the streets.

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