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Feeding and Maintaining Your Worms

Feeding

Worms like to eat many of the same things we eat, only they aren’t as picky. Stale bread, apple cores, lettuce trimmings, coffee grounds, and non-greasy leftovers are just some of the foods we usually discard that worms love.

Do Feed Worms Don’t Feed Worms

Vegetable scraps

Fruit scraps and peels (mold/rot is fine)

Bread and grains

Teabags 

Non-greasy leftovers

Coffee grounds (and filters)

Crushed egg shells

Napkins, paper towels

Don't overfeed citrus—
should be no more than 1/5 of worm food

Meats, fish

Greasy foods

Dairy products

Twigs and branches

Dog/cat feces, cat litter

Begin feeding your worms only a little at a time.  As they multiply, you can add larger quantities of food scraps.  After a few months you can feed about a quart of food scraps per square foot of surface area each week.  To avoid fruit flies and odors, bury food under top layer of the bedding.  Don't dump and run!

Worms prefer smaller-sized scraps and will eat through them more quickly than large or whole pieces of food.  

If your worm bin starts to smell bad, it could be a sign that you are adding more food than the worms can process.  If too much food is added, it can even heat up and kill the worms!  Quit feeding for awhile and when most of the food has been eaten, start feeding again.

Add fresh bedding every 1-3 months

Always keep a one-inch layer of fresh bedding over the worms and food in your bin.  Shredded newspaper works great!

Keep bedding as moist as a wrung out sponge

In a plastic bin, add dry bedding to absorb excess moisture.  You may need to sprinkle the contents of wooden bins to moisten them occasionally. 

Buena Vista Location

1231 Buena Vista Drive
Watsonville, CA

(831) 454-2430 or
(831) 454-5154

Santa Cruz County Landfill
Open Monday - Saturday
7:30 am to 3:30 pm

BV Household
Hazardous Waste
Open every Wednesday,
Friday and Saturday
7:30 am to 3:30 pm

HHW Information Line
(831) 454-2606

Ben Lomond Location 

(1 Mile North of Glen Arbor Rd)
9835 Newell Creek Road
Ben Lomond, CA

(831) 454-2430 or
(831) 336-3951

Santa Cruz County
Transfer Station
Open Monday - Saturday
7:30 am to 3:30 pm

BL HHW Facility
Open every Thursday
7:30 am to 3:30 pm

Other Household Hazardous Waste 

City of Santa Cruz Resource Recovery Facility
Open every Saturday
7:30 am to 3:30 pm.

(3 miles north of Santa Cruz city limits off Hwy 1)
605 Dimeo Lane
Santa Cruz, CA

(831) 420-6270

Santa Cruz County
Solid Waste & Recycling
Main Office

701 Ocean Street, Room 410
Santa Cruz, California 95060
(831) 454-2160

Email Public Works

Kasey Kolassa
Recycling and Solid Waste
Services Manager

Tim Goncharoff
Integrated Waste Management
Programs Coordinator

Beau Hawksford
ZeroWaste Administrative Analyst

Mike Torrecillas
Operations Superintendent

Lisa Fusco
Cashiering Facilities Supervisor