RAF Wittering’s wormery works wonders: The new wormery at RAF Wittering will turn kitchen waste into organic compost.
The wormery will produce around two tonnes of nutritious compost every year, that will be used in the Station’s green areas. Thousands of composting worms will munch their way through the non-meat food waste produced by the officers’, sergeants’ and junior ranks’ messes.
Using a wormery for compost is an easy and environmentally-friendly way of turning kitchen waste into nutrient-rich compost to feed gardens and houseplants
“The worms have to be treated with care, you can’t just throw all your food waste in there and hope for the best. We’ll feed them peelings, uneaten veg, pulses, carbohydrates, breads and some cooked food, but we won’t be giving them any meats.”
Flying Officer Caroline Turner, a catering officer at RAF Wittering and project lead
The worms used in composting are not common earthworms. Earthworms are soil dwelling animals, whereas composting worms have evolved to live in decaying organic matter. Composting worms are smaller and have a more reddish colouring than their soil burrowing cousins. Vermicomposting is not a fast process, however; RAF Wittering will have to wait a year before the first batch of compost can be harvested.
RAF Wittering’s wormery is believed to be the only one in the RAF at present. It was supplied by Worms at Work in conjunction with ESS (Eurest Support Services) who are the Station’s catering partners. The wormery is approximately double the size of a large chest freezer and will eventually house over fifty thousand composting worms.
“Wittering’s worms will convert food waste once destined for landfill into nutrient rich fertiliser for the Station’s green areas, making good use of what would otherwise be wasted; every little helps in support of the RAF’s Net Zero ambitions! I am grateful to Mr Bryant from Worms at Work, our team from ESS, and Flying Officer Turner, who have all done a great job.”
Wing Commander Jez Case, Station Commander at RAF Wittering
Image Credits: Christina Coates