July 30, 2013 - 5:09 AM
PENTICTON - Thousands of worms are being plopped into people's homes to eat and turn human garbage into garden friendly compost.
Years ago this might have been a turn-off to many but more and more residents are happy to invite the slimy invertebrates into their backyards and garage, according to Penticton Community Garden Society president Carole Allen and waste management coordinator Cameron Baughen with the Regional District of Okanagan and Similkameen.
Community garden volunteers have been assembling parts found by Baughen into simple composters. Each one consists of four, stacked 20-litre buckets. Holes are drilled into the bottoms which allow the worms to move and devour scraps like watermelon rinds and egg shells.
Each composter sells for $25 and comes with worms, some paper and food waste to get things going. The buckets are being donated from a company and the twine used to tie them together is re-purposed trash. About $1,400 was raised from the sale of 56 composters and was donated on Saturday to the community garden.
Allen said this is a win-win situation with residents and the garden benefiting.
Baughen said "A lot of people are squeamish," so if they realize worms are not for them the slimy creatures can be returned to the community garden.
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Waste official Cameron Baughen of the Regional District of Okanagan and Similkameen holds some worms up on Saturday for district chair person Mark Pendergraft, Penticton councillor Wesley Hopkin and Penticton Community Garden President Carol Allen.
(SHANNON QUESNEL /InfoTel Multimedia)
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