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Base uses worms to destroy waste

WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Ohio (AFPN) -- The environmental management office is started a new program here that has upped the base population by 250,000. But these new base inhabitants are unlike any other. They have no eyes or ears, and can eat about 250 pounds of food a day.

People from the environmental office have acquired a worm farm to recycle food waste from the commissary.

The worms are used in a process called Vermi-composting, a method of using earthworms to turn fruit and vegetables and other kitchen waste into compost.

The Vermi-composter uses more than 250,000 worms to process about 250 pounds of food and paper waste from the base commissary per day, said Bill Meinerding, recycling program manager in the environmental management office.

Meinerding said that by using Vermi-composting, the base reduces the use of chemical fertilizers; enhances plant growth; increases moisture retention, aggregation, and aeration of soil; and reduces erosion.

"This program will allow the base the opportunity to close the circle from food waste into natural fertilizer," said Meinerding.