Worm Hotel in Amsterdam

Back to 2017, for the first time that I heard about the wormenhotel or worm hotel in Amsterdam area, The Netherlands. Last month in May 2019. with some friends in the community I visited some of the worm hotels at the neighborhood. It was a bit surprising me because at that time my friends did not have keys yet to see inside the hotel. Even there are several models of the worm hotels in the community in Amsterdam and surrounding cities as you can see in these photos.

A worm hotel is a cupboard on the street where the local resident can compost their vegetables, fruits and food scraps using compost worms. This is a part of zero organic waste management movement that not only provides a valuable soil improvers or compost for the garden, it also makes the neighborhood more fun and pleasant. Several providers with their own design of the worm hotels can be contacted as mentioned on the information outside of the worm hotels.

Many people want to get started by themselves for a better future and start a worm hotel. Neighbors teach each other and the children in the neighborhood how the cycle of organic materials works and how nice it is to have more contact with their environment. Twice a year at the harvest festival the home-made compost is distributed among the participating residents and all gardeners and planters receive a dose of extra food. The neighborhood is becoming greener, cozier and healthier.

According to wormenhotel.nl, one of the providers: “Everyone wins at a worm hotel; the people in the neighborhood who become more fun, the municipality that has to process less residual waste, the animals and plants that get better food and of course the worms that are spoiled all year round in a nice hotel! And then we are not even talking about the proud heroes of the social workers who build the worm hotels, the supervisors of the neighborhood groups who earn a little money alongside their job by giving courses and helping with good composting.”

Organic and non-organic products can be all at the worm hotel such as:
– Organic kitchen wastes such as peels, vegetables, tea bags, coffee grounds, eggshells.
– Small torn cardboard, paper kitchen roll, egg cartons.
– Straw or leaves (in the fall).
– Feces from small vegetarian pets such as hamsters and guinea pigs (also sawdust or wood shavings).
– Cut flowers (in small pieces).
– Small amounts of garden waste (made small).

Worm hotels in large cities there are sometimes problems with vermin (such as rats) and therefore we do not recommend the following things there:
– Meat and fish scraps.
– Bread and pastries.
– Fatty things such as oil, butter or sauce.
– Cooked food scraps.

– Compostable plastic bags (also not with compost logo).
– Feces from dogs and cats, cat litter.
– Bulky garden waste, plants with clods of soil.
– ‘Glossy’ magazines or cardboard with a glossy layer.
– Plastic or other plastics.

It has been scientifically proven that doing composting makes you happy as you can imagine if you can recycle your own resource (waste) and energy (“chi”) to prolong the life in the community. Moreover, with the worm composting or vermicomposting using the compost worms and the beneficial soil microbes, the process of the decomposition of the organic wastes will be faster, the finish products vermicompost will be with a better quality, and the surplus of the worms can be used for fishing and feeding the pets.

We need to take care of a lot of the organic wastes that we produce by ourselves with the help of worms and the beneficial soil microbes for the sustainability of the community.

-Bintoro Gunadi

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