Photo: In 2007, Hokulani Elementary was the
first Hawaii school to install a large-scale
vermicomposting system, sponsored by the
City & County of Honolulu Recycling Office.

Vermicompost at home!
Epigeic – manure, or composting – worms are not native to Hawaii, but are long-established in the Islands, typically found on farms where they decompose animal manure as well as any other kind of moist, rich decaying organic matter. With worms’ ability to process their weight a day in food scraps, vermicomposting is the perfect solution to reduce household waste.

Composting worms produce vermicast, a nutrient-dense, microbially-active soil amendment often referred to as “Gardeners’ Gold.”

Topsoil worms are different.
People experience worms most often in soil environments – gardens, fields, and lawns. These familiar earthworms – called endogeic worms – create tunnels as they burrow around looking for bits of decaying organic matter to eat, continuously aerating the soil.  Topsoil worms leave little piles of castings on your lawn, bringing nutrients to the surface.  Endogeics vastly improve soil health.

Epigeic and endogeic worms are not interchangeable!  Even though their name describes it, do not put “composting” worms in a compost pile, tumbler bin, or green waste receptacle.  Some will survive, but they will not thrive, as the environment is typically not moist enough nor the nutrition adequate.  Please cultivate our wonderful worms in a worm bin only.