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Worm farm Project

A number of worm farm projects have been initiated at Rhodes University - including one by 2012 Environmental Award winner Brett Sutherland - and have also expanded off campus. Worms - commonly known as Red Wigglers* - are used to breakdown biodegradable waste into a rich fertilizer both in a liquid (vermi-tea) and solid form.

*Current DNA research at North-West University (2012): the only species identified in over 10 worm farms in 4 provinces in South Africa is Eisenia andrei (not Eisenia fetida, as originally assumed).

Biodegradable waste is available from a variety of sources, including dining halls, gardens and local vegetable selling outlets. The worm farms generally need to be fed weekly.

The table below provides guidelines regarding the types of biodegradable waste that the worms do and don’t consume:

Worms consume Worms don’t consume 
  • Breads & Grains
  • Fruits
  • Tea bags
  • Vegetables 
  • Meat
  • Dairy Products
  • Oils
  • Acidic waste (pineapple, lemon, etc)

One of the aims of worm farming is to provide an environmentally sustainable alternative method of disposing of biodegradable waste, following the principles and visions set out in the triple bottom line approach.

RU Worm Farm Project principles

Sections of triple bottom line approachVision / Principles 
  • Reduce volume of biodegradable waste produced by Rhodes University
  • Reduce volume Green House Gases released
  • Produce a fertile organic fertilizer 
  • Develop worm farm projects in the surrounding Grahamstown community
  • Use knowledge gained to help communities to establish their own projects
  • Donate fertilizer to community engagement and environmental projects
  • Be economically sustainable through the selling of the produced fertilizer
  • Use earned funds to improve the efficiency and expand the project

Get involved in the ACTION:

  • Contact environment(at)ru.ac.za

Go to the Rhodes University ENVIRONMENT front page. Suggestions/Questions? Contact environment(at)ru.ac.za


Last Modified: Thu, 13 Jun 2013 16:11:56 SAST