In this article, we will discuss if compost worms can eat egg cartons. Composting is a fun thing to do because not only can you help the environment, but you can also produce healthy fertilizer for your garden and save money. If you have a lot of egg cartons at home, you might be wondering if it is okay to give them to compost worms. Can worms eat egg cartons? We will find out the answer below.
Can compost worms eat egg cartons? Worms can eat egg cartons as long as they are free of toxic chemicals and are properly shredded. Egg cartons are made of paper that easily decomposes. Hence, worms will eat them. Shred the egg carton and moisten it before mixing it with other organic matter or kitchen scraps.
Kitchen scraps such as fruits and vegetables are the ideal food to feed compost worms. On the other hand, they can also eat paper products as long as it does not contain toxic and harmful chemicals. Various paper products should not be fed to compost worms. Before putting the egg carton in the compost bin, make sure to shred it into smaller pieces and moisten it so that it can quickly decompose.
Why Do Compost Worms Eat Egg Cartons and Other Paper Products?
There are different reasons why compost worms eat egg cartons and other products which include the components of the paper products and because they have fewer additional flavors. Worms will eat a lot of paper products which includes newspaper, cardboard, egg cartons, and junk mail. Let us delve more into this below.
Paper Product Components
One of the reasons why compost worms eat egg cartons and other paper products is because of their components. Cardboard cartons usually have some residue of foods and drinks that are stored in them that the worms love. Even if the cartons are kept for many months before they are shredded, moisten, and placed in the compost bin, there is still a little residue of foods and drinks on them.
It Has Less Additional Flavors
Another reason why compost worms eat egg cartons and other paper products are that it has fewer additional flavors. You throw a lot of things into the worm bin that contains different flavors. Some flavors are appealing to worms while others are not. If you notice compost worms eating paper products, it is because it contains fewer chemicals than worms like.
Is it Okay for Compost Worms to Eat Egg Cartons and Other Paper Products?
While compost worms will eat egg cartons and other paper products, a lot of people are wondering if it is okay. The answer is they can give them egg cartons and paper products but not too much of it. Paper products have an appealing taste to compost worms but it is not nutritious. It is recommended that you feed worms paper products in moderation. You should also mix the paper products with other organic matter and kitchen scraps so you can rest assured that they will get enough nutrients to compost efficiently.
Why are Egg Cartons and Paper Products Bad for Composting Worms?
Egg cartons and other paper products can be bad for worms because of the chemicals used in producing these products. Certain paper products are treated with toxic chemicals and dyes that are harmful to composting worms. Make sure that you check the type of paper products that you feed to the worms.
Paper products that are bleached white, contain plastic or have a shiny coating should be avoided. Moreover, do not feed composting worm paper products that have pigmented containers, artificial ink, or a glossy or waxy surface.
Are Egg Cartons Compostable?
Egg cartons are compostable. These types of cartons are made from paper pulp and are shaped like eggs. Paper pulp is made from natural and biodegradable materials so they are considered one of the best materials for composting. Do not just place a whole egg carton into the compost bin because it will take a long time to decompose. Make sure to shred it into small pieces and moisten it so that it will decompose quickly. You can also check out this article that discusses if worms can eat cabbage. We have shared an in-depth discussion about the topic.
Aside from Egg Carton, Can You Use Cardboard as Worm Bedding?
Cardboard can be used as worm bedding. It is made from trees and contains a high level of cellulose which is perfect for a worm bed. On the other hand, not all types of cardboard can be used for worm bedding or can be added to the compost bin. Take note that some are made with chemicals such as bleach and dyes which are harmful to worms. Moreover, make sure that the cardboard does not contain plastic because it will not decompose. Below are some of the cardboard materials that you can use for worm bedding.
Brown Corrugated Cardboard
This type of cardboard is designed like a sandwich where the outer layers surround the inner layer. This is a great material to be added to the bedding because it provides worms room to move around. See to it that the corrugated cardboard that you use for the bedding does not have plastic layers. It should not be colored, waxed, or treated.
Cardboard with Food Residue
If the cardboard has food residue in it, you can still use it as bedding for worms. This is a good thing because the bacteria are already starting to munch on the cardboard which makes it easier to decompose.
Toilet Paper Tubes
Another type of cardboard that is ideal for worm bedding is toilet paper tubes. Again, make sure that the tubes are not bleached or do not have dyes. Do not place the whole toilet paper tube into the bin. It will be easier for worms if you cut it into smaller pieces. We have also shared this article titled, how deep should my worm bed be? You can check out the article for more tips and information.
What is the Best Way to Feed Egg Cartons to Worms?
There are a few steps that you need to do when feeding egg cartons to worms which include tearing them, cutting them, and soaking them before putting them into the bin. Do not throw the whole egg carton into the bin because it will take a long time to decompose.
Step 1 – Tear the Egg Carton
Make sure to tear the egg carton into smaller pieces before placing it into the bin. This will make it easier for the microorganisms inside the bin to decompose the carton.
Step 2 – Cut the Egg Carton
You can also use a scissor to cut the egg carton into smaller pieces if you find it hard to tear by hand. Cut it into smaller strips or squares. Remove any plastic coating or stickers from the egg carton.
Step 3 – Soak the Egg Carton
The last step will be to soak the egg carton in water. This will make it decompose faster when placed into the bin. On the other hand, make sure that you remove excess water by squeezing the carton. It should be moist but not dripping wet or it will make the compost bin soggy which is not ideal.
✅ Video – Feeding Cardboard Egg Carton Boxes to Your Worms
The Ultimate Recycler shared the video below on YouTube. It talks about feeding cardboard egg carton boxes to worms. In the video, an experiment is made to see if there is a difference in feeding shredded egg cartons to the worms. Watch the video to find out more.
Is it Okay to Put Egg Cartons in the Compost Bin?
It is okay to put egg cartons in the compost bin as long as it does not contain any plastic layer, dyes, and other chemicals that are toxic to worms. Make sure to shred the egg carton for easy decomposition. Moreover, soak the carton in water before placing it in the bin. It makes the carton softer so that it will decompose quickly.
How Long Will it Take for Egg Cartons to Decompose?
It will take about two to four weeks for the egg carton to decompose. On the other hand, this will have to depend on different factors as well. For instance, if the carton has stickers, it will take longer to decompose. The moisture level inside the compost bin will also affect the length of decomposition.
Is it Okay to Put Egg Cartons in a Worm Bin?
It is okay to put egg cartons in a worm bin as long as it does not contain any toxic chemicals. Egg cartons are biodegradable and will make good bedding and food for the worms. As we have mentioned above, cut the carton into smaller pieces and soak them in water so that worms can easily munch through them.
Is Colored Cardboard Harmful to Worms?
Colored cardboards can be harmful to worms depending on the type of coloring used as well as the amount of color. If the cardboard only has a tiny amount of coloring on it, then it is okay to put it in the worm bin or the compost pile. On the other hand, if the colored part of the cardboard is composed of toxic dyes, then it is not safe for worms. You can also read this article that discusses if a compost bin needs drainage. We have shared helpful information that you can refer to.
You have reached the end of this article that discusses if compost worms can eat egg cartons. We have found out that egg cartons and other paper products can be eaten by compost worms. On the other hand, not all paper products are safe for worms. Above, we have shared the type of paper products that should be avoided. Thank you for reading!