The arrival of invasive Asian jumping worms – and the threat of other invasive species – makes this a great time for property owners to start making their own compost material, according to Jeff Lutsey, executive director of the Climate Change Coalition (CCC) of Door County.
Lutsey and CCC members have set up a network of compost sites around the county, and they’re being cautious about what they add to the mix. At Lutsey’s drop-off site a few miles northwest of Baileys Harbor’s Green Site, he accepts food waste – no meat or animal fat – from just a few restaurants and trusted donors. Most of them drop off a five-gallon bucket or less of material.
CCC members have discussed precautions to keep the worms out of their mulch, particularly when there’s not a lot known yet about jumping worms.
“Our current plan is to keep doing what we’re doing on food scraps, so any restaurant or individual who is contributing food scraps to our sites, keep doing it,” he said. “There’s no known problem with that. A big warning to everybody is, don’t transfer anything that might have the worm or their cocoons – no leaves, no dirt, no potting soil. Normally you’d throw your dirt and dead plant from a pot in your compost heap; don’t even do that.”
Lutsey said there’s no better time than the present to start your own compost, using eggshells, coffee grounds, and fruit and vegetable waste for the “greens,” and leaves and grass clippings for the “browns.”