Glendale Integrated Waste Management Recycling Coordinator Regina Wheeler

Glendale Integrated Waste Management Recycling Coordinator Regina Wheeler talks about worm composting during compost workshop at the city's Integrated Waste Management building in Glendale on Saturday, January 11, 2014. (Raul Roa / Staff Photographer / January 11, 2014)

About 20 Glendale residents learned composting tips Saturday morning, at the city’s Integrated Waste Management building where Regina Wheeler showed residents the worms she maintains there that produce nutrient-rich fertilizer.

Wheeler now feeds nearly 2 pounds of worms, but she started with 1 pound, the amount necessary to begin composting. Once a week, she feeds them vegetables or lettuce, and once in a while, coffee grounds.

By Saturday, the worms had nearly devoured an avocado Wheeler placed in there two weeks prior.

“These little workers, they do everything themselves,” she said.

On Friday this week, city officials hosted 30 Glendale residents who showed up to learn about composting with worms or with a larger bin used for decomposing food scraps, grass or leaves.

Dean Hartwell, who is an administrative associate with the city’s integrated waste management division, walked residents through steps to compost organic matter without the worms — suggesting they stay away from composting meat or dairy products, pesticide laden fruit peels and keeping to natural items such as dry leaves or vegetables.

“Composting is easy. Mastering it is rather difficult,” he said, speaking of the balance that the material in the bin must achieve.

One of the perks for attending the event for residents entailed receiving a free compost bin or a worm bin for $25.

Both Wheeler and Hartwell said they’ve seen an uptick in residents attending the free compost workshops. At least eight more upcoming workshops will occur throughout the year, with the next one slated for March 7.

For more information, call (818) 548-3916.

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Follow Kelly Corrigan on Twitter: @kellymcorrigan.

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