A story to worm your heart

12 January 2023

Why are worms considered to be great company? Because they are always down to earth… and the Health, Safety and Environmental team at Stanwell Power Station (SPS) couldn’t agree more… which is why it recently welcomed 40,000 of them to site!

On average, Stanwell Power Station produces 86 tonnes of general waste per annum, and this includes all organic waste, which currently makes its way into landfill. 

The canteen alone produces an average of more than 500 kg of food scraps per annum, with volume increasing during high work periods, such as outages. 

Knowing, “there has to be a better way”, the Health, Safety and Environment team at SPS went on the hunt for a solution and found the answer in Worms Downunder!

Specifically designed to thrive in a worm farm environment, Worms Downunder use a mix of compost worms, including Reds, Tigers, Blues, Gardener’s Friend, and European Night Crawlers (who knew there were that many kinds?!). By combining these species, the worm farm will remain active, and work more consistently throughout the varying temperatures during the seasons. 

Now settled into their new home, our legless friends play a crucial role in contributing to our environmental sustainability by enabling vermicomposting.

What is vermicomposting?

Vermicomposting is the process by which earthworms are used to convert organic materials into a humus-like material known as vermin-compost. Worms are capable to process approximately 50 per cent of their body weight per day. Vermicomposting is about twice as fast as conventional (thermophilic) composting, produces higher nutrient concentrations, and the aerobic process does not produce methane gas.

So, the next time you can only finish half your banana or pie, or you’ve left some crumbs from your crumbed steak – the worms say thanks and the worm farm can continue to grow to its maximum capacity of 160,000 worms!