You need some basic things for a worm bin. Worms need moisture, air, food, darkness, and warm (but not hot) temperatures. Bedding, made of newspaper strips or leaves, will hold moisture and contain air spaces essential to worms.
1. Go to a website like Freecycle.org, or Craigslist, and find an old laundry sink, bathtub, tote, whatever size and shape you need and can find.
2. Remove all the hardware and give it a good cleaning. Peroxide and vinegar should be your first choices as they are both more natural and worm safe, only use something harsher if you must.
3. I have our bin in our basement, so it cannot sit on the overly cold basement, especially in the winter, plus we need to occasionally drain the liquid that the food and worms make so we left the legs on the utility sink, if you have a tote or another bin you may want to attach legs or sit it up on something. Make sure that the legs can hold the amount of weight you are putting on them. On a utility sink we used screws to make sure the legs were attached well and stayed on.
4. Next you want to work on drainage, as a utility sink has a drain, we just took some precautions to keep the drain clear and then put a bucket under it. The “juice” you get some people like to water down and put on plants, others say it full of microbes that are dangerous, either way I just put it in our outside “hot” compost to make sure it stays wet enough. and to let any pathogens die off.
5. Now we cover the bottom in gravel or any type of gravel-ish stuff. I am using hydroton rock which is expanded clay pellets. cover the whole bottom with a thin layer, this is to keep the worms from drowning in the drainage.
6. Now we cover the gravel with a sheet of landscaping fabric. Be sure that you use a fabric that is durable, but not plastic, air still needs to flow in every possible hole.
7. Get together a base of newspaper, kraft paper, shredded cardboard, coconut coir, or even junk mail. Shred all of this down to fairly small pieces and then soak it in water for a few hours to a day or so until its all nice and wet.
Then make a layer a couple inches thick in the bottom of your bin.
Now its time to go ahead and get some worms…I recommend Uncles Jim’s Worm Farm, good worms with great customer service.
Then its just a matter of saving your old food scraps, grass clippings, leafs, etc to feed those worms. Before long you will have some worm casting to amend your garden with. So gentle you grow a whole plant in it without burn and yet so useful for every plant inside and outside.