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Six Million Worms and Counting

May 19, 2015

By Will Mader,

DOC Communications

(Will Mader, DOC Communications)

Millions of worms are steadily munching through 10,000 pounds of leftover food each month at the Monroe Correctional Complex, northeast of Seattle.

DOC used to pay an outside contractor to come in and haul away the leftovers. Now the waste is converted onsite into worm castings, one of the richest natural fertilizers available. The castings go into gardens at the prison, and are shared with other public facilities in the area.

Nick Hacheney, an inmate at the prison, has been a leader in expanding the vermiculture program from an initial donation of 200 worms in 2010 to the industrial-scale operation seen at the prison today.

“The thing that excites me about this project is its green jobs and jobs that guys can really have a reasonable expectation of getting when they get out on the streets”, he said.

Watch the video above to learn more about the program, and you can also visit the KPLU website to listen to this recent report by KPLU.

Andrew Garber, DOC Communications, contributed to this story.