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Superworms for bioremediation of polystyrene: ideas for extending the (re)processing?  RSS feed

 
gardener
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Location: Vilonia, Arkansas - Zone 7B/8A stoney, sandy loam soil pH 6.5
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hau Tyler, try these folks for testing testing for styrene content

Redhawk
 
master pollinator
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Location: Central Texas USA Latitude 30 Zone 8
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Thank you!
 
pollinator
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Location: Colorado County, TX, USA. 8b/9a. Humid subtropical, drought & flood prone
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Caught a glimpse of a beetle in the bin. Pretty sure it was a darkling beetle and not a local invader. If so, evidence that they are at least healthy enough to pupate and morph into beetles on a diet of mostly styrofoam.
 
Jennifer Richardson
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I got some normal mealworms about a week ago. They don’t seem to be interested in eating the plastic grocery bag I gave them, or the styrofoam takeout container. Maybe they are just so small compared to the superworms that their depredations are not apparent yet. I thought about trying to put them all in the same bin, but I feel like the superworms might just eat the mealworms. Some of the mealworms did crawl over into the corner of their bin and pupate already, so I feel like they may be more easily self-perpetuating than the superworms. But in my opinion they are not as cool. I really want to get some worms to eat polyethylene, but so far no dice.
B4A251C0-AEB3-496B-9C57-F149B01401B5.jpeg
[Thumbnail for B4A251C0-AEB3-496B-9C57-F149B01401B5.jpeg]
pupae
 
Tyler Ludens
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The Red Wigglers I put in the bin died.  Going to try BSF next.

 
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Location: Missouri Ozarks Zone 6B
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I am beyond excited about this! I have bred these guys before as snacks for my chickens but had no idea that they could help in my recycling efforts. I had great success using oatmeal as a substrate. They will eat their eggs as well as their pupa so I sifted the substrate regularly to separate them out. Your numbers will increase faster this way. I got my first batch of these worms  at shop that sells Live Bait. Very cheap. Thank you Jennifer for sharing this!
 
Tyler Ludens
master pollinator
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So far the BSF larvae are doing great, cleaning up the dead Superworms and Red Wigglers.  I don't expect them to eat any of the remaining polystyrene, but I hope they will turn the rest of the bin contents into a uniform soil-like material which I can send off to the lab.
 
Yeah. What he said. Totally. Wait. What? Sorry, I was looking at this tiny ad:
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https://permies.com/t/97104/Starting-homestead-strong-foundation
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