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Home » Let The Worms Eat Your Organic Waste – Vermicomposting: David Witzeneder (Transcript)

Let The Worms Eat Your Organic Waste – Vermicomposting: David Witzeneder (Transcript)

Here is the full transcript of David Witzeneder’s talk titled “Let The Worms Eat Your Organic Waste – Vermicomposting” at TEDxDonauinsel 2017 conference.

Listen to the audio version here:


The Time We Spend Carrying Waste

You face this situation every few days: a size of a plastic bag waiting somewhere close to your door, a house, usually a bit stinky and not the most joyful activity to bring into the communal bin. Out of curiosity, I roughly calculated the time we spend carrying waste in our life, and I was shocked by the result. Supposing that the average person lives 80 years and starts carrying waste with the age of 18, it is 2,500 hours. To give you an idea, 2,000 hours is the average time we spend at the full-time job in one year, so it is really a lot of time.

And it doesn’t stop there. Every day, thousands of trucks are on the road to drive from my house to your house in order to get at our waste bin. Garbage collectors spending hours and hours of their lifetime to get our bin, empty it in the truck to finally dump it on a landfill or burn it in a power plant. This little plastic bag full with waste, which seems to be so little, costs us so much energy, lifetime and money.

It should be possible to reduce it, to reduce it, at least half of it. That was my question, and I tried it so hard to find out a way. It’s not that easy, and maybe somebody would ask, “But how should it be possible?”

Everything is packed in plastic, even vegetables and fruits. When I receive my parcel from Amazon, it’s packed in cardboard. I’m reading a daily newspaper, which has several hundred pages of paper per week, and when I’m cooking, I have a lot of organic waste, which starts to smell.

Analyzing Our Waste

You’re completely right. We generate a lot of waste and it’s OK to read a daily newspaper or to cook at home. However, when we analyze our waste, we can identify some very interesting facts. Each person in Europe produces around 500 kilograms of waste, and it can be categorized in following groups: 20% is paper and cardboard, 30% is organic food scraps, like from fruits, vegetables or leftovers, 15% is plastic and 35% is mixed, like cans, glass, electronic devices.

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