Sustainability Work at Laser Art NYC
There are a few things that happen behind the scenes at Laser Art NYC that I want to share.
1) I recycle all my acrylic scrap through extruding companies in PA and NJ.
2) My equipment and workflow is very efficient (Electricity, Material and Time).
3) I have a worm farm that turns all my cardboard scrap into organic fertilizer for my garden.
The worms are super cool and I'll give some info about it below:
One of the challenges of documenting sustainability efforts is taking good pictures of garbage.
Using worms to break down organic waste into fertilizer.
Brown, corrugated cardboard is an excellent medium for composting worms. They can live and reproduce in a shredded cardboard environment, but over time the material decomposes enough for them to eat and digest. The result is worm castings, a rich fertilizer for my garden.
The first step is a pre-composting process, shown here. I soak the cardboard in water, mix in some food scraps and turn it once a week for ventilation.
In a few months I'll have a suitable (and edible) bedding for worms.
"Pre-composting" is really just composting without the worms.
Because worms can't eat cardboard straight out of the box.
While the worms are working on one batch of cardboard, I'm pre-composting the next batch to give them a head start.
When the cardboard is ready it has the texture of dead leaves, but it's not dead at all. It's rich with microbes and nutrients that create a healthy environment and nutritious food for the worms.
Worms at Work:
Eating cardboard and food scraps
The worms, live, eat and reproduce in this environment. With the proper moisture, pH, temperature and ratio of cardboard to food scraps the worms will process the cardboard into an organic fertilizer. There's definitely some work involved, but the worms do the bulk of it.
I'm happy to share any resources for starting your own cardboard composting set up.
Organic compost from workshop waste
Currently, I'm producing enough for my garden...a small operation for now.
But as my worm population grows and I learn more about the process, there's no reason why this can't scale into a commercial product that repurposes volumes of scrap cardboard beyond what my shop produces.