P17419: Vermicompost Bin


Project Summary Project Information

For an updated project description, click on the following link for the PRP 17419.

Vermicompost is a process of composting that utilizes living worms to process, mix, and clarify organic food wastes into a compost product called vermicast. This product has use as a powerful fertilizer and bedding material for plant growth and is notable for being produced with little human labor from recycled sources in an environmentally friendly manner. Rochester Roots is a local composting organization that seeks to approach sustainability education and performance using a variety of composting methods; of these vermicompost is particularly used at the local educational level. The current vermicompost bin used by Rochester Roots has been posited as being too small for large scale production of vermicast and unsustainable over long periods without care. MSD Project 17419 is intended to produce a large scale continuous classroom vermicomposter capable of pooling the compost resources of previous bins into a single long term system that can be easily operated and maintained by both instructors and students. This composter is to track and meet to environmental parameters such as light intensity, soil moisture content, and feeding requirements. Built in sensors will facilitate this process, and data tracking will allow for analysis of long term patterns in internal system change. The device will feature stratified layers for separating casting material and waste fluids from the bedding environment of the compost worms. Simple drawer or scraper style removal systems will allow for easy access to vermicompost product.

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Project Name
Rochester Roots Continuous Classroom Vermicomposter
Project Number
Project Family
Sustainable Systems
Start Term
End Term
Faculty Guide
Christian Leibfried, cvlddm@rit.edu
Primary Customer
Jan MacDonald, jan@rochesterroots.org
Sponsor (financial support)
Rochester Roots, 585-802-0843

Team Members

 From left to right: Steven Lalowski, Erik Freeman, Jay Patel, and Niall O'Dowd

From left to right: Steven Lalowski, Erik Freeman, Jay Patel, and Niall O'Dowd

member role email
Niall O'Dowd Primary Researcher nmo6806@rit.edu
Jay Patel Group Organizer jsp1773@rit.edu
Steven Lalowski EDGE Documentor sjl4197@g.rit.edu
Erik Freeman System Designer elf5268@rit.edu

Table of Contents


Planning & Execution

Project Photos and Videos

Imagine RIT

Problem Definition

Systems Design

Preliminary Detailed Design

Detailed Design

Build & Test Prep

Subsystem Build & Test

Integrated System Build & Test

Integrated System Build & Test with Customer Demo

Customer Handoff & Final Project Documentation


A big Thank You to Rochester Roots and Jan McDonald for giving us the opportunity to help out. We will do our best to deliver a successful product.

We would also like to Thank Chris Leibfried for his guidance in this project. He has been a big help so far and we hope to seek his assistance throughout this project