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LOS ANGELES (AP) - Next to a copy machine on the 10th floor of
the city's public works building sits a plastic bin filled with worms
wriggling in rotting lettuce.
Public servants walk by without even glancing at the box or the
note above it: “Quiet please. Worms at work.''
Always on the cutting edge of all things environmental, California
is encouraging public and private-sector employees to bring
worms to work so that the creatures can chew up apple cores,
sandwich scraps and other lunch leftovers and produce compost.
The employees are then invited to take the stuff home and use
the all-natural fertilizer in their gardens and on their houseplants.
The state's Integrated Waste Management Board is so serious
about this that it has posted on its Web site a list of top 10 ways
to recycle on the job, and No. 2 is: “Keep worms in your office.''
At the Cal EPA complex in Sacramento, hundreds of thousands
of worms process some five tons of food scraps per year.
The 60-some bins are in offices, halls, even the daycare center.
There is a waiting list for bins among employees, some of whom
have been known to compete over whose office has the more