These splendid devices are bokashi bins, a form of kitchen waste processor. The picture above was taken during the first snowfall of 2012. Bokashi bins can be used as the catch all of kitchen composting. Whilst we cannot put meat, fish, dairy or citrus fruits into a wormery, they will work well in a bokashi bin.
Bokashi is a mixture of effective mico-organisms (EM) or helpful bugs to you and me. These are mixed with molasses, water and a few other ingredients to ferment. This mixture is then combined with bran to produce an almost sawdust type substance. The idea is that the bran would react anaerobically with food waste to kick off a fermenting reaction. Contents of the bin are going to be pickled over a period which then makes them suitable for breaking down elsewhere.
To start with bokashi all you need is the bin, some bokashi bran and an old potato masher. Add your food in about an inch layer, press down with potato masher to remove air and scatter with a handful of bran. If the food has a higher level of protein, eg fish, add a little more bran. Keep going like this when you have more waste to feed the bin. From time to time check the tap at the bottom. This contains a liquid run off which can be used to combat drain smells or is diluted to become a fertilizer. Once the bin is full, leave for two weeks to ferment. After this the contents can be either dug into trenches in the garden or added to the regular compost. Wormeries like small quantities, but the risk of wiggly genocide is on balance, so maybe best to add to the bigger compost bin.
You can pretty much add any food but bones, liquids and packaging should be avoided. Even though bokashi bins have a unique odour they are much preferable to the stench of kitchen bins and wheelie bins full of old food.
To use an empty bin all you need is some