Hello Gardeners, I’m Amanda McNulty with Clemson Extension and Making It Grow. Feeding the worms in your compost bin with fruits and vegetables you bought but never used doesn’t completely exonerate you from being part of the problem of food waste in America, but it does reduce infrastructure costs. Transportation, handling expenses, and taking up limited space results in a cost of $60 per ton for discarded food when it ends up in landfills. Composting melon rinds, vegetable peelings, and fruits that got too ripe can make a significant decrease in what you add to the municipal waste stream. And for your plants, top dressing with the resulting organic matter builds the health of the soil, enhancing the water holding capacity and nutrient retention. Our warm moist climate promotes the rapid decomposition of organic matter and anything you can do to replace that material improves growing conditions in your landscape.