The average New York City household discards two pounds of organic waste a day. That garbage, environmentalists say, can be treated at home and returned to the soil – as long as you don’t mind a little smell and a lot of worms.

Over the past year, interest in compost education has doubled, advocates says. The Manhattan Compost Project has set up shop on the Lower East Side, in the shadow of the Williamsburg Bridge, where would-be urban composters can get a starter kit – worms included.