The Environmental Agency in Iceland has granted the company GeoTækni ehf in Selfoss a license to import one million earthworms.
According to a report by RÚV, the worms are supposed to be used to further post-process mulch into organic fertilizer. After an initial risk assessment by the agency, they came to the conclusion that the species was unlikely to have a negative effect on the ecosystem.
The now wormfully-advanced composting process is to take place in a heated building with concrete floors. The Environmental Agency also deems an accidental release unlikely.
An entry on the website of the Icelandic Natural Science Institute about this specific type of worm says that it’s very rare in Iceland. It is usually found in temperate regions around the world especially in connection with cultivation and human habitation.
The earthworm’s lifestyle on the website is described as “moisture-seeking”, searching for piles of rotting plant debris and dirt piles and thriving well in low acidity (pH).
It’s even possible for it to creep into the foundations of old houses and into damaged sewage pipes—sometimes, astonishingly, all the way up to the toilet bowls. That would be a good indication that the pipes are beginning to give way. On occasion, these worms have apparently been a “source of unreasonable concern for finders about their health.”
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