Co-composting as an oxygen stabilization of an organic fraction of municipal solid waste and industrial sewage sludge

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Courtesy of IWA Publishing

The purpose of this work is to study the characteristics of the co-composting of municipal solid waste (MSW), sewage sludge, grass and sawdust. Differing proportions of biodegradable waste were investigated through changes of temperature, oxygen consumption, organic matters, moisture content, carbon, nitrogen, C/N ratio as well as heavy metals and pathogen microorganisms content. The present study has shown that addition of MSW above 10% had a negative impact on the composting process. The initial C/N of the mixtures with a higher MSW content was below 18. Lower losses of organic matter occurred during composting for the mixture with the highest addition of MSW. Although studies have shown that composting is a good method for the disposal of organic waste additional research is required in order to optimize the organic and nitrogen compounds degradation during the co-composting process. In conclusion, a 1:4:4:1 mixture of MSW:sewage sludge:grass:sawdust is recommended because it can achieve high temperature as well as the highest organic matter degradation and highest N content in the final composting product. The concentration of heavy and light metals in all composts was within the limits of regulation of the Polish Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development.

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