Inderscience Publishers

Home composting of organic waste - part 2: effect of management practices

Home composting (HC) can produce safe compost if properly managed, while reducing municipal disposal costs. This project investigated the sanitary and safety impact of HC management (with/without bulking agent, batch/weekly feeding, with/without regular mixing) using the Plastic (P) and Wood (W) bins, the Rotary Drum (RD) and the Ground Pile (GP) filled with equal wet volumes of food waste (FW) and yard trimmings (YT). Thermophilic temperatures were obtained only for batch feeding. Mixing the HC compost improved thermophilic temperature duration for W with limited convective aeration, but reduced the duration for P with good convective aeration. Tested only with W and RD, BA reduced the thermophilic period by increasing the compost dry matter from 20% to 40%, lowering the pH from 6.1–7.7 to 5.7, and diluting the biodegradable organic matter. The lowest parasite and pathogen level and odours were obtained in P and GP without BA.

Keywords: organic waste, home composters, compost quality, MSW, municipal solid waste, composting, solid waste management, waste disposal, onsite treatment, sanitary impact, safety impact

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