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The efficiency of home composting programmes and compost quality

Waste management (New York, N.Y.) | 23 Mar 2017

MA Vázquez and M Soto
Abstract
The efficiency of home composting programmes and the quality of the produced compost was evaluated in eight rural areas carrying out home composting programmes (up to 880 composting bins) for all household biowaste including meat and fish leftovers. Efficiency was analysed in terms of reduction of organic waste collected by the municipal services. An efficiency of 77% on average was obtained, corresponding to a composting rate of 126kg/person·year of biowaste (or 380kg/composter·year). Compost quality was determined for a total of 90 composting bins. The operation of composting bins by users was successful, as indicated by a low C/N ratio (10-15), low inappropriate materials (or physical contaminant materials, mean of 0.27±0.44% dry matter), low heavy metal content (94% of samples met required standards for agricultural use) and high nutrient content (2.1% N, 0.6% P, 2.5% K, 0.7% Mg and 3.7% Ca on average, dry matter). The high moisture (above 70% in 48% of the samples) did not compromise the compost quality. Results of this study show that home composting of household organic waste including meat and fish leftovers is a feasible practice. Home composting helps individuals and families to reduce the amount of household waste at the same time gaining a fertiliser material (compost) of excellent quality for gardens or vegetable plots.
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Concepts
Heavy metal music, Home composting, Waste management, Vermicompost, Biodegradable waste, Agriculture, Composting, Compost
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