Sustainable household organic waste management via vermicomposting

Fauziah, Shahul Hamid and Agamuthu, Pariatamby (2009) Sustainable household organic waste management via vermicomposting. Malaysian Journal of Science, 28 (2). pp. 135-142. ISSN 1394-3065,

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Increasing waste generation in developing countries has alarmed authorities on waste disposal issues. Therefore, various alternatives have been looked into to reduce waste disposed into landfill. Among others are the bioremediation options which may allow the conversion of putrescible wastes into value added products such as compost, biogas and others. This study was aimed to find optimal experimental set-up to conduct small scale vermicomposting suitable for households, since approximately 40-50% (wt) of the waste is putrescible component. The wastes were weighed and exposed to worms namely Eisenia foetida. Results indicated that household putrescible waste can easily undergo vermicomposting. However, factors such as high acidity and presence of certain materials in the waste can be detrimental to this process. Worms are very sensitive to pH changes and the vermicomposting process will reduce drastically when pH is lower than 5.0. Experimental set-up with the layering system proved to be the best method of conducting small scale vermicomposting. The layering set-up prevents worms from escaping the vermicomposting system and allows the gathering of the offspring in a safe environment. Different combinations of organic mixture resulted with different rate of vermicomposting completion. The fastest to degrade was the combination of kitchen waste with vermicompost, which come to completion within three weeks. Vermicompost provides the most suitable environment for the worms to flourish in addition to the availability of less complex components in kitchen waste. The average water holding capacity of the vermicompost was 25% (wt) while the total organic content was 12%. In conclusion, vermicomposting of organic components found in the MSW stream can be accomplished by taking into consideration crucial factors such as acidity and presence of hindering components. The identification of the most suitable conditions for vermicomposting will allow the implementation of this alternative biological remedy to reduce waste and tackle the problem in waste management, particularly in developing countries.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Institute of Biological Sciences, Faculty of Science Building, University of Malaya, 50603 Kuala Lumpur, MALAYSIA
Uncontrolled Keywords: Kitchen waste, Sustainable development, Vermicomposting
Subjects: Q Science > QH Natural history > QH301 Biology
Divisions: Faculty of Science > Institute of Biological Sciences
Depositing User: Miss Malisa Diana
Date Deposited: 06 Mar 2013 03:25
Last Modified: 28 Apr 2021 06:48

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