Title: Remediation of heavy metals from urban waste by vermicomposting using earthworms: Eudrilus eugeniae, Eisenia fetida and Perionyx excavatus
Authors: Swati Pattnaik; M. Vikram Reddy
Addresses: Department of Ecology and Environmental Sciences, Pondicherry University, Puducherry 605 014, India ' Department of Ecology and Environmental Sciences, Pondicherry University, Puducherry 605 014, India
Abstract: This study revealed that three earthworm species, viz., Eudrilus eugeniae, Eisenia fetida and Perionyx excavatus, through vermicomposting remediated heavy metals - Pb, Zn, Cd, Cu and Mn from the urban waste - organic fraction of Municipal Solid Waste [M(O)SW], vegetable Market Waste (MW) and Floral Waste (FW). The concentrations of Zn, Cd and Cu were 36.1, 50.9 and 70.2% higher in M(O)SW compared with that of MW, while the concentrations of Pb and Mn were 96.5% and 80.1% higher in MW than that of M(O)SW, respectively. Of the vermicomposts and the composts of the wastes, FW and its vermicompost possessed lower concentrations of the Cd, Pb, Zn, Cu and Mn by 72.2, 55.7, 73.6, 78.2 and 48.2% and 58.0, 77.4, 64.1, 63.0 and 71.2% compared with that of M(O)SW and MW, respectively. The concentrations of these metals were significantly lowered in the vermicompost produced by the earthworm species compared to that of the respective substrates. Their concentrations showed significant decrease across different time intervals during vermicomposting process. The removal efficiency of the heavy metals was more in the vermicompost produced by E. eugeniae than that of E. fetida and P. excavatus, and the compost (P < 0.05).
Keywords: municipal solid waste; MSW; organic solid waste; vegetable market waste; floral waste; earthworm species; vermiculture; composting; cadmium; lead; zinc; copper; manganese; waste management; earthworms; heavy metals; vermicomposting.
International Journal of Environment and Waste Management, 2012 Vol.10 No.2/3, pp.284 - 296
Received: 15 Sep 2008
Accepted: 27 Mar 2009
Published online: 01 Aug 2012 *