Title: Comparative effects of composting and vermicomposting on quality of organic amendments prepared from MSW and nitrogen rich Guatemala plant residues

Authors: Prabhat Pramanik; Chamim S. Ahmed; Rajiv M. Bhagat

Addresses: Department of Soil Science, Tocklai Tea Research Institute, Tea Research Association, Jorhat 785008, Assam, India ' Department of Soil Science, Tocklai Tea Research Institute, Tea Research Association, Jorhat 785008, Assam, India ' Department of Soil Science, Tocklai Tea Research Institute, Tea Research Association, Jorhat 785008, Assam, India

Abstract: High heavy metal contents and low nutrient status limit municipal solid waste (MSW) application in agricultural fields. In this study, high nitrogen (N) containing plant residues of Guatemala were mixed with MSW to evaluate its effect on quality of final composts and vermicomposts. Composting leads to 49.9-56.3% organic C loss from organic substrates; while 53.0-62.1% organic C was lost during vermicomposting of same treatments. In this study, total N content was increased up to 75.2-100.7% and 94.4-135.0% during composting and vermicomposting, respectively. Vermicomposts had lower heavy metal contents than composts. Mixing of Guatemala with MSW leads to the significantly higher total N content in the final product and reduced heavy metal contents only during vermicomposting. Therefore, 20% mixing (w/w basis) of N-rich plant residues with MSW may be effective to improve quality of organic amendments through vermicomposting.

Keywords: municipal solid waste; MSW; N-rich plant residue; N content; composting-vermicomposting; heavy metals; Guatemala.

DOI: 10.1504/IJEWM.2017.083564

International Journal of Environment and Waste Management, 2017 Vol.19 No.1, pp.87 - 96

Accepted: 25 Dec 2016
Published online: 04 Apr 2017 *

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