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Effects of Leachate during Vegetable Waste Composting using Rotary Drum Composter

  • Varma, V. Sudharsan (Department of Civil Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology Guwahati) ;
  • Kalamdhad, Ajay S. (Department of Civil Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology Guwahati)
  • Received : 2013.10.08
  • Accepted : 2013.12.23
  • Published : 2014.03.30

Abstract

In India, disposal of vegetable market waste along with municipal solid waste in landfills or dumpsites is creating much nuisance in terms of odor nuisance, leachate production, and greenhouse gas emission into the atmosphere. Therefore, vegetable waste with high biodegradable and nutrient content is composted in a 550-L batch scale rotary drum composter to study the degradation process and its compost properties for its potential reuse as high quality compost. A total 150 kg of working volume was fixed for composting studies with two different ratios, trial A (6:3:1) of C/N 24 and trial B (8:1:1) of C/N 30, respectively. A maximum of $63.5^{\circ}C$ and $61.2^{\circ}C$ was observed in trials A and B; an average of $55^{\circ}C$ for more than 5 days, which helped in the degradation of organic matter and reduction of total and fecal coliform. The temperature dropped suddenly after the thermophilic stage in trial B, and leachate was observed due to insufficient amount of bulking agent. Mesophilic bacteria dominated during the initial stages of composting, and reduced considerably during the thermophilic stage. During the thermophilic stage, the rise in spore-forming organisms, including spore-forming bacteria, fungi, actinomycetes and streptomycetes, increased and these were predominant until the end of the composting process. By examination, it was observed that moisture and leachate production had adverse effects on the compost parameters with higher loss of micronutrients and heavy metals.

Keywords

C/N ratio;Leachate;Microbial diversity;Rotary drum composting;Vegetable waste

Acknowledgement

Supported by : Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation

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