Vermiculture for Sustainable Solid Waste Management : Making Wealth From Waste While Diverting Huge Organics From Landfills and Reducing Greenhouse Gases

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Sinha, Rajiv
Bharambe, Gokul
Agarwal, Sunita
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2008
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Earthworm participation enhances natural biodegradation and decomposition of solid wastes from 60 to 80% thus significantly reducing the composting time by several weeks. Given the optimum conditions of temperature (20-30 ?) and moisture (60-70 %), about 5 kg of worms (numbering approx. 10,000) can vermiprocess 1 tonne of waste into nutrient rich vermi-compost in just 30 day. Upon vermicomposting the volume of solid waste is reduced from 1 to 0.5 cum of vermi-compost and it is saving over 13,000 cum of landfill space every year in Australia. Composting by worms decrease the proportion of 'anaerobic to aerobic decomposition', resulting in a significant decrease in methane (greenhouse gas) and volatile sulphur compounds which are readily emitted from the conventional microbial composting process. Vermi-process is 'hygienic' and 'odourless'. Earthworms ensures complete environmental sanitation by selectively devouring on the anaerobic micro-organisms which release foul-smelling hydrogen sulphide and mercaptans. They also release anti-bacterial co-elomic fluids in the waste biomass which arrest decay and growth of anaerobic pathogens.

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Indian Journal of Environmental Protection

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28

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2

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Environmental Science and Management not elsewhere classified

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