Enhanced composting of municipal solid waste using external microbial catalystAuthor(s): Namasivayam Vasudevan, Sevu Natarajan, Odukkathil Greeshma
Composting of municipal solid waste is a common practice of managing MSWby which waste is converted into value added products.About 70 to 80 % of MSW consist of biodegradable waste, which makes them an efficient compostable material. However, the selection or development of a suitable composting system is vital for the production of high quality compost. The process of natural composting is a time consuming process and in view of the rapid increase in population and subsequent increase in production of waste, the composting of large volumes of Municipal Solid Waste by natural process requires a very large area. The focus of this study was on enhancing the composting process using external microbial catalysts (EM(A)& EM(B)). The studywas carried out in three categories ofwaste namely, i) lower income group waste (LIG), ii) higher income group waste (HIG) and iii) food waste (FW) for a duration of 45 days. The nutrients in the compost were carbon 5.3 to 26%, organic nitrogen 0.54% to 2.3%, phosphorus 0.20% to 0.86 %, and potassium 0.64% to 1.1%. Composting using the microbial catalyst EM (B) showed a higher percentage of composting in LIG (97%), in HIG (95%), FW(98%) in 45 days. The study revealed that use ofmicrobial catalyst can enhance the composting process.