There are Different Ways of Composting?
Yes, there are! Last week, we gave you an insight on the intricate workings of composting. This week, we’ll be talking more about the different varieties of composting, from those in factories to those done in the comforts of your home.
Usually used in industries, in-vessel composting is used to treat food and garden waste on a large scale. The waste is gathered and placed in an enclosed environment called a vessel. Vessels can be anything from containers to silos to enclosed halls. The enclosed environment allows food waste like meat and dairy to be composted. The environmental factors like temperature and air flow can be controlled, ensuring the optimal environment for composting to take place in.
The combined food and garden waste is first uniformly cut and placed into the vessel to compost for around a week. Temperatures are controlled to ensure any bad bacteria are killed. The process is repeated, and after the second round the waste is moved to a maturation pad where it is allowed to mature for about eight weeks.
Also known as backyard composting, this is a form of composting that can be done in the home! Contributing waste from the home can reduce outgoing household waste by up to 30%, and also reduces contributions to landfills.
Backyard composting is basically composting on a smaller scale. Household rubbish and food waste is first separated into ‘greens’ and ‘browns’, like green food waste and leaves or grass trimmings. The waste is placed in bins and allowed to compost on its own. Water is added every seven to ten days to create optimal conditions for composting to occur.
The composting toilet, as its name suggests, turns our natural human waste into compost! Because these toilets use little water, they are ideal for use in places where water is in short supply, or where there is a lack of sewer infrastructure to carry away human waste. Human waste is about 90% water, which is evaporated and removed through a vent. ‘Bulking material‘ like sawdust, wood chips or even paper can be added to aid in moisture removal. If operated properly, these toilets won’t even smell!
Our last method of composting is vermicomposting. This involves worms, which has the added effect of adding worm waste, or vermicast, to the compost. This increases the nutritious value of the compost, as the vermicast contains added nutrients apart from those in compost, and can indirectly impact human health in the long run.
Waste is layered alternately in greens and browns. Worms are then introduced into the waste, and left to decompose the waste. The compost can be made into ‘worm tea‘, which contains the goodness of compost in liquid form. This tea can reach places in soil that compost cannot, and can be more beneficial than using compost.
Next week, we’ll be going in-depth on how vermicompost in your own home. It’s much easier than it sounds, and you’re going to reap so many benefits from it!
Read our article on the basics of composting here. Remember to check this space for weekly updates!