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Bio composting of Municipal Solid Wastes employing earthworms Eisenia fetida and Eudrilus eugeniae

Author Affiliations

  • 1Manonmaniam Sundaranar University, Sri Paramakalyani Centre of Excellence in Environmental Sciences, Alwarkurichi 627 412, TN, INDIA

Int. Res. J. Environment Sci., Volume 3, Issue (8), Pages 6-13, August,22 (2014)

Abstract

The MSW was composted with different Earthworm species to identify the suitable earthworm species for Eco-friendly and scientific management of MSW. Earthworm species of Eudrilus eugeniae and Eisenia fetida were collected from Kodaikanal forest soil, brought to Alwarkurichi and reared in cages under controlled environmental conditions till attaining full grown stage. These two earthworm species were introduced into the raw MSW collected from Alwarkurichi town Panchayat and studied the changes in physico-chemical and biological characteristics during the course of decomposition of MSW. There were six treatments taken up for this study, out of which two treatments had been made with 50 numbers of each earthworm species and another two treatments with 100 numbers of each earth worm species. The 5thtreatment was made by adding 50 numbers of each earthworm species. An experimental control was also maintained to compare the efficacy of various treatments. During the decomposition of MSW by these earthworm species, there was an increase, in size, number of cocoons, number of young ones and number of adult earthworms. This study was observed with gradual increase in pH, E.C. nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium and continuous decrease of total carbon and C: N ratio during the composting period. The bacterial and fungal populations were minimum at the initiation of composting, reached the maximum at the middle period and attained stable population on maturation. The actinomycetes population steadily increased during the process of decomposition and reached maximum and stable population on completion of decomposition. The micronutrients content had shown a steady increase from the beginning to the end. The heavy metals concentration decreased during the period of composting. The compost obtained from the MSW treated with Eudrilus eugeniae in 100 numbers possessed most favorable physico-chemical and biological characteristics when compared to the other treatments in this study.

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