Domestic scale vermicomposting for solid waste management


1 Environmental Health Engineering Department, Kermanshah University of Medical Sciences, Isar Square, Kermanshah, Iran

2 Environmental Epidemiology Research Center, Kermanshah University of Medical Sciences, Isar Square, Kermanshah, Iran


Background: Vermicomposting has recently been recognized as one of the most appropriate methods to stabilize organic waste. In terms of a system for waste management, vermicomposting is sustainable, economically viable, and without detrimental effects to human health or to the environment. The aim of this study was to evaluate the process of vermicomposting using an indigenous species of earthworms (Eisenia fetida) on a small domestic scale as a system for waste management. Results: This study was carried out as an experiment using the following procedure: a plastic container was prepared for vermicomposting; then, a bed was prepared in a ready container with a layer of initial bedding, sieved garden soil, and compostable waste. It was inoculated with Eisenia fetida earthworms. Samples were taken after 30 and 90 days of vermicomposting, and measurements were taken for the following parameters: percentage of organic matter, phosphorus, total carbon, total nitrogen, moisture content, ash, electrical conductivity, and pH. Results for percentage of organic matter, phosphorous, ash, total carbon, total nitrogen, carbon/nitrogen ratio, electrical conductivity, moisture content, and pH of mature compost after 90 days were 42 ± 2.8, 53 ± 0.17, 22 ± 0.170, 1.12 ± 0.003, 20 ± 0.25, 2.8 ± 0.6, 1, 200 ± 200 cSu, 56 ± 5.5%, 8.3 ± 0.2, respectively, and all these parameters except moisture content were compared with the standards. Conclusion: According to these results, vermicomposting of municipal biodegradable waste by homeowners can be recommended as the best and most suitable method for solid waste disposal. This determines small-scale domestic vermicomposting as a suitable method for solid waste management. Reducing domestic waste at the source is an effective way to implement the main priorities of a waste management system in terms of its economy and its impact on the environment.