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Performance of five Montreal West Island home composters

Abstract : Even if home composting can eliminate municipal organic waste collection, handling and treatment costs, its compost quality requires investigation outside the laboratory. A study was thus conducted to evaluate the influence of the following management practices on the compost quality produced by five backyards home composters in Montreal West Island from June to October 2010: the type and backyard location of the home composter (HC), and the rate and type of organic waste (OW) fed into the home composter. The parameters monitored were compost temperature and final characteristics including trace elements and pathogens. For all HC compost, maximum but not necessarily thermophilic temperatures were highly probable within one week of adding more than 10kg of OW composed of equal volumes of food waste (FW) and yard trimmings (YT). Top and bottom HC perforations enhanced convective aeration but concentrated OW decomposition within the bottom layer. Fed an equal volume of FW and YT, the final HC compost had a dry and organic matter content exceeding 30%, and 50%, respectively, and a total nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium level of 2, 1 and 3 % on a dry matter basis, representing a good quality soil amendment. Clean OW feeding resulted in compost respecting Canadian and European regulations for Escherichia coli and Salmonella, irrespective of the temperature regime. For trace elements, regulatory limits may be exceeded when the home composter is fed ashes and soil. Homeowners must also be careful when applying pesticides to their lawns and gardens and then feeding the residues to the home composter. © 2012 Taylor & Francis.
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Submitted on : Friday, May 15, 2020 - 11:52:20 PM
Last modification on : Thursday, August 26, 2021 - 1:22:01 PM


  • HAL Id : hal-02598500, version 1
  • IRSTEA : PUB00038341



B.K. Adhikari, A. Trémier, S. Barrington. Performance of five Montreal West Island home composters. Environmental Technology, Taylor & Francis: STM, Behavioural Science and Public Health Titles, 2012, 33 (21), pp.2383-2393. ⟨hal-02598500⟩



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