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Household organic waste management by vermiculture

Mathew, K., Anda, M.ORCID: 0000-0001-7398-4192 and Ho, G.E.ORCID: 0000-0001-9190-8812 (2001) Household organic waste management by vermiculture. In: at IWA World Water Congress Efficient Water Management – Making it happen, 15 - 19 October, Berlin, Germany



Vermicomposting and vermifiltration are natural waste management processes relying on the use of worms to convert organic wastes to stable soil enriching compounds. Domestic organic waste management can be accommodated through these processes in a sustainable manner. Sustainability can be achieved through the accelerated cycling of nutrients though a closed cycle whereby waste products are put to productive end use. The worms ingest organic matter, fungi, protozoa, algae, nematodes and bacteria, which then passes through the digestive tract. The majority of the bacteria and organic matter pass through undigested (although the organic matter has been ground into smaller particles). This then forms the casting along with metabolite wastes such as ammonium, urea and proteins. The worms also secrete a mucus of polysaccharides, proteins and other nitrogenous compounds from their body. Through the action of ingesting and excreting food, worms create “burrows” in the material that in turn increases the available surface area and allows aeration in conjunction with the aeration already supplied by mixing the biosolids with the chipped green waste. This paper provides an overview of the system characteristics of management systems utilising vermiculture, the associated methods necessary to manage organic waste and the regulatory framework surrounding such activities.

Item Type: Conference Paper
Murdoch Affiliation: School of Environmental Science
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