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Encyclopedia > Compost
A handful of compost
A handful of compost
A double-width bin with compost at different stages of decomposition
A double-width bin with compost at different stages of decomposition
First step of compost
First step of compost

Compost (pronounced /ˈkɒmpɒst/ or US /ˈkɒmpoʊst/) also known as brown manure, is the aerobically decomposed remnants of organic matter. It is used in landscaping, horticulture and agriculture as a soil conditioner and fertiliser. It is also useful for erosion control, land and stream reclamation, wetland construction, and as landfill cover (see compost uses). Image File history File links Real_Compost. ... Image File history File links Real_Compost. ... Image File history File links Metadata Size of this preview: 800 × 533 pixelsFull resolution (1279 × 852 pixel, file size: 252 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) I, the copyright holder of this work, hereby release it into the public domain. ... Image File history File links Metadata Size of this preview: 800 × 533 pixelsFull resolution (1279 × 852 pixel, file size: 252 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) I, the copyright holder of this work, hereby release it into the public domain. ... Image File history File links Compost From http://www. ... Image File history File links Compost From http://www. ... AME is an abbreviation that can refer to: The African Methodist Episcopal Church Aircraft Maintenance Engineer (in Canada) Alternate Mission Equipment Aviation Medical Examiner (in the United States) AmE usually stands for American English This page concerning a three-letter acronym or abbreviation is a disambiguation page — a navigational aid... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... One example of a Landscape and Design project from Beaverton, Oregon, including trees, shrubs, perennials, rock, ornamental grasses and wooden deck. ... Horticulture (Latin: hortus (garden plant) + cultura (culture)) are classically defined as the culture or growing of garden plants. ... Soil conditioners, also called soil amendments, are materials added to soil to improve plant growth and health. ... Fertilizers are chemicals given to plants with the intention of promoting growth; they are usually applied either via the soil or by foliar spraying. ... Compost is a versatile, easy-to-use product. ...


Compost serves as a growing medium,or a porous, absorbent material that holds moisture and soluble minerals, providing the support and nutrients in which most plants will flourish. To maximize plant growth, it is sometimes necessary to dilute compost with soil or peat to reduce salinity or to add neutralisers to bring the pH closer to 7, or additional nutrients like fertilisers or manure, wetting agents, and materials to improve drainage and aeration, such as sand, grit, bark chips, vermiculite, perlite, or clay granules. Nutrients and the body A nutrient is any element or compound necessary for or contributing to an organisms metabolism, growth, or other functioning. ... For other uses, see PH (disambiguation). ... Animal manure is often a mixture of animals feces and bedding straw, as in this example from a stable. ... Surfactants, also known as wetting agents, lower the surface tension of a liquid, allowing easier spreading. ... For other uses, see Sand (disambiguation). ... Look up grit, GRIT, grits, GRITS in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... For other uses, see Bark (disambiguation). ... Vermiculite is a natural, non toxic mineral that expands with the application of heat. ... Expanded Perlite Perlite is an amorphous volcanic glass that has a relatively high water content. ... For other uses, see Clay (disambiguation). ... An assortment of grains The word grain has a great many meanings, most being descriptive of a small piece or particle. ...

Contents

Composting as an alternative to landfill

As concern about landfill space increases, worldwide interest in recycling by means of composting is growing, since composting is a widely accepted process for converting decomposable wastes of natural origin into stable, sanitized products useful for horticulture. Modern composting originated in European organic farming in the early 20th century.[1] However, the more recent application of composting for large-scale waste reduction has very little in common with organic farming. The 1999 European Landfill Directive put pressure on European states to meet specified targets for landfill reduction, principally by establishing alternate disposal and treatment of organic materials. While certain countries such as Belgium, Holland, Germany and Austria readily achieved the mandated targets, other countries such as Great Britain, Spain and Italy have not. Indeed, it is commonly accepted that the UK, despite its early important contributions to organic farming and John Innes Compost, started taking composting seriously only after Brussels threatened a penalty for states not attaining the required reduction targets. A recent National Audit Office report for England warned that councils were in danger of missing EU targets to cut the amount of waste at landfills. The NAO's report stated that to meet European targets for 2010, a reduction in the UK of at least 3.5m tonnes of biodegradable waste sent to landfill was needed. A reduction of a further 3.7m tonnes was needed by 2013. Less than one-half this has been currently met. Look up landfill in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... The international recycling symbol. ... The Landfill Directive, more formally Council Directive 1999/31/EC of 26 April 1999 on the landfill of waste, is a European Union directive issued by the European Union to be implemented by its member states. ... Organic farming is a form of agriculture which excludes the use of synthetic fertilizers and pesticides, plant growth regulators, livestock feed additives, and genetically modified organisms. ... The National Audit Office (NAO) is an independent Parliamentary body in the United Kingdom which is responsible for auditing central government departments, government agencies and non-departmental public bodies. ...


Modern large-scale composting should therefore not be confused with an idealistic, organic-oriented goal to recycle and improve soils; since, for most western countries now, it is virtually the law. These factors could lead to a conflict between required production of composts and the quality of the product.


Compost ingredients

Given enough time, all biodegradable material will compost, and the primary objective in the modern push to compost is to capture readily degradable materials so they do not enter landfills. However, most small-scale domestic systems will not reach sufficiently high temperatures to kill pathogens and weed seeds or deter vermin, so pet droppings, scraps of meat, and dairy products are often best left to operators of high-rate, thermophilic composting systems. Hobby animal manure (horses, goats), vegetable kitchen and garden waste are nevertheless all excellent raw material for home composting. Early roots of composting as a treatment for municipal solid waste were spurred by awareness of the trash crisis as early as the 1950's, and the rise worldwide of large MSW composting plants in the 1960's into the 1970's was virtually unregulated.[2] Public outcry in Europe against contamination of soils on farms and vineyards from MSW compost contain residues of plastic, metals and glass triggered a shakeup of the industry, and in the 1980's a phasing out of MSW composting, Biodegradation is the decomposition of material by microorganisms. ... A pathogen (from Greek pathos, suffering/emotion, and gene, to give birth to), infectious agent, or more commonly germ, is a biological agent that causes disease or illness to its host. ... Look up vermin in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... For other uses, see Meat (disambiguation). ... Dairy products are generally defined as foodstuffs produced from milk. ... Thermophiles produce some of the bright colors of Grand Prismatic Spring, Yellowstone National Park A thermophile is an organism – a type of extremophile – which thrives at relatively high temperatures, up to about 60 °C. Many thermophiles are archaea. ... Municipal waste redirects here. ...


European composting standards

An overview of European efforts to attain compost standardisation can be seen on the European Compost Network (ECN) [3]. The British Composting Association has established very recently a set of guidelines for compost, called the BSI PAS 100 listed by the British Standards Institute (PAS stands for "Publicly Available Specification" and is not necessarily an adopted or certified standard). There are a variety of such voluntary industry standards in Europe and worldwide, such as the German Bundegütegemeinschaft Kompost e.V. (BGK) German Compost Association RAL-standard for compost developed 10 years prior to the British standard, and updated recently to include separate standards for fermented by-products(from biogas reactors) and sludge. In America, Procter & Gamble Company sponsored the USCC in the early 1990's to develop compost process and product standards called "TMECC", still in a draft state. These standarisation programs (guidelines would be a better word than standards to describe the objective) are intended to provide structure in the composting community for handling the entire composting process from raw materials and production methods, through quality control and lab testing.[4] Swiss compost guidelines recognize distinct end-uses of composts, as determined by specific laboratory assays (see VKS-ASIC-ASAP-ASCP Swiss Compost Association).[5] The Composting Association is a British organisation aimed at promoting composting and the sustainable development of organic resources. ... The British Composting Association [1] worked to establish an industry standard for the composts, the BSI PAS 100 certified by the British Standards Institute. ... British Standards is the new name of the British Standards Institute and is part of BSI Group which also includes a testing organisation. ... // Publicly Available Specifications (PAS) a Publicly Available Specification is a flexible and rapid standards development model that is open to all organizations. ... Procter & Gamble Co. ...


Compost types and ingredients

There are different ways to compost, starting with layers of 'brown' and 'green' biodegradable waste mixed with garden soil. 'Brown' waste refers to old straw, tough vegetable stems and hedge clippings. 'Green' waste refers to biodegradable waste that breaks down faster, such as fruit, coffee grounds, cut flowers, and grass clippings.


There is also Vermicomposting, which uses worms to help break down the organic waste. Vermicompost (or worm compost) is produced by feeding kitchen scraps and shredded newspaper to worms. ...


Compostable materials

Brown waste Biodegradable waste is a type of waste, typically originating from plant or animal sources, which may be broken down by other living organisms. ... For other uses, see Coffee (disambiguation). ... Green waste is biodegradable waste that can be comprised of garden or park waste, such as grass or flower cuttings and hedge trimmings. ... Humanure is a neologism designating human waste (feces and urine) that is recycled via composting for agricultural or other purposes. ... Leaf mold is a form of compost produced by the breakdown of shrub and tree leaves. ... Animal manure is often a mixture of animals feces and bedding straw, as in this example from a stable. ... Spent mushroom compost is the residual compost waste generated by the mushroom production industry. ... Eucalypt bark Monterey Pine bark Bark is the outermost layer of stems and roots of woody plants such as trees. ...


Inorganic additives

Loam field Loam is soil composed of sand, silt, and clay in relatively even concentration (about 40-40-20% concentration respectively). ... Look up grit, GRIT, grits, GRITS in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Urea is an organic compound with the chemical formula (NH2)2CO. Urea is also known as carbamide, especially in the recommended International Nonproprietary Names (rINN) in use in Europe. ... Vermiculite is a natural, non toxic mineral that expands with the application of heat. ... Expanded Perlite Perlite is an amorphous volcanic glass that has a relatively high water content. ...

Compost End Uses

Compost is almost universally recommended as a soil amendment. It is principally intended as a blend with soil or other matrices such a coir and peat. High rates of mixture (e.g. 80–100%) of compost have been occasionally noted in growing media, but generally direct seeding into a compost is not recommended. It is very common to see blends of 20–30% compost used for transplanting seedlings at cotyledon stage or later. The primary factors controlling how well a compost blend performs are salinity and maturity, which singly and together can trigger phytotoxicity symptoms. It is well known that high salt content in growing media will affect water relations of plants, especially in early stages of growth. The effects or symptoms of damage can be yield reduction, leaf deformation and tip-burning or even plant epinasty. Coir (from Malayalam kayar, cord) is a coarse fibre extracted from the fibrous outer shell of a coconut. ... Peat in Lewis, Scotland Peat is an accumulation of partially decayed vegetation matter. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ...


These effects can also be attributed to a variety of other factors that may be present in active or finished composts, depending on ingredients. Such elements include pesticides, presence volatile fatty acids which are by-products of anaerobic conditions or residues of anaerobic digestion, ammonia associated with high manure content, heavy metals such as copper from farm ingredients and sludge, and ethylene oxide from plant debris, any of which can trigger some form of stunting and other phytotoxicity traits. In container-mix studies, it has been demonstrated that immature compost deprives the soil of oxygen content for a significant period of time, resulting in stunting of roots.[6][7][8] Volatile fatty acids are fatty acids with a carbon chain of six carbons or fewer. ... Anaerobic is a technical word which literally means without air (where air is generally used to mean oxygen), as opposed to aerobic. ... Anaerobic digestion component of Lübeck mechanical biological treatment plant in Germany, 2007 Anaerobic digestion is a process in which microorganisms break down biodegradable material in the absence of oxygen. ... “Oxirane” redirects here. ...


As a result of these numerous challenges, the introduction of compost products into professional horticulture as a competition to peat and soil-based products has been significantly less successful than originally hoped for.[9] A Jan 2008 consumer report in the UK severely criticised compost quality, showing that only one out of 24 composts tested against 4 cultivars in actual growing media trials could be recommended as viable "peat-free" product.[10] Nevertheless, the broad popularity of composts and their long term beneficial effects for soils and crops mean that demand will continue to grow worldwide.


See also

Anaerobic digestion component of Lübeck mechanical biological treatment plant in Germany, 2007 Anaerobic digestion is a process in which microorganisms break down biodegradable material in the absence of oxygen. ... Composting is the aerobic decomposition of biodegradable organic matter, producing compost. ... Composting toilets use biological processes to deal with the disposal and processing of human excrement into organic compost material. ... The following page contains a list of different composting systems: Home composting Bokashi A fermentation alternative to compost. ... Anaerobic digestion and air processing components of Lübeck mechanical biological treatment plant in Germany A mechanical biological treatment system is a form of waste processing facility that combines a sorting facility with a form of biological treatment such as composting or anaerobic digestion. ... Soil conditioners, also called soil amendments, are materials added to soil to improve plant growth and health. ... For the company, see Waste Management, Inc. ... A microorganism or microbe is an organism that is so small that it is microscopic (invisible to the naked eye). ...

References

  1. ^ J. Heckman. The Roots of Modern Organic Farming in Renew. Agric. and Food Systems 21, 143 (2006).
  2. ^ http://www.stormcon.com/mw_0107_history.html A Brief History of Solid Waste Management
  3. ^ European Compost Network European Compost Network
  4. ^ Introduction to PAS 100 Waste Resource Action Programme & Composting Association Document
  5. ^ Swiss Compost Guidelines Swiss Compost Association
  6. ^ Morel, P. and Guillemain, G. 2004. Assessment of the possible phytotoxicity of a substrate using an easy and representative biotest. Acta Horticulture 644:417–423
  7. ^ Insam, see Literature.
  8. ^ Itävaara et al. Compost maturity - problems associated with testing. in Proceedings of Composting. Innsbruck Austria 18-21.10.2000
  9. ^ Compost Marketing in Switzerland Schliess, K. 2002. Kompostvermarktung (in German) Report to the Swiss Agency for Environment, Bern.
  10. ^ [1] Let's Recycle.com review of Which? Consumer Safety Group -Gardening Div. report

This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ...

Literature

  • Insam, H; Riddech, N; Klammer, S (Eds.): Microbiology of Composting ,Springer Verlag, Berlin New York 2002, ISBN: 978-3-540-67568-6
  • Hogg, D., J. Barth, E. Favoino, M. Centemero, V. Caimi, F. Amlinger, W. Devliegher, W. Brinton., S. Antler. 2002. Comparison of compost standards within the EU, North America, and Australasia. Waste and Resources Action Programme Committee (UK) (see wrap.or.uk)

External links

  • The Look of Compost
  • Cré, the Irish Composting Association Contains information on composting in Ireland.
  • Composting Basics Canadian Gardening Magazine
  • Commission of the European Communities. Landfill Directive 1999/31/EC. Official Journal L 182 , 16/07/1999 P.0001-0019.
  • Orbit Association
  • Let's Recycle.com
For the company, see Waste Management, Inc. ... Anaerobic digestion component of Lübeck mechanical biological treatment plant in Germany, 2007 Anaerobic digestion is a process in which microorganisms break down biodegradable material in the absence of oxygen. ... Composting is the aerobic decomposition of biodegradable organic matter, producing compost. ... An eco-industrial park is a type of industrial park in which businesses cooperate with each other and with the local community in an attempt to reduce waste, efficiently share resources (such as information, materials, water, energy, infrastructure, and natural resources), and produce sustainable development, with the intention of increasing... For other forms of waste plant that produce energy see waste-to-energy. ... Look up landfill in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Anaerobic digestion and air processing components of Lübeck mechanical biological treatment plant in Germany A mechanical biological treatment system is a form of waste processing facility that combines a sorting facility with a form of biological treatment such as composting or anaerobic digestion. ... Radioactive wastes are waste types containing radioactive chemical elements that do not have a practical purpose. ... Reuse is using an item more than once. ... The international recycling symbol. ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged into Reuse. ... The word sewerage means the provision of pipes etc to collect and dispose of sewage. ... For other uses, see Waste (disambiguation). ... For the corporation, see Waste Management Incorporated Waste management is the collection, transport, processing or disposal of waste materials, usually ones produced by human activity, in an effort to reduce their effect on human health or local amenity. ... Waste sorting is the process by which waste is separated into different elements. ... The waste hierarchy The waste hierarchy refers to the 3 Rs reduce, reuse and recycle, which classify waste management strategies according to their desirability. ... The following page contains a list of different waste management related concepts and acronyms: BANANA Build Absolutely Nothing Anywhere Near Anything Best practicable environmental option (BPEO) Extended producer responsibility Linguistic detoxification NIMBY Not in my back yard Pay as you throw Polluter pays principle Proximity principle Waste strategy Waste hierarchy... Depending upon the country different legislation governs the way waste is managed and disposed of. ... Waste treatment refers to the activities required to ensure that waste has the least practicable impact on the environment. ...

  Results from FactBites:
 
Compost - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (261 words)
Compost is the aerobically decomposed remnants of organic materials (those with plant and animal origins).
Compost is used in gardening and agriculture as a soil amendment, and commercially by the landscaping and container nursery industries.
Compost is also used as a seed starting medium generally mixed with a small portion of sand for improved drainage.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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