Wednesday, 28 March 2018

Conversion of Bio-Wastes to Fertilizers

Converting bio-waste to fertilizer

Bio-Wastes are organic wastes (such as animal & human wastes, sawdust, or food scraps) that is composed chiefly of organic matter. Fertilizer on the other hand is an organic(natural) or inorganic (man-made substance) that is added to the soil to boost or increase its fertility. Huge amounts of organic wastes are being generated in our neighborhood, streets, homes, farms & industries. However, bio-wastes can actually be processed into fertilizer and used to supply plant nutrients & animal matter to the soil which in turn can boost & improve agricultural production. So rather than throwing away excess food substances we can actually covert them into useful products like fertilizers.

Challenges Associated with Bio-Wastes

These wastes pose a lot of challenges, problems & hazards in our environments & surroundings such as:
1) non-availability of dumping sites especially in cities.
2) environments challenges.
3) health challenges as a result of the offensive odour being released.

Examples of Bio-Wastes that can be Converted to Fertiliser

All vegetables & fruit wastes, anything made out of flour such as bread, meat-pie, spaghetti etc. Left over grains (cooked or uncooked) like rice. Fruit or vegetable pulp from juicing; egg shells; corn cobs & husks; left over foods & meats could also pass as bio-wastes. Expired canned & processed food items, food item that is beginning to decompose are bio-wastes. In our gardens, flowers, grass clippings, hedge trimmings & other debris are bio-wastes. Others are dead & decaying animal by-products (ABPs) such as animal parts that are not intended for human consumption.   
How do you Convert these Bio-waste to Fertiliser? 
To convert your food waste to fertiliser on a home scale follow the following procedure.

  1.  Find or buy a compost bin.
  2.  Place the compost bin in your yard on a spot where it will get plenty of sunlight throughout the day as heat is needed for the decomposing process.
  3.  Add your food waste to your compost bin
  4.  Add water to your compost bin as compost should be wet but not soaking wet. You must take the precaution of keeping water obtained from the tap for 24 hours to get rid of chlorine & other chemicals that will kill beneficial microbes in your compost.
  5.  Use a pitch fork or other long-handled garden tool to turn compost at least once a month. You must turn a tumbling compost bin once a week to speed up process of decomposition.
  6.  When your compost has been formed, it will be a dark, rich-looking solid with a clean, earthy smell.   

Benefits of Turning Bio-waste to Fertilizers

Conversion of Bio-wastes to Fertilizer has a number of benefits & they include:

  • It helps to reduce the problem of waste disposal.
  • It is cost saving as you save the money that should have been paid to the appropriate waste management agencies.
  • It reduces environmental hazards such as air, water and land pollution.
  • It reduces health & environmental related risks.
  • It produces valuable products such as fertiliser that could become a source of income.

The fertilizers produced from bio-waste obtained from animal, poultry & human waste can be applied to farms or small gardens in our compounds to increase yield. Organic fertilizer produced from food wastes at commercial level is a measure of promoting waste to wealth program in developing continents such as Africa. Hence you need to start converting your bio-waste to fertilizer if you are not doing so already.

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