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Potential of windrow food and green waste composting in Tunisia

Affiliation
Department of Chemical and Process Engineering, National Engineering School of Gabes, University of Gabes, Gabes, Tunisia
Chaher, Nour El Houda;
Affiliation
Department of Biological and Chemical Engineering, National Institute of Applied Sciences and Technology, University of Carthage, Tunis, Tunisia
Chakchouk, Mehrez;
Affiliation
Department of Waste and Resource Management, Faculty of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, University of Rostock, Rostock, Germany
Nassour, Abdallah;
Affiliation
Department of Waste and Resource Management, Faculty of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, University of Rostock, Rostock, Germany
Nelles, Michael;
Affiliation
Department of Biological and Chemical Engineering, National Institute of Applied Sciences and Technology, University of Carthage, Tunis, Tunisia
Hamdi, Moktar

Solid waste management and disposal is one of the most significant challenges facing urban communities around the world. There is a wide range of alternative waste management options and strategies available for dealing with the notable increase in the waste stream. Composting is one of the most viable and efficient waste treatment options in terms of the reduction in the negative effects from the application of organic waste to soil. The experimental research aimed to examine the potential of producing compost from different organic waste streams in Tunisia. Two experimental windrow piles made from cooked and uncooked food and garden wastes were initiated and temporally monitored. The composting process was controlled in terms of temperature and moisture. Sampling was carried out over the period of the composting process. All of the collected samples were analyzed in terms of their physical, chemical, and biological properties; pH, C:N ratio, nitrification index (NI), microbiological tests, respiration activity (AT4), and heavy metal content. The quality of the final product was determined and compared with Tunisian and German standards. The findings demonstrated a significant reduction in the initial C:N ratio to about 15 by the end of the process. Additionally, the results showed that the compost produced appeared to be stable and was deemed to be class V finished compost; the NI was found to be around 1, while the AT4 was estimated to be lower than 6 mg O2/g TS. Regarding the heavy metal content, the final products were characterized as having a lower concentration than those values set by Tunisian and German standards.

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