Do you know how to compost ? (Ecosensorium)

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What is composting? How is it beneficial??

The natural or artificial process of digestion to decompose the organic matter or the organic waste and to kill pathogens is called as composting. -In fact, composting is the process of decay or decomposition of organic biodegradable wastes through the activities of microorganisms like bacteria and fungi and worms. The organic wastes used for composting may be food leftovers, plant materials (crop residues and garden refuses), excretory matter, wood fibres, paper etc.

The process of composting may either be brought about in the presence of oxygen (the aerobic composting) or in the absence of oxygen (anaerobic composting). In nature, the process of decay occurs through the process of biodegradation of different organic matter. It occurs on the floor of forests and in swamps. The process of decomposition or biodegradation of leaf-litter on the floor of forests occurs in the presence of air; hence it is of aerobic type. On contrary, the process of biodegradation of organic matter in swamps occurs in the absence of air; hence it is of anaerobic type.

The composting of wastes by man is done according to a well-planned programme. Through this programme biodegradable organic wastes are converted into manure (the compost) which is very useful for crops. Thus, compost or the manure may also be defined as a partially decomposed organic matter used in gardening to improve soil and enhance plant-growth, is called as compost (or manure).


Published by

Willem Van Cotthem

Honorary Professor of Botany, University of Ghent (Belgium). Scientific Consultant for Desertification and Sustainable Development.