Faecal sludge composting research is underway

Compost is good for the garden, right?! What about compost made from poop? Absolutely!!!

Human poop is proven to be a beneficial fertilizer for gardens and fields all over the world. Its high nitrogen content provides plants with exactly the nutrients they need to grow rapidly. In certain parts of the world, human waste is used as a fertiliser in its raw, untreated form. This poses a significant threat to workers, nearby residents and consumers of the produce.

Here at MSABI we’ve begun to conduct a research program to determine the best method for quickly and efficiently eliminating pathogens in order to produce a cost effective compost, safe for use with edible crops. 

 

Freshly mixed compost pile (left) and a pile following 2 weeks decomposition (right)

Freshly mixed compost pile (left) and a pile following 2 weeks decomposition (right)

To date we have used saw dust as a carbon rich organic additive and have introduced effective microorganisms at varying concentrations as a part of our research. All batches have recorded decomposition temperatures close to 70 degrees Celsius and have maintained these temperatures above 60 degrees Celsius for several weeks, easily long enough to destroy a significant proportion of pathogens. We will soon conduct our first round of lab testing for faecal coliform and ascaris eggs to check the condition of the compost.

Following satisfactory elimination of pathogens we would like to test the product in a field trial to assess its effectiveness as a fertiliser to improve crop productivity on over farmed land.

The same 2 piles after 2 weeks (left) and 1 month (right)

The same 2 piles after 2 weeks (left) and 1 month (right)