Preparing Compost for the Operation of a Compost Facility Using Newmont Ghana Gold Limited Ahafo Mines as a Case Study

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The objective of the study was to prepare compost from food waste, dewatered sewage sludge, wood shavings and waste papers mixed at different ratios for the operation of Newmont Ghana Gold Limited (NGGL) compost facility. These materials were mixed at three different ratios with three replicates each. The study was undertaking at the compost shed located within the Integrated Waste Management Facility and on the trial plot of the mines between September 2010 and April 2011. For each combination of materials, three different turning rates of 3, 7 and 14 days were assigned, and some physical and chemical as well as some biological parameters were monitored and measured for a period of three months. There was no significant difference in the quality of the final compost produced from the various formulations in terms of most of the parameters measured. The turning frequency also showed no significant difference between the various formulations. Analysis of heavy metals in the final composts showed metal levels that were far less than the US EPA standards. Helminth eggs, total and faecal coliforms decreased appreciably at the end of the composting process. The different composts applied on a trial plot produced tomato yield that was lower than that of a chemical fertilizer but higher than that of a soil without any amendment. The yield from the soil amended with the compost from the ratio 4:4:0:1 gave the highest yield among the different formulations. Even though the compost gave a slightly lower yield than a chemical fertilizer, co-composting offers a good alternative to the use of chemical fertilizers.
A thesis submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the award of MASTER OF SCIENCE Degree in Environmental Science,2012