Assessment of compost quality from co-composting kitchen waste with grass clippings

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To prevent the interruption of the carbon cycle by the disposal of waste to landfills, organic kitchen waste requires proper treatment such as composting to reduce its uncontrolled degradation on disposal sites and subsequent greenhouse gases, odour emissions and nutrient losses. The aim of this study was to investigate the quality of compost generated from co-composting kitchen waste with grass clippings and the influence of different ratios and turning regimes on the quality of the compost produced. Wastes were mixed in ratios of 1:1, 1:2, and 2:1 (v/v) ratio for food waste / grass clippings which were denoted by R1, R2 and R3. Turning of compost heaps was done manually in three different regimes; once weekly, every three days and everyday (T1, T3 and T7). Composting was conducted over a 60 days period where the temperature profiles were recorded twice a day and the carbon-to-nitrogen ratios were measured as an indication of compost maturity as well as other indicators of compost maturity such as pH, potassium, phosphorus, organic matter, carbon, nitrogen, moisture content, volume, faecal and total coliform. Again, turning was observed to influence the extent of decomposition much more than the quality of the compost. From the results, it can be concluded that, co-composting of kitchen waste with grass clippings produces acceptable quality compost, which can be used as fertilizer or soil amendment.  
A Thesis submitted to the Department of Theoretical and Applied Biology, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, in partial fulfillment of the requirement for the award of Master of Science in Environmental Science.