Authored by: James K. McCarthy , Raul R. Cardenas

Encyclopedia of Environmental Science and Engineering

Print publication date:  June  2012
Online publication date:  June  2012

Print ISBN: 9781439804421
eBook ISBN: 9780203757659
Adobe ISBN:


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Composting is the biological decomposition of semidry organic waste by microorganisms under controlled conditions. During the process, a succession of microbial attacks by bacteria, fungi, and actinomycetes physically and chemically alter the character and structure of the organic material. The volume of the original material is reduced by 30–40% as the microorganisms convert the organic waste to nutrient-rich, nuisance‐free soil‐like humus resistant to further decomposition.

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