CLOVER ORGANIC PVT. LTD. COMPOSTING WITH NATUREVEL – SWNatureVel - SW was formulated in technical collaboration with Biosa, Denmark.They are currently marketing their products in more than 40 Countries worldwide.The product was further researched and adapted to suit Indian conditions and trademarked as NatureVel – SW (standing for Nature’s marvel) exclusively by Clover.NatureVel - SW consists of a symbiotic mixture of various strains of naturallyoccurring microorganisms found in normal food. These include different strains ofLactobacillus microbes, yeast and photosynthetic microbes. All microbes are able toco-exist in a pH < 3.5 and are able to quickly convert any organic biomass into goodquality compost for farming.I. The benefits of using NatureVel – SW as a Composting Agen are asfollows: 1. Faster composting: Compost can be made within 30-40 days from any type of organic waste like garbage, kitchen waste, press mud etc. Faster decomposition leads to saving in space and faster turnaround time and reduced cost. 2. Minimal need for turning: Most composting technologies require turning of the heap or windrow continuously in order to compost properly. As NatureVel – SW contains both aerobic and anaerobic microbes, they can carry out composting with either a single turn or no turn at all. This means reduced labour cost. 3. No need for Multiplication: Unlike many other bacterial cultures, there is no need to multiply NatureVel – SW in any way. Simply dilute in water and use while doing composting. This is due to the high count of microbes present in NatureVel – SW. 4. Production of enriched compost: The process of decomposition is preceded by fermentation. This helps in creating more nutrients in the compost thereby enriching it. A report received from Pant Nagar University suggests that Composting with NatureVel range of microbes lead to almost 40% increased nutrients. Their findings are given below:Quality of compost as effected by NatureVel range of microbes:
Treatments N% P2O5% K2O% S% Overall Increase %Control 0.62 0.18 0.68 0.11Treated with NatureVel 0.73 0.14 1.15 0.22% Increase 17.74 (22.22) 69.12 100.00 40.88 5. Foul odour suppression: The volume of harmful green house gases like CO, NH4, H2S and CH are suppressed, which also helps in controlling foul odour in a matter of few hours. This is done through the following ways and means: • Odor substances are of weak alkaline nature and are primarily represented by ammonia. It is neutralized with organic acids in NatureVel - SW solution. • The enzyme and antioxidants reduce odor in a synergistic way, a sort of buffer effect. • The metallic chelates react with odor substances instantly, change them into non-odor substances and reduce them quickly. • Foul odor is emitted by putrefactive type of microorganisms. When NatureVel - SW is applied to a local environment and starts to dominate it with its fermentation type of microorganisms, they will stop the process of putrefaction and move towards a fermentation process. • The herbal extracts in NatureVel – SW help to further clean the wastewater and also suppress foul odour. 6. Control of vectors: Population of vectors like mosquitoes and flies that spread various diseases are suppressed. It essentially helps to control the growth of larvae population, thus inhibiting their growth. 7. Usage at any scale of operations: The product can be scaled to any size of operation – from centralized large dumpsites or Industrial use to decentralized household level. 8. Efficient treatment of leachate: It treats the leachate emanating from solid waste, which can otherwise pollute the environment. The leachate can be further used for composting, thereby saving precious fresh water. 9. Easier segregation of waste: Segregation of waste is easier due to reduction of quantity and suppression of foul odour. 10. Arrests climate change: It arrests climate change through conservation of natural resources like soil, water and air and suppression of green house gases.
II. Compost Basics: Before we discuss ways and means of making compost, it isimportant to understand the BASICS of making good quality compost and theissues that you need to keep in mind while composting.a.There are innumerable ways to make compost. Both aerobic and anaerobicprocess are explained below.1. The cycle of growth and decay: Composting carries out part of the earths biological cycle of growth and decay. Plants grow by capturing the suns energy along with carbon dioxide from the air and nutrients and water from the soil. When plants (and the animals that eat them) die, they become raw materials for the composting or decay process. Microorganisms, fungi, insects, worms, mites, and other creatures convert the carbon from dead plants into energy for their own growth, releasing carbon dioxide into the air. Similarly, they recycle the nutrients from the decaying plants into their own bodies and eventually back into the soil. Other plants and microorganisms use the carbon and nutrients released by the composting process, and the cycle begins again. The material that remains from the decay process is similar to soil organic matter. It holds water and nutrients in the soil, and makes the soil more porous and easier to dig.
2. Fast or hot composting: We can manipulate the decay process to make it proceed quickly. We do this by balancing food, water, and air in the compost pile to favor the growth of thermophilic (high-temperature) microorganisms. One byproduct of microbial activity is heat. When conditions are favorable for high-temperature microorganisms, compost piles heat rapidly to 120F to 150 F. This temperature range kills most weed seeds and pathogens (disease organisms), but does not kill mycorrhizae (beneficial fungi that help plant roots absorb nutrients). Once the hot phase is complete, lower-temperature microorganisms, worms, insects, and other invertebrates complete the decay process.3. Slow composting: If we do not maintain ideal conditions for hot composting, microorganisms will still break down the wastes. Decay will be slower, cooler, and less effective at killing weed seeds and pathogens.4. Managing the decay process: You can affect the speed of the composting process and the quality of the compost product by managing the factors described below. a. Food (Raw materials): For fast composting, the initial mix must have the proper moisture and air content, and organic materials that provide a rich food (energy) source for bacteria. A list follows of some materials commonly used in making compost. They are separated into "energy" materials, "bulking agents," and "balanced" materials. b. Energy materials: provide the nitrogen and high-energy carbon compounds needed for fast microbial growth. If piled without bulking agent, these materials usually are too wet and dense to allow much air into the compost pile. When you open the pile, it will have a foul, "rotten egg" smells. c. Bulking agents: are dry, porous materials that help aerate the compost pile. They are too low in moisture and nutrients to decay quickly on their own. d. Balanced raw materials: Some raw materials contain a balance of energy and bulking agent properties. These materials will compost readily without being blended with other ingredients. Examples include horse manure mixed with bedding, spoiled alfalfa hay, and deciduous leaves. These materials are handy for ensuring the success of hot compost piles. Mixing bulking agents with energy sources provides the right balance of moisture, air and nutrients for rapid composting. A mixture of one part energy source with two parts bulking agent (by volume) usually gives a reasonable mix for rapid composting. Compost Raw Materials Table Bulking Agents Energy Materials Balanced Raw Materials • Low Moisture • High Moisture • Low to Medium Moisture • High Porosity • Low Porosity • Medium Porosity • Low Nitrogen • High Nitrogen • Medium Nitrogen • Wood Chips • Grass Clippings • Ground and Tree Shrub • Sawdust • Animal or Chicken Trimmings
• Grass Hay dung. • Animal Bedding.• Wheat or Paddy • Fruit and Vegetable • Broad Leaves. Straw. Waste. • Legume Hay.• Corn Stalks. • Garden Trimmings.• Sugar cane leaves.• Shredded tyres or wooden planks or broken pipes.5. Particle size: Grinding, cutting, smashing, or chopping raw materials reduces particle size. Small particles have more surface area for microbial activity and are easier to mix. Hot composting requires a relatively uniform particle size of 1/8 to 1/2 inch in diameter. Woody branches that have not been ground often make it difficult to turn a pile. They also decompose very slowly. We suggest grinding or chipping woody branches, or piling them separately.6. Mixing: There are many ways to make compost. One way could be to make layers. Another way to do large scale composting is to simply mix all the material together. If all the materials are on hand, mix them thoroughly throughout the pile. If materials accumulate over time, add new materials to the center of the pile. This practice will help aerate the center of the pile, where anaerobic conditions are likely to occur.7. Pile size: The pile must be big enough to hold heat. A hot pile decays much faster than a cold pile. Small piles are usually colder, because they have small cores that hold less heat. Small piles also dry out faster. A pile of about one cubic yard is big enough for year-round composting, even in cold-winter areas.8. Moisture: All materials in the pile must be moist but not soaking wet. The mixed material should feel moist, but you should not be able to squeeze water out of it with your hands. Approximately 60-70% initial moisture is good. At dry times of the year, you may need to add water. In rainy winter locations, a pile may not heat up unless you cover it to keep out rainwater. Check moisture when you turn the pile.9. Aeration: The microorganisms responsible for fast decomposition need oxygen. In the pile, oxygen is consumed by microbes. The pile needs to be porous to pull outside air into the pile. Use enough bulking agent to create a porous pile. As the pile decomposes, it settles, reducing aeration. Turning the pile or adding bulking agent improves aeration.10.Microorganisms: NatureVel – AG for agriculture and NatureVel – SW for Industrial composting are good products that act like catalysts to rapidly decompose organic matter into compost.11.Nutrients: Just like people, microorganisms need nutrients (such as nitrogen, phosphorus, sulfur) to grow and reproduce. These nutrients occur in the raw materials used in the compost mix. Additional fertilizer from any source (organic or inorganic) usually is not needed. Nitrogen fertilizer may be beneficial for mixes consisting mainly of bulking agents. The best way to add fertilizer is to dissolve it in water and wet the pile with a dilute fertilizer solution. Compost additives such as blood meal and bone meal are simply organic fertilizers; they do not contribute anything magic to the compost pile.
HOW TO MAKE COMPOST:Heap method: (For decentralized composting) 1. Clear 4’ x 8’ area and spray with diluted (1:50) NatureVel –AG. 2. Spread a 1’ thick layer of Bulking agent (see table) across the area and spray diluted NatureVel –AG (pure or multiplied) in the ratio of about 2 liters per sq meter. Ensure every part of the waste is rinsed with the solution. Lower this ratio depending upon the initial moisture of the waste. Moisture should not exceed 60-70% at the time of heap formation. Squeeze a handful of the mixed material to check its moisture level. If you can barely squeeze out a drop of water, the moisture level is ideal. If the pile is too dry, add water, and check the moisture again. If it is too wet, mix in some drier material. 3. No need to spray the same if bulking agents in the form of pipes, tyres etc are being used. 4. Spread 2”-3” thick layer of Energy material (see table). 5. Spray NatureVel – AG as explained above on this layer. 6. Repeat this process of spreading alternatively spreading plant and animal waste and each time spray NatureVel – AG. 7. The height of the heap should not be more than 4’. 8. Within 2-3 days, there should be heat generation within the heap. If not, then either there is too much or too little moisture or aeration is not taking place properly. 9. Turn the heap upside down after about 20 days for better aeration if heat generation is not good enough. Add more water if necessary. 10. Compost is ready within 30-40 days. 11. Instead of the above layer method, you could also simply mix 2 parts bulking material and 1 part energy material. Rinse them with diluted NatureVel – AG solution. 12. Curing Phase: After initial mixing, a regularly turned pile usually stays hot (120F to 150F) for several weeks to a month. The pile will shrink to about half its original volume during the hot phase. The pile then needs to sit another for 4 to 8 weeks to cure. Temperatures during curing are 80F to 110F. The compost is ready to use when at least 8 weeks have passed since initial mixing, the pile no longer heats when turned, and the material looks dark and crumbly. Curing affects the availability of nitrogen and the microbial activity of the compost. Uncured compost may harm some plants. This is most likely when compost is used in potting soil or to start seeds. Curing is less critical when small amounts of compost are worked into soil.Windrow Method: (For centralized composting) 1. Windrows are made with the Press-Mud or any other organic waste in size of 3 meters wide and 1.5 meters in height and turned with a homogeneous compost turning machine. 2. It would be best to add bulking agent in 1:1 ratio in the windrows to allow passage of air to pass through. The addition of bulking agents would reduce the EC% and the need for continuous turning. 3. Make these windrows perpendicular to the wind direction to get maximum air coming inside the windrows.
4. The initial moisture is brought down to 50 to 52 %. This can be done by turning the windrow for five to seven days depending upon the initial moisture of the waste. 5. Dilute about 5 liters of multiplied or pure NatureVel –SW per tone of waste with water or spent wash and spray over the windrows. 6. Turning of the windrow is needed to initially homogenously mix diluted NatureVel –SW with the waste. 7. However, in order to get rid of spent wash, continuous addition is carried out everyday in such a way that total moisture does not exceed 60% 8. It is prudent to note the temperature in different locations on a daily basis. It should be between 60o to 70 o C. This will kill pathogen in the waste. This temperature is indication that the thermophilic bacteria are working and are breaking down the complex molecules to simple ones. 9. After a few days the temperature will start to decline. As the temperature start to drop and waste turns to blackish brown sweet smelling compost, then stop the spraying of spent-wash and leave the windrow for curing. 10. Bagasse based boiler fly ash can be added in the compost @ 10% as it adds organic carbon, silica, N,P,K, Ca, Mg, & S, trace elements to the compost. 11. Leave for curing as discussed above.Questions and Answers • If the pile is dry It needs more moisture. • If the pile is too wet Add more bulking agent. Cover the pile or build a larger pile during the rainy season. Ensure there is a slope to take away excess water. • If the pile has a foul It needs more air and less water. Try turning the pile smell more often or adding more bulking agent. • If the pile is too small It will not hold the heat. • If it is cold outside Try building a larger pile to hold the heat.II. Methods of making compost with NatureVel – SW: There are different methods oftreating centralized and decentralized waste. The centralized system in a dump site,the following method is adopted: 12. Windrows are made with the organic waste in size of 3 meters wide and 1.5 meters in height with the help of JCBs or any other mechanical device.
13. Dilute about 5 liters of multiplied or pure NatureVel –SW per tone of waste with water or treated leachate and spray over the windrows. 14. The initial moisture is increased to 80 to 85 %. This is initially done by continuous spraying of water. If the initial moisture is low, then the ratio of multiplied or activated NatureVel – SW to water maybe 1:100, conversely, if the moisture is already high, the ratio can be brought down to just 1:50 approximately. The use of moisture meters to detect the moisture content is helpful here. 15. Turning of the windrow is needed to initially homogenously mix diluted NatureVel –SW with the waste. However, if the windrow is prepared through a layering concept, where each layer of 1 foot thickness is sprayed with activated or multiplied NatureVel – SW, then this initial turning is not needed. 16. It is prudent to note the temperature in different locations on a daily basis. It should be between 55o to 65 o C. This will kill pathogen in the waste. This temperature is indication that the thermophilic bacteria are working and are breaking down the complex molecules to simple ones. 17. After a few days the temperature will start to decline. As the temperature start to drop and waste turns to blackish brown sweet smelling compost, it is an indication of good quality compost being made.Methods of testing the quality of compost: a. Any good laboratory, can test the quality of compost in terms of macro nutrients like N, P, K and S along with important parameters like Organic Carbon and EC. The C:N ratio should be < 25. b. A simple foolproof test can also be simply conducted. It is called the germination test. Simply take the ready compost and spread on a plate. Sprinkle little water over it. Count 50 good quality seeds of any cereal and spread them over the compost. Cover the seeds with a thin cloth. Spray a little water over it each day to retain moisture. Once the seeds have germinated, count these seeds. A germination of > 90% would indicate that the quality of compost is good.