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Factors affecting quality of compost produced fromagricultural waste: assessment of risk

Komnitsas Konstantinos, Zacharaki Dimitra, Vamvuka Despina

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Year 2013
Type of Item Conference Full Paper
Bibliographic Citation K. Komnitsas, D. Zaharaki, D. Vamvuka,"Factors affecting quality of compost produced from agricultural waste: assessment of risk," presented at Istanbul International Solid Waste, Water and Wastewater Congress , Istanbul, Turkey, 2013.
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Agricultural wastes (AW) are often characterized by rather low pH and substantial contaminationpotential which is usually related to their high organic load, affecting thus living organisms, soils, waterbodies and plants when improperly disposed of. Composting of AW is the most commonly used managementoption which results in minimization of the risk for soil, water and ecosystems while the final product canbe used as soil improver to enhance crop growth due to its nutrient content. However, various parametersshould be taken into consideration in order to select the most appropriate composting method and define theoptimum use of the final product. In the present paper, selected parameters such as optimal conditions forcompost production, application rates of compost on soil, limit values for concentrations of heavy metals insoil as well as risk for humans exposed to various recalcitrant compounds contained in treated or untreatedAW, are presented and discussed. Pre-treatment of AW, careful application on soils, use of standardizedprocedures to evaluate toxicity and determination of the fate of contaminants in soil and water will improvesustainability in agriculture and minimize impacts on ecosystems and human health.