For some city dwellers, composting is as easy as adding your food trimmings and other compostable to the yard waste bin. Rapid increase in population and change in lifestyle in India have resulted in a dramatic increase in Municipal Solid Waste (MSW). MSW include both domestic and commercial waste. MSW is suitable for compositing because of the presence of high biodegradable organic matter and acceptable moisture content in the waste.
Sugarcane produces about 10 to 12 tons of dry leaves per hectare per crop. The de-trashing is done on 5th and 7th month during its growth period. Sugarcane trash compost contains 0.5% nitrogen, 0.2% phosphorus and 1.1% potassium, in addition to micro nutrients traces. Sugarcane trash compost is a good source of nutrients for sugarcane crop. The sugarcane trash incorporation in the soil influences physical, chemical and biological properties of the soil. There is a reduction in soil, improvement in the water holding capacity, better soil aggregation and thereby improves porosity in the soil. Sugarcane trash incorporation reduces the bulk density of the soil and there is an increase in infiltration rate and decrease in penetration resistance. The direct incorporation of chopped trash increases the availability of nutrients leading to soil fertility. Sugarcane trash can be easily composted by using the fungi like Trichurus, Aspergillus, Penicillium and Trichoderma. Addition of rock phosphate and gypsum facilitates for quicker decomposition.
Vermicomposting is the process of turning organic debris into worm castings. Vermicomposting is done on small and large scales. The worm castings are very important to the fertility of the soil. The castings contain high amounts of nitrogen, potassium, phosphorus, calcium, and magnesium. Castings contain: 5 times the available nitrogen, 7 times the available potash, and 1½ times more calcium than found in good topsoil. Several researchers have demonstrated that earthworm castings have excellent aeration, porosity, structure, drainage, and moisture-holding capacity.
Vermicompost contains a greater diversity of beneficial microbes than traditional compost, which may be why it is linked with increasing plants’ resistance to fungal diseases. The nutrients in worm compost are also more available to plants—a quality that researchers think helps plants grow faster and stronger and resist attacks from aphids, mealy bugs, and spider mites.