Sustainable Management of Food Waste Composting for Nutrient Recycling

By Dr. Rafiq Islam, Soil, Water and Bioenergy Specialist

The Soil, Water & Bioenergy Resources Program of the Ohio State University South Centers, in conjunction with Pike County Soil and Water Conservation District and Pike County Solid Waste District, organized a “Food Waste Composting for Home Gardening” workshop in Piketon on     May 19, 2016.The workshop was well attended by the presence of small farmers, organic producers, home gardeners, compost producers and dealers, and home owners.

The main speaker at the workshop was Dr. Frederick C. Michel, Jr., from the Deptartment of Food, Agricultural and Biological Engineering, and member of the Compost Research Center at OARDC, Wooster. He presented information on improving the collection, characterization, and processing of agricultural and industrial organic byproducts. Specific topics include collection, mixing and processing of food wastes, microbial communities in composts and amended soils, efficient conversion of dairy and hog production wastes into composts, and characterizing the effects of composting and other waste management processes on microorganisms, antibiotics and human and animal pathogen persistence. He also covered topics such as how to increase soil organic matter levels by using food waste composts and nutrient recycling to improve soil health for small-scale organic production and home gardening.