Investigating the effects of anaerobic and aerobic post-treatment on quality and stability of organic fraction of municipal solid waste as soil amendment
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The use of OFMSW for biogas and compost production is considered as a sustainable strategy in saving valuable landfill space while producing valuable product for soil application. This study examines the effects of anaerobic and aerobic post-treatment of OFMSW on the stability of anaerobic digestate and compost and soil quality using seed germination tests. Anaerobic digestion of OFMSW was carried out for fifteen days after which the residual anaerobic digestate was subjected to aerobic post-treatment for seventy days. Seed germination tests showed that fresh feedstock and digestates collected during anaerobic digestion and during the early stages of aerobic post-treatment were phytotoxic. However, phytotoxic effects were not observed in soils amended with the fully stabilised anaerobic digestate compost, ADC. It was also found that seed germination increases with dilution and incubation time, suggesting that lower soil application rates and longer lag periods between soil application of ADC and planting can reduce the amount of biodegradable organics in the ADC, thus enhancing the benefits of ADC as soil amendment.