Food Scrap Size Influence on the Recycling of Organic Waste by the Annelid Worm Eisenia fetida
MetadataShow full item record
Type of Work17 pages
ProgramEnvironmental Biology Masters Program
RightsAttribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 United States
The U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates that 30-40% of food is lost or wasted at the retail and consumer levels. Unfortunately, much of this waste is sent to landfills, requiring land, labor, and energy for disposal. Given the various benefits of managing waste through vermicomposting, it is evident that vermicomposting is an excellent alternative to traditional composting methods. To mitigate the lack of research on vermicomposting, this study investigates the influence of food scrap size on indoor vermicomposting by the annelid worm Eisenia fetida. The study used 16 vermicomposting units distributed among a control and three treatment groups. The treatment groups used food substrate that had been processed in a food chopper for varying lengths of time (either 5 seconds, 10 seconds, or 30 seconds). The control group used food substrate that was not processed by a food chopper. Overall, the study suggests that there is a significant difference (p < 0.05) in the rate of decomposition of food scraps in days between the control and the treatment groups. In general, this study suggests that processing food scraps is a more efficient approach to indoor vermicomposting.
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