A Critical Investigation of Composting Methods and Implementation in Schools
Keywords:Composting, Food Waste Management, Organic Waste, Bokashi, Interdisciplinary Pedagogy, Schools, Decentralized Composting, Recycling, Environmental Sustainability
Food waste management has emerged as a key tool in responding to the climate crisis. Schools, as natural community centers, have the potential to drive meaningful reform and implement sustainable food waste solutions. This research analyzes the ecological, social, cultural, and economic benefits of composting, and investigates a wide array of composting methods, including aerobic decomposition, anaerobic digestion, fermentation, and vermicomposting. Through a literature review and interviews with experts, these methods are discussed and appraised. The bokashi fermentation process is evaluated by praxis. A series of four steps is then detailed and recommended for schools looking to implement sustainable food waste solutions: 1) Assess Composting Feasibility and Survey Local Community, 2) Evaluate Composting Methods and Plan Comprehensively, 3) Design Interdisciplinary Learning, and 4) Involve Wider Local and Global Community. An emphasis on decentralized composting systems, decoloniality, school individuality, and interdisciplinary pedagogical approaches is placed throughout the report.
Bruni, C., Akyol, Ç., Cipolletta, G., Eusebi, A. L., Caniani, D., Masi, S., Colón, J., & Fatone, F. (2020). Decentralized community composting: Past, present and future aspects of italy. Sustainability, 12(8), 3319. https://doi.org/10.3390/su12083319
Daskal, S., Asi, O., Sabbah, I., Ayalon, O., & Baransi-karkaby, K. (2022). Decentralized composting analysis model—benefit/cost decision-making methodology. Sustainability, 14(24), 16397. https://doi.org/10.3390/su142416397
Fuchs, J. G. (2023, January 23). [Videoconference interview by the author].
Gashua, A. G., Sulaiman, Z., Yusoff, M. M., Samad, M. Y. A., Ramlan, M. F., & Salisu, M. A. (2022). Assessment of fertilizer quality in horse waste-based bokashi fertilizer formulations. Agronomy, 12(4), 937. https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy12040937
Ginting, S. (2019). Promoting bokashi as an organic fertilizer in indonesia: A mini review. International Journal of Environmental Sciences & Natural Resources, 21(4). http://dx.doi.org/10.19080/IJESNR.2019.21.556070
Gonawala, S. S., & Jardosh, H. (2018). Organic waste in composting: A brief review. International Journal of Current Engineering and Technology, 8(01). https://doi.org/10.14741/ijcet.v8i01.10884
Jassey, B., Syafrudin, Zaman, B., Ceesay, K., Touray, I., Ngum, J., & Prakoso, H. (2022). The effectiveness of em4 and local micro-organisms (LOM) activators in organic waste processing in brikama market west coast region, the gambia. IOP Conference Series: Earth and Environmental Science, 1098(1), 012010. https://doi.org/10.1088/1755-1315/1098/1/012010
Martínez-Blanco, J., Lazcano, C., Christensen, T. H., Muñoz, P., Rieradevall, J., Møller, J., Antón, A., & Boldrin, A. (2013). Compost benefits for agriculture evaluated by life cycle assessment. A review. Agronomy for Sustainable Development, 33(4), 721-732. https://doi.org/10.1007/s13593-013-0148-7
Mayer, J., Scheid, S., Widmer, F., Fließbach, A., & Oberholzer, H.-R. (2010). How effective are 'Effective microorganisms® (EM)'? Results from a field study in temperate climate. Applied Soil Ecology, 46(2), 230-239. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.apsoil.2010.08.007
Merfield, C. N. (2013). Treating food preparation 'waste' by Bokashi fermentation vs. composting for crop land application: A feasibility and scoping review (Research Report No. 5). The Biological Husbandry Unit Organics Trust. https://www.bhu.org.nz/wp-content/uploads/sites/155/ffc-files/soil-management/treating-food-preparation-waste-by-bokashi-fermentation-vs-composting-for-crop-land-application-a-feasibility-and-scoping-review-2012-ffc-merfield.pdf
Patriani, P. P. (2022). Bokashi application for organic farming in manuk mulia village, karo district. Journal of Saintech Transfer, 5(1), 40-48. https://doi.org/10.32734/jst.v5i1.8851
Qian, L., Rao, Q., Liu, H., Mccarthy, B., Liu, L. X., & Wang, L. (2022). Food waste and associated carbon footprint: Evidence from chinese universities. Ecosystem Health and Sustainability, 8(1). https://doi.org/10.1080/20964129.2022.2130094
Qiao, Y. (2023, February 12). [E-mail interview by the author].
Raza, S., & Ahmad, J. (2016). Composting process: A review. International Journal of Biological Research, 4(2), 102. https://doi.org/10.14419/ijbr.v4i2.6354
Silva, A. V., Silva Filho, J.F., Wangen, D. R. B., Souza, M. L. C., & Silva, E. L. (2020). Projeto horta e compostagem: tratamento de resíduos sólidos em escola pública em Urutaí [Horta and composting project: solid waste treatment in public school in Urutaí]. Scientific Electronic Archives, 13(1), 36-41. http://dx.doi.org/10.36560/1312020929
Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation. (n.d.). Composting and Compost Use: Practices by Small Rural-Urban Farms, Communities and Families (L. Wang, Y. Qiao, Y. Wei, & Z. Ruan, Authors). https://www.eda.admin.ch/dam/countries/countries-content/china/en/Report_on_composting_EN.pdf
Yamada, K., & Xu, H.-L. (2001). Properties and applications of an organic fertilizer inoculated with effective microorganisms. Journal of Crop Production, 3(1), 255-268. http://dx.doi.org/10.1300/J144v03n01_21
Copyright (c) 2023 Jeremy Azzopardi
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.