Vermicomposting vs Composting
   

A COMPARISON OF VERMICOMPOSTING AND COMPOSTING


VERMICOMPOSTING METHODS
The traditional open systems of vermicomposting have been based on beds or windrows on the ground containing materials up to 18 inches deep, but such methods have numerous drawbacks. They require large areas of land for large scale production and are relatively labor intensive, even when machinery is used for adding materials to the beds. More importantly, such systems process organic wastes relatively slowly.

There is increased interest in developing in-vessel vermicomposting systems. Some systems have used bins or larger containers, often stacked in racks. Although container methods and other small scale-systems are widely used , they have drawbacks when applied on a larger scale. They require considerable handling and lifting machinery, and also have problems adding water and additional layers of material inputs.
Much more promising techniques have used batch reactors - containers raised on legs above the ground. These allow feed-stock to be added at the top from modified spreaders or mobile gantries and collected
mechanically at the bottom through mesh floors using breaker bars. Such methods -developed and tested at the National Institute for Agricultural Engineering in Silsoe England, and currently used in several places in the U.S. - range from relatively low technology systems using manual loading and collection, to completely automated and hydraulically driven continuous flow reactors. Such reactors can fully process three feet deep layers of suitable organic wastes in less than 30 days.


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