What Is Enclosed Composting?
Enclosed composting uses the same process of aerobic decomposition of organic matter by bacteria and other microorganisms as does open composting is also referred to as 'In-Vessel Composting' and while it is most often undertaken on a small scale in backyards or local communities it can also operate on a large scale for municipal waste producing many tonnes of cured compost per day depending on the system in use.
How Does Enclosed Composting Work?
Enclosed composting works in the same way as open composting. The composting process involves the provision of aerobic conditions to a concentration of organic matter in order to allow bacteria to grow and to begin the transition from waste to compost. There are two main types of bacteria involved in composting: mesophilic bacteria that consume the readily degradable matter, and thermophilic bacteria that due to the heat generated by the decomposition is more easily able to decompose much of the remaining matter. The final stage of composting occurs when there is no longer enough organic matter to sustain the bacteria and so the compost cools and fungi and actinomycetes are able to grow and decompose the more recalcitrant organic compounds.
Enclosed Composting And The Environment
Enclosed composting is more susceptible to losing aerobic conditions and anaerobic decay, when this occurs the production of methane begins and unpleasant odours are produced from the compost. The same environmental problems associated with open composting are encountered with enclosed composting, these being; greenhouse gas emissions from the transport of the waste to the composting facility. The production of leachate when the moisture content of the waste is too high is another problem encountered.