Environmental Science/Composting



In our township, we have been provided with Pipe Compost pits for composting domestic wastes. Two PVC pipes of 200mm dia and 1.5 metre lengths has been installed in our back yard.

After filling the same with domestic wastes,we observe that the waste has converted into a molten material with thousands of short white worms on the surface and a septic tank like smell around.The composting condition is anaerobic.

After 45 days whether the compost would have got matured ? Whether such compost could be utilized directly as manure ? whether it would be hygenic ? We are afraid of the smell also.

Kindly advise.

Thanks & regards,

Babal Geoffrey.A

ANSWER: Good morning
When you say domestic wastes are you referring to sewage or spoils from the kitchen/paper/etc?  And what are you proposing to use this compost on?  It is beyond my expertise, but there are certain conditions that have to be met before using sewage waste, even when composted, as "manure."  There should be monitoring of temperature and other parameters during the maturation process.  There should be testing to ensure that there are no harmful pathogens or compounds in the waste prior to land application.

Hope this helps....


---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------


The domestic waste consists of waste and spoiled food from kitchen, vegetable peelings, rotten vegetables & fruits from kitchen, waste of fish cleaning, rice cooked water etc.

Due to the liquids in waste, the composting is carried out in anaerobic condition.

The composts are supposed to be used as manures in plants including vegetable plants.

Thanks & regards,  

Babal Geoffrey.A

I would guess as long as you are not putting any sanitary (toilet) wastes in those pits the resultant compost is probably good for your veg.  That said, you need to make sure that the process is complete.  And I would be careful to not put a lot of prepared foods (with cooking oils, meats, etc) unless you are composting at a high temperature.

I am really not familiar with anaerobic composting.  I am guessing there are lots of resources on the internet....

Good luck.

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Fraser Hamilton


I have over 12 years experience as an environmental consultant. I will answer questions related to the management and regulation of underground storage tanks (particulary with regards to removal and remediation), environmental site assessments and soil and groundwater assessments, investigation and remediation.

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