What is it about?

Agricultural waste instead conversion as organic compost it can be used as an amendment to highly contaminated landfill leachate in vermicomposting. This is successful in removing potentially toxic elements that exist in the landfill leachate. Results showed an extreme decrease of heavy metals, i.e. Cadmium, Chromium and Lead up to 99.81% removal as effect of vermiconversion process employing epigeic earthworms i.e. Lumbricus rubellus. Moreover, the vermicompost C:N ratio range is 20.65–22.93 and it can be an advantageous tool to revitalise insalubrious soil by acting as soil stabiliser or conditioner.

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Why is it important?

Our findings help to increase awareness of the benefit restoring nature using natural process by understanding the function of living things that co-exist with us. Even though increases of Copper and Zinc were recorded, this may not harm the utilisation of the product as soil stabiliser and biofertiliser due to the fact that its contents were below the permissible limits set.

Perspectives

This study required further work in order to analyse susceptibility of the earthworms, L. rubellus with landfill leachate presence in longer period of vermiconversion process as well as the fate of the potentially toxic elements.

Dr. Azizi Abu Bakar
University of Malaya

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This page is a summary of: Effect on heavy metals concentration from vermiconversion of agro-waste mixed with landfill leachate, Waste Management, April 2015, Elsevier, DOI: 10.1016/j.wasman.2015.01.020.
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