Effectiveness of Composting as a Means of Emergency Disposal: A Literature Review
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Schwarz, Mary; Bonhotal, Jean
There has been a multitude of research conducted on different aspects of passively aerated windrow systems (PAWS) composting of mortality in the past several years. Early on, the research was concentrated on whether or not (PAWS) composting could actually dispose of animal tissue. Once that was determined, researchers began looking at optimization of the process (bulking material, type of system, etc.), destruction of pathogens and disease control, environmental impacts, and economics. Evaluation of the effectiveness of static pile composting to inactivate disease causing organisms in carcasses requires identification of those organisms and analysis of their sensitivity to inactivation by heating or composting’s athermic properties. Pathogen and disease control are essential during emergency disposal, but it is impossible to test for all pathogens/diseases that may occur. This literature review discusses composting process, feedstocks pathogens/diseases and environmental effects that have been studied. Research indicates that the use of composting as one means of disposal during emergencies is not only effective in deactivating pathogens, but also limits the risk of groundwater and air pollution contamination. On-farm composting also reduces the potential for farm-to farm-disease transmission and decreases transportation costs and tipping fees associated with off-site disposal. There is also the added benefit of producing a usable product.
Institute for Infectious Animal Diseases; Homeland Security; Cornell Waste Management Institute; Cornell University College of Agriculture and Life Sciences
5th International Symposium on Managing Animal Mortality , Products, by Products and Associated Risks
animal mortality; disease control; mortality composting; pathogen inactivation; passively aerated windrow system (PAWS)