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The composting operation emits various odorous compounds that have brought an increasing number of complaints to composting facilities from neighboring residents due to intense urban encroachment. This project, funded by the California Integrated Waste Management Board, aims to develop mitigation strategies to odor problems during composting operations by controlling the odorous compound emissions using different mitigation methods.

Feedstock-originated chemical compounds, i.e., terpenes in this case, have been studied at this stage of the project. Freshly chipped garden waste, obtained from Miramar Green Waste Composting Facility, San Diego were passively composted in 20 gallon bins. The four mitigation alternatives studied in this present work are (1) use of pseudo-biofilter, i.e., the application of finished compost product at four different rates; (2) and the blend of raw feedstock with the finished compos; (3) topical application of four different types of commercial odor neutralizing agents (ONAs); (4) misting over the feedstock; t. After the application of the selected mitigation alternative, the head space air was sampled at different times and analyzed by a gas chromatograph-mass spectrometer (GC-MS).

The results of this study show that none of the ONAs and misting was effective in the control of terpene emissions at the application rates used in this study. On the other hand, application of finished compost was highly effective for use both as pseudo-biofilter and as part of blend applications. The initial terpene emission reductions, measured as a percent total peak areas of treatments to the control, ranged from 51.5 to 98.0% for biofilter and 72.6 and 93.1 for blend applications; and reductions leveled of as the emissions from the blank subsided over time. The addition of the finished compost to the prunings has caused up to 36.7% increase of the bulk density that might lead to concerns for hindrance of aeration.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2006-01-01

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