With restrictions on the disposal of sludge, beneficial use of biosolids has become a significant trend. Composting is the leading beneficial reuse technology in terms of manufacturing a product for application to the land. Of course, the success of composting depends on marketing the final compost product. In other words, a use must exist for the compost generated from wastewater sludge.
In addition, the public must accept the composting process. Donovan (1992) notes that the most difficult challenge municipalities face in implementing sludge plans is facility siting. The general public is apprehensive concerning any waste handling facility, and specific concerns about odor, health, traffic, and land values have slowed or stopped many projects.
Composting is basically a simple process; it is quite robust and therefore a forgiving process. It can be managed in many cases (such as the backyard compost pile) with little or no technical knowledge. However, as composting applications increase and broaden in scope, the need exists for more sophistication in the design and operation of composting facilities. This need is underscored by the emphasis on aspects such as odor control and compost product quality. Such concerns demand a higher level of technology and management.
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