HARYANA, India —
The sludge waste that's put out by textile mills can be turned into compost with the help of worms and manure, according to a team from an Indian university.
Researchers from Guru Jambheshwar University of Science and Technology have reported in a scientific journal that they were able to take the sludge put out by the textile industry, and within 180 days, turn it into a compost-like mixture. In India, incineration or landfilling are not preferred methods of textile waste disposal due to their costs and environmental impacts.
The researchers used a type of earthworm known as Eisenia foetida, which thrives in types of waste others worms can't survive in, including manure, rotting organic matter and compost. Mixing the textile sludge with the earthworms and manure from cows and horses changed the physical and chemical makeup of the sludge, resulting in a compost-like, homogenous mixture after six months.
The worms grew well while living in the sludge and even increased the amount of nitrogen and phosphorous, necessary and beneficial to plant growth, in the mixture.
The research by V.K. Garg, Renuka Gupta and Priya Kaushik was published in the International Journal of Environment and Pollution.
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