Waste has been, and still is, a problem the modern civilised society is struggling to manage, especially with rising environmental and socio-economic costs of dealing with municipal solid wastes, now and in the future.
But considering that a significant portion of these wastes is biodegradable, local municipals can use power-free natural aerating processes in commercial sewage treatment systems to decompose the wastes into highly nutritive bio-fertiliser.
And, globally, vermiculture experts such as naturalflow.co.nz agree that one of the major natural processes for contaminated soil remediation, waste management and wastewater treatment is in using earthworms as ecosystem engineers.
Why use natural ecosystem engineering processes?
The escalating rate of emission of greenhouse gases is a serious issue that is negatively affecting the environment. Most of these gases result from inadequate or improper disposal and management of wastes using conventional composting systems.
Sadly, it has been challenging and costly for the local government to efficiently manage and monitor the millions of tonnes of municipal solid wastes that the modern generation is generating every day.
The main advantage of using earthworms to decompose wastes is that they help divert municipal solid wastes from heaping in landfills, thus saving on waste disposal and management costs, and minimise the chances of toxic gases from waste dumps from polluting the environment.
Secondly, vermicomposting processes require no energy for aeration, unlike normal microbial composting that requires constant turning and mechanical crushing of waste.
Using earthworms over conventional microbial composting technology in commercial sewage treatment systems is proving to be an environmentally preferred and less costly technology to compost and degrade waste as the process is rapid and nearly odourless.