The effects of Insects on the Physicochemical Characteristics During Composting
Insects have a vital role in solid waste composting process. Insects are detritus feeders that enhance changing the physical and chemical properties of decomposed materials during composting processes. This behavior makes insects excellent organisms in recycling of organic matter. The present study assesses the success of insectsâ€™ population in relation with the degradation of solid waste. The study was carried out in the glass house facility of the College of Science, Salahaddin University in Erbil City, Kurdistan region of Iraq, using household organic waste. During composting process, three stages of lifecycle of insects were observed and recorded. The total number of insects reached to 1268 individuals, belonging to the orders Coleoptera and Diptera, class Insects. Diptera individuals were the most abundant insects with 95.4% of the total belonged to four families (Muscidae, Calliphoridae, Ulidiidae and Milichiidae). Coleoptera individuals represented 4.6% of the total number, belonging to three families (Promecheilidae, Staphylinidae and Salpingidae). The measured physicochemical characteristics of the compost included: pH, EC, moisture, total organic carbon, total nitrogen, total phosphorous and organic matter. The pH value of the composts ranged from 7.79 to 7.97. Organic carbon content and organic matter content ranged from 20.16 to 26.99 % and 34.67 to 46.23 %, respectively. It can concluded that household waste compost is not just a waste but has the potential to be transformed into a good quality organic fertilizer through composting. Composting can convert solid organic waste into a valuable added material.