Compost is decomposed organic matter that results from a controlled aerobic degradation process. In this biological process, microorganisms (mainly bacteria and fungi) decompose the biodegradable waste components and produce an earth-like, odourless, brown/black material. Compost has excellent soil-conditioning properties and a variable nutrient content. Because of leaching and volatilization, some of the nutrients maybe lost, but the material is still rich in nutrients and organic matter. Generally, Excreta or Sludge should be composted long enough (2 to 4 months) under thermophilic conditions (55 to 60 °C) in order to be sanitized sufficiently for safe agricultural use. This temperature is not guaranteed in most Composting Chambers, but considerable pathogen reduction can normally be achieved.
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