Compost Workshop

by Celia Vasquez and Sophie Medem

For the past three weeks the entire x-runner team has been attending an ongoing training workshop about compost management and treatment held by renowned academics from the Universidad Nacional Agraria La Molina (UNALM). The aim of this workshop is to train team members in quality and management procedures. In addition, the UNALM team is running some tests on our compost to analyze the chemical components and other important characteristics.

Week after week the team-members are applying what they’ve learned until now, for example how to take a sample; the fundaments and characteristics of the composting-process; quality indicators such as humidity, temperature, levels of O2, emission of methane etc. They’ve also learned about the basic structure of a compost area (size, distribution of piles, rotation frequency and humidity) and different kinds of analysis that can be performed to measure the quality of the compost. Also, they heard about different application possibilities: compost can be used not only as soil-improver but also for covering sanitary fills (Sanitation sector) or excavated areas (Mining Sector), among others.

The results of the UNALM analysis obtained until now show that with a pH of 7,0 our compost has a very good value. The compost’s conductivity level (3mS/cm) is within the desired range, according to the Ö-NORM S 2022, as well as the density (0,8).

Another topic that is very important to us are required safety and health standards when working with potentially dangerous materials such as excrements, which is why we talked about measures that should be taken to avoid any health risks.

The importance of this training for the personnel is evident: the team-members don’t only enhance their performance, they are also given the chance to learn in depth about the world of composting, and are encouraged to apply the acquired knowledge in order to produce a compost of high-quality.

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