Microbiological consequences of indoor composting

Another interesting (and closed access) paper from Indoor Air… this time from Naegele and colleagues in France… “Microbiological consequences of indoor composting“.  Indoor composting has become more and more popular in urban areas where traditional composting isn’t an option.   Here’s a nice look at what that does to the microbial community of the location.  Abstract below:

Recycling of organic waste appeals to more and more people. The aim of this study was to evaluate the microbiological contamination around organic waste bins at three distances over a 12-month period. Contamination near the customary trash of control households was evaluated at the beginning to ensure that there is no recruitment bias. Air samples using the MAS 100 impactor were carried out in 38 dwellings that do household waste composting and in 10 dwellings of controls. Collection of particles by CIP 10 rotating cup sampler and dust samples collected by electrostatic dust collector cloths were acquired in dwellings that do household waste composting. Samples were analyzed by culture and by real-time quantitative PCR. Information about dwelling characteristics and inhabitant practices was obtained by a standardized questionnaire. The genera most often isolated were Penicillium, Aspergillus, Cladosporium and Streptomyces. Near the organic waste bins, bioaerosol samples showed an increase of Acarus siro (P = 0.001). Sedimented dust analyses highlighted an increase of A. siro, Wallemia sebi, Aspergillus versicolor, and Cladosporium sphaerospermum concentrations after a 12-month survey compared to the beginning. Composting favors microorganism development over time, but does not seem to have an effect on the bioaerosol levels and the surface microbiota beyond 0.5 m from the waste bin.


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David Coil

David Coil is a Project Scientist in the lab of Jonathan Eisen at UC Davis. David works at the intersection between research, education, and outreach in the areas of the microbiology of the built environment, microbial ecology, and bacterial genomics. Twitter