Author Archives: john.paul

Helping us Pass the Sniff Test for Composting – the Amazing Actinobacter

The Sniff Test helps us produce great compost with minimal negative effects for our communities. If we get the composting process right, we allow the Actinobacter to flourish. Actinobacter produce geosmin, a compound that we can smell in the parts … Continue reading

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High Airflow Rates Reduces Odor and Kills Pathogens Faster

Supplying adequate air to composting material, particularly in the first week, dramatically reduces the potential for odour emission later. It appears that adequate aeration early in the process also encourages a microbial community that is antagonistic to potential pathogenic organisms. … Continue reading

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Pathogen kill – more than just high temperatures?

Temperatures > 55 C are required for at least a few days to ¬†achieve pathogen kill during composting. We would then naturally agree that if the high temperature requirement was not met, we would have a higher risk of potential … Continue reading

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Are we feeding potentially pathogenic microorganisms during curing?

Inactivating potential pathogens during composting is a two step process. The first step is the thermophilic or temperature kill process that kills most potentially pathogenic microorganisms. The second step is removal of readily available energy compounds for potentially pathogenic organisms. … Continue reading

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Managing Potential Pathogenic Bacteria – MPN or CFU – are they the same?

Fecal coliform and E. coli in compost or leachate is usually reported in MPN per g compost or MPN per 100 mL water (or leachate). Sometimes we see results in CFU/g, or per 100 mL. Is there a difference? CFU … Continue reading

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Potential Regrowth and the Role of Viable but Nonculturable Bacteria

As practitioners in the compost industry, we assume that when the temperature of our compost has reached 55 C, we have killed all potential pathogens. There are many studies that demonstrate the effect of temperature on the viability of potential … Continue reading

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