Author Archives: john.paul

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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Compost Awareness Week – Four Great Things to be Aware of

During this Compost Awareness Week, there are four great things that we should be aware of with composting our food waste. If food waste is well aerated during composting, odour is eliminated within two weeks, and the moisture content reduced … Continue reading

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Consistent potential pathogen kill during composting – how do we achieve this?

Composting regulations in most countries include minimum temperatures required to be achieved for a certain time period. The reason for this is that we know from extensive research that most potentially pathogenic microbes are not able to withstand temperatures of … Continue reading

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Indicator Organisms for Potential Pathogens: Fecal coliform or E. coli?

How do we know that our compost is free of potential pathogenic organisms? The test that we use in our British Columbia regulation (OMRR) is fecal coliform bacteria, as an indicator organism. This is in part based on the US … Continue reading

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