Greenhouse gases from manure composting

The International Compost Sanitation Forum and Message Board: Humanure Handbook - A Guide to Composting Human Manure: Greenhouse gases from manure composting
Author: Michel Garand
Saturday, November 19, 2005 - 2:58 pm
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Joe,
I just came across a 2001 article from Dr. Xiying Hao and assistants, from a Lethbridge Alberta Research Center on the subject, for livestock manure
(http//res2.agr.ca/lethbridge)

Do you have any references or data on greenhouse gas emissions, for the slow thermophilic composting of human manure or, the composting of table scraps and garden waste, for that matter?

Thanks.

Author: admin
Saturday, November 19, 2005 - 11:16 pm
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I do not have that data.

Joe

Author: TCLynx
Saturday, December 31, 2005 - 11:00 am
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I expect that these greenhouse gasses must escape somewhere somehow. If you are composting at home at least you aren't having the stuff hauled to the landfill by a truck first. There are ventpipes up through the hosue to let gasses escape. Landfills have ventpipes and hopefully they don't have any methane explosions though sometimes they do.
Don't worry that you are contributing to global warming by composting. The stuff has to eventually compost somehow. The difference is by doing it at home you are cutting out all the intermediate energy consumption of pumping it through a sewer, running it through the sewage plant, and then hauling it to a landfill where it will let off those gasses. Through that process the water has been polluted energy consumed, trucks driven around, the resulting compost is polluted so it is filling up a landfill, etc.

As for having heard about the gasses produced when composting large amounts of animal manures, I'm sure it is true and the reason it is an issue is that the facility must make sure they have adequate ventalation. Without adequate ventalation, gasses can build up and become hazardous or even explode. If you are composting outdoors in a 4ft by 4ft compost bin, I don't see any danger of gass build up.

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