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Instrumental research

Planning of composting schemes for small and/or rural communities

This activity comprised the review of applied technologies and existing small-scale applications for the composting of organic waste in view of the planning and implementation of composting schemes in selected communities in Greece and Vietnam, whereby the latter tasks included the following activities:
a) Review of advanced biowaste management strategies on the example of Europe, and b) the common schemes for biowaste collection and effects on composting, c) Data compilation in preparation of the selection of research sites and d) selection of appropriate composting technology, e) Planning of collection, transport and storage and f) Assessment of market/type of disposal.

The partners from Greece and Vietnam have selected the communities for the composting schemes implementation and established the most important characteristics of them. Hanoi University of Science selected 2 communities, Gia Lam and Phung which are both semi-agricultural communities that produce large amounts of organic waste. For the pilot drum composting was chosen as an adapted technology [report]. The Aristotle University of Thessaloniki selected as study area the Prefecture of Pieria which belongs to the region of Central Macedonia. This area produces large amounts of organic wastes because of extensive agricultural activities. Windrow composting was assessed as a suitable option for a pilot implementation [report].

Planning of a pilot scheme for sanitary waste management

The major activities related to this were the set up and conduct of a composting experiment for sanitary napkins and an information campaign to various student groups and units of Miriam College, from grade school to undergraduate levels.

In a 1st survey the initial figure of sanitary napkins per month used by the school community was estimated at 38,000 pieces, however, during the experiment only 1,800 pieces were initially collected for one month. Various composting applications (e.g. drum composting, open pit composting) and treatment methods (e.g. shredded/unshredded, with/without additives) were adopted and tarpaulin roofing installed in the experimental area to ensure adequate conditions. Information posters were placed inside comfort rooms and instructions on segregation were placed inside each cubicle. Permanent monitoring of the composting trials and recording of the process data took place.

An early compilation of data in support of the research efforts leading to a composting scheme for sanitary waste at Miriam College was made from the German partner. This included a.o. a brief overview on pilot scale projects and test series on nappy composting in different places, the findings made and problems encountered. Following this ad-hoc consultation was provided to improve the pilot approach.