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Open AccessArticle

The Evaluation of Hazards to Man and the Environment during the Composting of Sewage Sludge

1
School of Environment, Geography and Applied Economics, Harokopio University, 17671 Athens, Greece
2
Technological Educational Institute of Crete, Estavromenos Heraklion, 71410 Crete, Greece
3
Goulandris Natural History Museum, 14562 Kifissia, Greece
4
Department of Nutrition and Dietetics, Harokopio University, 17671 Athens, Greece
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sustainability 2018, 10(8), 2618; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10082618
Received: 13 June 2018 / Revised: 20 July 2018 / Accepted: 21 July 2018 / Published: 26 July 2018
(This article belongs to the Collection Organic Waste Management)
Composting is considered an effective treatment option to eliminate or substantially reduce potential hazards relating to the recycling of sewage sludge (SS) on land. The variation of four major types of hazards (heavy metals, instability, pathogenic potential and antibiotic resistance) was studied during laboratory-scale composting of two mixtures of sludge and green waste (1:1 and 1:2 v/v). The heavy metal content of the final compost was governed by the initial contamination of SS, with the bulking agent ratio having practically no effect. The composts would meet the heavy metal standards of the United States of America (USA) and the European Union member states, but would fail the most stringent of them. A higher ratio of bulking agent led to a higher stabilisation rate, nitrogen retention and final degree of stability. A good level of sanitisation was achieved for both mixtures, despite the relatively low temperatures attained in the laboratory system. The antibiotic resistance was limited among the E. coli strains examined, but its occurrence was more frequent among the Enterococcus spp. strains. The type of antibiotics against which resistance was mainly detected indicates that this might not be acquired, thus, not posing a serious epidemiological risk through the land application of the SS derived composts. View Full-Text
Keywords: sewage sludge composting; heavy metals; stability; sanitization; antibiotic resistance sewage sludge composting; heavy metals; stability; sanitization; antibiotic resistance
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Lasaridi, K.-E.; Manios, T.; Stamatiadis, S.; Chroni, C.; Kyriacou, A. The Evaluation of Hazards to Man and the Environment during the Composting of Sewage Sludge. Sustainability 2018, 10, 2618.

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