Special Issue "Recycling Organic Wastes in Agriculture"

A special issue of Agriculture (ISSN 2077-0472).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (10 August 2015) | Viewed by 43192

Special Issue Editor

Prof. Stephen R. Smith
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Imperial College London, South Kensington Campus, London SW7 2AZ, UK
Interests: agricultural utilisation; biosolids; biowaste; fertiliser value; environmental impact; human health
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Agricultural recycling of organic wastes (including the residuals from municipal or industrial biodegradable waste treatment and biosolids from municipal wastewater treatment) enables the beneficial recovery of essential plant nutrients to maintain agronomic productivity, and of organic matter, to improve soil physico-chemical properties. As nutrient sources, these materials provide effective fertilizer replacements, and their agricultural utilization contributes to the development of a circular economy for nutrients. For instance, recycling organic wastes in agriculture conserves finite phosphate resources and the embodied energy from industrial nitrogen fixation, thus supporting the goal of sustainable food production. Organic wastes, such as waste wood and paper sludge, also provide alternative types of livestock bedding. The agricultural uses of municipal and industrial wastes are regulated to protect human health and the environment. Source-separated materials may be eligible for end-of-waste status if they meet recognized quality criteria, in which case they become fully recovered products. In some jurisdictions, however, treated residuals derived from mixed waste streams, such as compost or digestates from mechanically segregated biodegradable municipal solid waste, may be considered unsuitable for end-of-waste status or for agricultural use altogether due to quality concerns, despite them potentially achieving relatively similar standards. Without a sound scientific rationale, policy development to agricultural recycling becomes confused and illogical, restricting the opportunities for beneficial use. Understanding the fundamental agronomic properties of different types of organic waste materials applied to land is essential for the development of appropriate fertilizer guidance and best management practices. These need to consider not only phosphate losses and nitrate leaching, but also the relationships between waste and soil properties and possible denitrification mechanisms and nitrous oxide production as a potential greenhouse gas emission source. The survival of infectious microorganisms, the consequences for the food chain and the environment of the long-term accumulation of potential toxic elements in soil and of organic contaminants in organic residuals, and potential odor emissions, are further important challenges to agricultural recycling. However, these can also be managed and addressed by sound scientific understanding.

This Special Issue invites contributions from authors of original research or review articles on any aspect of agricultural recycling of organic wastes, including, for example, fertilizer use efficiency, nutrient transformations and transport, denitrification, best management practices, effects on soil physical properties, crop production and quality, potentially toxic elements, organic contaminants, microbial pathogens, odour control, livestock bedding materials and environmental risk assessment.

Stephen R Smith
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Agriculture is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1800 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • biowaste
  • biosolids
  • nutrients
  • fertilizer value
  • soil quality
  • organic matter
  • pathogens
  • potentially toxic elements
  • organic contaminants
  • plant uptake
  • food chain
  • nitrogen
  • phosphorus
  • odour
  • denitrification
  • nitrous oxide
  • livestock bedding

Published Papers (10 papers)

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Jump to: Review

Tackling Uncertainty through Business Plan Analysis—A Case Study on Citrus Waste Valorisation in the South of Italy
Agriculture 2016, 6(1), 5; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture6010005 - 19 Jan 2016
Relationship between Mineral Soil Surface Area and the Biological Degradation of Biosolids Added to Soil
Agriculture 2016, 6(1), 1; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture6010001 - 25 Dec 2015
Organic Contaminant Content and Physico-Chemical Characteristics of Waste Materials Recycled in Agriculture
Agriculture 2015, 5(4), 1289-1328; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture5041289 - 17 Dec 2015
Effects of Olive Mill Wastewater on Soil Microarthropods and Soil Chemistry in Two Different Cultivation Scenarios in Israel and Palestinian Territories
Agriculture 2015, 5(3), 857-878; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture5030857 - 18 Sep 2015
Organic Cultivation of Tomato in India with Recycled Slaughterhouse Wastes: Evaluation of Fertilizer and Fruit Safety
Agriculture 2015, 5(3), 826-856; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture5030826 - 16 Sep 2015
Effect of Additives and Fuel Blending on Emissions and Ash-Related Problems from Small-Scale Combustion of Reed Canary Grass
Agriculture 2015, 5(3), 561-576; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture5030561 - 24 Jul 2015
Fermented Apple Pomace as a Feed Additive to Enhance Growth Performance of Growing Pigs and Its Effects on Emissions
Agriculture 2015, 5(2), 313-329; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture5020313 - 08 Jun 2015
Effect of Date Palm Cultivar, Particle Size, Panel Density and Hot Water Extraction on Particleboards Manufactured from Date Palm Fronds
Agriculture 2015, 5(2), 267-285; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture5020267 - 18 May 2015


Jump to: Research

Fruit and Vegetable Co-Products as Functional Feed Ingredients in Farm Animal Nutrition for Improved Product Quality
Agriculture 2015, 5(4), 1020-1034; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture5041020 - 21 Oct 2015
Effectiveness of Organic Wastes as Fertilizers and Amendments in Salt-Affected Soils
Agriculture 2015, 5(2), 221-230; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture5020221 - 24 Apr 2015
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