Eco-School Project -Vemicompos

Vermicompost was being demonstrated in SMK Datuk Onn
Vermicompost was being demonstrated in SMK Datuk Onn

Vermicompost is the product or process of composting using various worms, usually red wigglers, white worms, and other earthworms to create a heterogeneous mixture of decomposing vegetable or food waste, bedding materials, and vermicast. Vermicast, also called worm castings, worm humus or worm manure, is the end-product of the breakdown of organic matter by an earthworm.[1] These castings have been shown to contain reduced levels of contaminants and a higher saturation of nutrients than do organic materials before vermicomposting.[2]
Containing water-soluble nutrients, vermicompost is an excellent, nutrient-rich organic fertilizer and soil conditioner.[3] This process of producing vermicompost is called vermicomposting.

Benefits

Soil
• Improves soil aeration
• Enriches soil with micro-organisms (adding enzymes such as phosphatase and cellulase)
• Microbial activity in worm castings is 10 to 20 times higher than in the soil and organic matter that the worm ingests [27]
• Attracts deep-burrowing earthworms already present in the soil
• Improves water holding capacity[28]
Plant growth
• Enhances germination, plant growth, and crop yield
• Improves root growth and structure
• Enriches soil with micro-organisms (adding plant hormones such as auxins and gibberellic acid)[citation needed]
Economic
• Biowastes conversion reduces waste flow to landfills
• Elimination of biowastes from the waste stream reduces contamination of other recyclables collected in a single bin (a common problem in communities practicing single-stream recycling[29])
• Creates low-skill jobs at local level
• Low capital investment and relatively simple technologies make vermicomposting practical for less-developed agricultural regions
Environmental
• Helps to close the “metabolic gap” through recycling waste on-site
• Large systems often use temperature control and mechanized harvesting, however other equipment is relatively simple and does not wear out quickly[citation needed]
• Production reduces greenhouse gas emissions such as methane and nitric oxide (produced in landfills or incinerators when not composted or through methane harvest)[30]

Eco-School Project -Mudballs

Students were doing mudballs with teachers and parents
Students were doing mudballs with teachers and parents

The mudballs worked because they have been enriched with Effective Micro-organisms (EM), a consortium of “good” microbes that can degrade pollutants (see sidebar) such as those contained within the noxious sludge that chokes riverbeds.
Sounds too good to be true? It is. Before everyone gets all excited over these wonderballs, here are some words of caution from scientists and even EM advocates themselves: they are not a cure-all to the problem of polluted rivers. The efficacy of EM mudballs will not last – not when pollutants continue pouring into rivers.
So while EM can work wonders, many question its long-term viability – particularly in Malaysia where rivers are still a toxic brew of rubbish, sewage, industrial effluent, eroded soils, chemical-laced runoffs from farms, untreated grey water (from kitchens and bathrooms), stormwater and nasty runoffs from wet markets,pasar malam sites, eateries, car washes and car workshops.