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Innovative Bokashi Composting

Zaktualizowano: 23 cze 2021

Another Kokoza Festival webinar was called Slovenian Way of Giving Back to Nature focused on Bokashi composting specifically, in which Leja Goljat and Darko Suman discussed how Bokashi composting functions and different composting products their company Plastika Skaza sells. First, they discussed how microorganisms have a significant role in nutrient cycling, biodegradation, and food spoilage amongst other things. Although there are some harmful microorganisms, beneficial microorganisms can make nutrients more available for plants and decrease plant disease.

The exploration of Bokashi composting began with Dr. Teruo Higa. In 1980, he discovered that an optimal mix of beneficial microorganisms promoted healthy plant growth, which led to the establishment of effective microorganisms. Some examples include populations of lactic acid bacteria and yeasts. Compost first ferments and then is decomposed by effective microorganisms, in which it is broken down in soil and absorbed by the surrounding plants.

Bokashi composting allows you to collect bio-waste in a user-friendly way that does not attract insects or emit an odor. The process is much faster and contains more nutrients than normal composting. The mission of their company Plastika Skaza is to help change the habits of people while preserving the planet. They discussed how bio-waste is a global issue as bio-waste makes up 34% of municipal waste in the European Union and 57% of bio-waste ends up in mixed municipal waste, instead of being composted.

Bokashi composting is the fermentation of bio waste with liquid effective microorganisms and Bokashi bran, in which the resulting products are organic waste and fermentation liquid. When comparing Bokashi composting and traditional composting, it takes approximately 2-3 months for complete decomposition in Bokashi composting while it takes 3-6 months for traditional compost to fully decompose. Additionally in traditional composting, CO2 is released which increases the concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. Goljat and Suman described the three different types of Bokashi composters sold by Plastika Skaza which are made out of different recycled materials including recycled fishing nets. These models are perfect for those without access to a garden to easily compost their food waste.

The specific process of Bokashi composting consists of first adding 20 mL of Bokashi bran to the bottom, then adding smaller pieces of bio-waste, and then adding 20 more mL of Bokashi bran after each new layer. Then press and cover the composter in which a small compressor squeezes out air and makes anaerobic conditions for microorganisms to be able to carry out fermentation. You can then drain the fermentation liquid every 2-5 days. Smaller pieces of bio-waste are preferred to larger pieces because they make the processes more efficient. Suitable bio waste examples include fruit, cheese, small bones, wilted flowers, and tissues. Unsuitable bio waste includes liquids such as vinegar, juice, milk, and larger bones, ashes, and paper. The composter should be at room temperature. The composters are fairly easy to manage but people should ensure the composter avoids direct sunlight, extreme temperatures, giving spoiled bran, or adding rotten food.

Goljat and Suman also offered tips and tricks for the audience. They discussed how you should wait about two weeks for fermentation and when your composter becomes full, you should bury the decomposed waste in your garden. For a general timeline, in 2 weeks bio-waste will also completely change its shape, at 5 weeks the amount of bio-waste is reduced and only smaller pieces are visible, and at 2 months, the bio-waste is almost unrecognizable. For the future, Plastika Skaza is working on a device that tells you when you have Bokashi liquid in the bottom portion to empty.

Bokashi composting offers an amazing opportunity for people to individually compost from the luxury of their own homes and reduce the amount of insects and sometimes traditional unpleasant odors. Alongside Plastika Skaza, Treecelet and BokashiCompost also offer Bokashi composters for your home. Treecelet is based in Slovenia and will plant one tree for every composter purchased. BokashiCompost is based in Belgium and provides a wide variety of Bokashi composting starter kits for every person. People can truly take advantage of Bokashi composting to reduce the amount of bio-waste in municipal landfills and instead create a circular system to reuse the bio-waste to nourish the soil.

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