chapter  2
14 Pages

Urban Compost: A Socio-economic and Agronomic Evaluation in Kumasi, Ghana

ByNikita S. Eriksen-Hamel, George Danso

Uncollected and poorly managed solid and liquid wastes are a health and environmental hazard, especially to the urban poor who live near informal, and often illegal, waste dumps. The lack of facilities to collect, transport and treat municipal, agricultural and industrial wastes poses a major challenge to the rapidly expanding cities of West Africa. To address this, new and innovative methods of collection, transport, processing and storage need to be identified. Composting of municipal wastes and using the compost for agricultural purposes is a quickly growing and viable option to managing urban wastes in both the developed and developing world (Drechsel and Kunze, 2001). Composting provides the environmental benefit of diverting waste from landfill sites, and health benefits by reducing the survival and spread of pathogens in wastes. Furthermore, the end product is a valuable soil fertilizer. The use of urban composts in urban and periurban agriculture (UA and UPA) effectively closes the nutrient cycle in urban areas and reduces nutrient losses to the environment (Drechsel and Kunze, 2001).