Decline in microbial activity does not necessarily indicate an end to biodegradation in MSW-biowaste: a case study

Iain MacLeod, A. L. Savage, Ole Pahl, Jim Baird

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The aim of this study was to examine whether a decline in microbial activity (i.e., CO2 output) during the biodegradation of municipal solid waste (MSW) indicated an end to biodegradation and the appearance of a stable, final product. As the organic fraction of MSW was biodegraded in an 8 clamp Cambridge Batch System composter, CO2 output declined by 50% and moisture content at the end of the process was 2/kg dry matter (DM)) which exceeded draft EU biowaste directive (2001) guidelines (10,000 mg O2/kg DM).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)8626-8630
Number of pages5
JournalBioresource Technology
Issue number18
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2008



  • biodegradation
  • biowaste
  • microbial activity

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