Conversion of Municipal bio solid waste into probiotic soil conditioner: A case study of Kolhapur, India

Ghatnekar, S.D., Ghatnekar , S.S., Ghalsasi – Dighe, D.S., Biotechnology Resource Centre, India



Everyday 160-170 tonnes of municipal bio-solid waste is collected by Kolhapur Municipal Corporation and handed over to Zoom Biofertilizers Pvt. Ltd. to convert it into useful soil conditioners. Using state-of-the-art biotechnology developed by Biotechnology Resource Centre (BRC), Mumbai, the waste is successfully converted into organic compost ‘Harit Karveer’ and biofertilizer ‘Hortizoom’.

The collected bio-solid waste is subjected to physical and magnetic segregation systems to weed out degradable and non-degradable materials. Thereafter segregated bio-solids are taken to trommel through conveyer system for further segregation.

Approximately 85-90 tonnes of the bio-solid waste from trommel then transferred to well-constructed windrows everyday. This biomass on each of the windrow is further turned upside down by windrow turner and every third day inoculated with specific bio-cultures. These microbial brigades of degraders, deodorizers, enrichers, fixers, and solubilizers are developed by BRC on site. Within 18 days, aerobic degraders and deodorizers convert the obnoxious waste into bio-safe probiotics. These speciality bio-cultures developed by BRC have reduced the normal 45 days composting cycle to mere 18 days. This project is only of its kind in India to acclaim carbon credits because of the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM).

Keywords: Aerobic degraders, bio-clean, bio-cultures, biomass, bio-safe, bio-solids, carbon credits, soil conditioner, deodorizers, solubilizers, fixers, enrichers, trommel, and windrow turner.


 In India, the rapid shift of living habits in concurrence with the accelerated development in industrialization and population growth has significantly influenced the quantity of solid waste generation. Kolhapur is one of the prominent agro-industrial hubs in the State of Maharashtra, India. The municipal bio-solid waste (MBSW) generation rate of this rapidly growing city is as high as 160-170 tons/day (Picture 1). This waste mainly consists of degradable as well as non-degradable materials from houses, shops, vegetable markets, construction sites etc. However, majority of the waste is useful. This waste can be broadly classified into the categories shown in table 1.

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