Rapid Composting: A Solution for Elephant Dung Management in Captive Centres
We investigated methods for rapid composting of elephant dung to support management of waste generated in establishments holding captive elephants. Elephant dung treated with effective microorganisms (EM) or urea alone, both EM and urea, and untreated dung were composted for 45 days. C:N ratios of treatments were estimated at 10-day intervals. Phytotoxicity and maturity of compost were evaluated after 45 days by a germination bioassay. Addition of urea decreased the C:N ratio more rapidly. EM and urea treatment resulted in an optimum C:N ratio of 22:1 after 20 days. Phytotoxicity was lowest in dung composted with EM and urea. Maturity of compost as indicated by seedling tolerance index was highest in EM and urea treatment. We conclude that EM and urea treatment results in the fastest composting and provides the best compost.