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Abstract

Every habitation produce a considerable amount of biodegradable wastes that are discarded via dumping at various sites, in landfills, being burnt or in dumped in the river systems. Guyana is no exception - the water ways are polluted with plants, grass is constantly mowed from lawns, huge amounts of market refuse on a daily basis - contributes to unsightly land pollution. Vermicomposting is the best solution to getting rid of these biodegradable waste materials. Composting of grass, water hyacinth and a combination of grass with water hyacinth were successful. Final compost yields were at least 30%. This represents a huge decrease in compost volume. Therefore, vermiculture is a very efficient method to reduce biodegradable solid waste. The physic-chemical and biological properties of the composts were responsible to enhance growth and yield of Brassica chinensis. This was confirmed from final soil analysis. There are two major reasons why vermicomposting is better. Waste is converted faster. Conventional composting takes weeks to months to convert your organic matter to compost and is very labor intensive. By using earthworms, waste is rapidly turned into vermicompost. The vermicompost is far superior to conventional compost. The worm castings in the vermicompost have nutrients that are highly utilizable by plants and the castings have a mucous coating which allows the nutrients to "time release". Vermicompost forms fine stable granular organic matter that assist in the aeration, released mucus that are hygroscopic absorbs water and prevents water logging and improves water holding capacity. Vermicompost added to the soil releases nutrient slowly and consistently and enables the plant to absorb these nutrients more readily. Soils enriched with vermicompost provide additional substances that are not found in the chemicals Earthworms play a major role in the formation of vermicompost. Vermicompost has higher microorganism content and the activities of microorganisms (Actinomycetes, Azotobacter, Nitrobacter, Nitrosomonas and Aspergillus) is responsible for enhanced plant productivity much more than would be possible from the mere conversion of mineral nutrients into more plant-available forms. Also, during this period, these is a reduction of Gram negative cocci bacteria and corresponding increase in Gram positive bacilli as time progresses towards the maturity of the vermicompost in all three compost samples. This would indicate a healthier finished product that is highly beneficial to plant growth.

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