Auteurs : J.S. Lima, J.E.G. de Queiroz, H.B. Freitas

Brazil produces approximately 242,000 t of waste per day, 76% of it being dumped outdoors and only 0.9% recycled, including composting, which is an alternative still little known in Brazil. In search of a better destination for residues produced by domestic activities, composting stands as a feasible alternative. Organic compost from waste may be used for various purposes, among which are soil recovery, commercial production, pastures, lawns and reforestry and agriculture. However, the quality of the compost determines the growth and the development of plants. The effect of compost made from urban waste on corn plant (Zea mays L.) growth was investigated. Two types of compost were used: the selected compost (SC), produced from organic waste selectively collected; and the non-selected compost (NSC), taken from a 15-year-old cell from the Canabrava land-fill, located in Salvador, Bahia, Brazil (altitude 51 m, 12◦22–13◦08S, 38◦08–38◦47W). Corn was seeded in polyethylene pots, with soil-compost mixing substrate in the proportion of 0, 15, 30, 45 and 60 t ha−1 equivalent doses. Chemical analyses of the compost and growth properties of the plant like chlorophyll content; height and stem diameter; aerial and radicular dry biomasses, were used to evaluate compost quality. Plants cultivated with SC presented a superior gain, being of 52.5% in stem diameter, 71.1 and 81.2% in root and stem biomasses, respectively. Chlorophyl content alterations were observed in plants from treatments using 30 t compost ha−1 dose onwards. Conventional and multivariate statistical methods were used to evaluate these results. The beneficial action of organic compost in plant growth was confirmed with this research.

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