Thoughts and Experiences on using Municipal Compost

Hi there,

I am starting a farm near Tirunelveli, Tamil Nadu. At Tirunelveli, I had seen numerous small “Municipal Micro-Composting” facilities in my locality. Last week I had visited some of them to check the feasibility of procuring it. In a couple of such facilities, I could see small plastic wrappers and empty medicine sheets which got me a little worried. Upon speaking to the officials from the municipal corporation, they assured me that all non-compostable materials shall be sieved/filtered before they are being sold. The price of compost seem to be affordable as well.

I do know some of my questions are geography-specific and pertinent to local practices. But would love to hear your thoughts on the following.

Do any of you have experience using such compost ?
Have any of you tested them at a lab for presence of any chemicals/harmful substances which could potentially be detrimental soil health ?
Are there any standard practices that I can undertake to test the quality of the compost visually or from texture ? There seems to be more than 10 such facilities from where I could source the compost. Being new to farming/ag , its difficult to assess the quality of compost by just looking at them.

Thanks in advance,
Ashwath Ramesh

Hi, I had the misfortune of ordering 6 tonnes of the city compost for my farm and from the time it came to the farm till date - it has been covered under a layer of soil and left like that for the last 4 months.

Apart from the fact that the composting process was not complete to a heap of paper and rubber products in the mix there was just no way that i could spend labour hours to clean up the mess and then use the product. Thankfully no medical waste found but with people not really very clear about what to throw and what not to throw in waste … its still a hit and miss…

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Not suitable if you are growing crops from the pure Organic point of view because the residue from these non-compostible material will enter the food chain over a period of time and will take years to decompose. Better look for sourcing from exclusive dairy or goat farms.

Yes, I avoid city compost for my farms. Even vermicompost based on city compost is a no no for me.