Composting in windrow systems involves mixing an organic waste with inexpensive bulking agents (wood chips, leaves, corncobs, bark, peanut and rice husks) to create a structurally rigid matrix, to diminish heat transfer from the matrix to the ambient environment, to increase the treatment temperature and to increase the oxygen transfer rate. The mixed matter is stacked in 1-2 m high rows called windrows. The mixtures are turned over periodically (2 to 3 times per week) by mechanical means to expose the organic matter to ambient oxygen. Aerobic and partially anaerobic microorganisms, which are present in the waste or were added from previously produced compost, will grow in the organic waste. Owing to the biooxidation and release of energy, the temperature in the pile will rise. This is accompanied by successional changes in the dominant microbial communities, from less thermoresistant to more thermophilic ones. This composting process ranges from 30 to 60 days in duration.
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