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Rajiv K Sinha*
Brijalkumar K Soni
Upendra Patel
Zheng Li
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Rajiv K Sinha*
Brijalkumar K Soni
Upendra Patel
Zheng Li
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Journal of Environment and Waste Management

Earthworms for safe and useful management of solid wastes and wastewaters, remediation of contaminated soils and restoration of soil fertility, promotion of organic farming and mitigation of global warming: A review

*Rajiv K. Sinha, Upendra Patel, Brijalkumar K. Soni, Zheng Li

Accepted 1 May, 2014.

Citation: Sinha RK, Patel U, Soni BK, Li Z (2014). Earthworms for safe and useful management of solid wastes and wastewaters, remediation of contaminated soils and restoration of fertility, promotion of organic farming and mitigation of global warming: A Review. Journal of Environment and Waste Management, 1(1): 011-025.

Copyright: © 2014 Sinha et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are cited.

Abstract

The traditional methods of solid waste management by disposal in ‘waste landfills’; wastewater treatment by ‘sewage treatment plants’; land remediation by ‘earth cutting and soil excavation’; and agriculture production by ‘aggressive tillage and land plough’ & use of agrochemicals are all highly expensive & also pollute the environment, emit greenhouse gases inducing global warming. Vermicomposting by earthworms can divert 60-70 % solid wastes from landfills. Vermifiltration involves ‘low energy’ and no ‘sludge’ is formed which requires safe disposal in landfills. Vermiremediation is ‘on-site’ without earth cutting and soil excavation. With continued use of vermicompost farm soils becomes too soft requiring very low tillage. Earthworms works as natural ploughman. We have successfully experimented in ‘vermicomposting of solid wastes’, ‘vermifiltration of ‘municipal and industrial wastewater’, ‘vermiremediation of chemically contaminated soils’ and ‘vermi-agroproduction of cereal and vegetables crops’ with amazing results. Wastes are degraded by over 75% faster & the end-product is highly nutritive organic fertilizer; BOD and TDSS of wastewater is reduced by over 95% & the water become ‘disinfected & detoxified’ to be used in agriculture; chemicals from the contaminated soils are significantly removed also making it fertile; growths of crop plants are enhanced by 30–40% higher over chemical fertilizers by vermicompost.

Keywords: Soil vermi-remediation, waste vermi-composting, wastewater vermi-filtration, health protective organic foods by vermicompost