Vermicomposting is at suitable methods for stabilization and converting of sewage sludge into useful products. To investigate the effects of bulking material on vermicompost quality, an experiment was conducted in a factorial design with three replications. In this experiment, the final dried sludge in lagoons was mixed with bulking materials (woodchips, three leaves, and wheat straw) in four mixing proportion with swage sludge (0, 15, 30 and 45%, V/V). Chemical properties of bulking materials, sewage sludge, and produced vermicomposts were determined. Vermicomposts had relatively low pH and electrical conductivity (EC). The nutrients content of vermicompost, especially N, P, Fe, and Zn, were high. These properties showed its suitable quality for use in agriculture. Heavy metals concentrations of vermicomposts, except Zn, were lower than recommended values by EPA. Mixing of Bulking materials with sewage sludge decreased pH, N, Pb, Co, and Cd, but increased Ca, Mg, Fe, Cu, Mn, Zn, and Ni content of produced vermicomposts. In most cases, the concentrations of nutrients were higher in 30% mixing proportion. Therefore, 30% (v/v) mixing of bulking material with sewage sludge is recommended for vermicompost production.
Vermicompost; sewage sludge; bulking materials; heavy metals; Eisenia foetid