Looking for an adequate final disposal of organic matter and contributing to the reduction of the carbon footprint, the CES University of Medellín leads a project that takes advantage of animal mortality for the creation of composting.
Composting is a biological decomposition of organic matter, in this case animal, by means of microorganisms that act under aerobic conditions, generating a stabilization of the organic substrate called compost, free of pathogens and rich in organic and inorganic nutrients.
The initiative at the University emerged in 2016 as part of an investigation by students and teachers of the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine and Zootechnics, in which animal composting was evaluated as an alternative to their traditional management.
"For several years, the CES University decided to bet on environmental sustainability, generating more sustainable and efficient academic, administrative and operational processes," said Tatiana Molina Velásquez, head of the University's Sustainability Office.
Since its implementation, in 2018, the institution has managed 4,452 kilograms (4.4 tons) of production animals, in 19.2 m3 generating 3073.28 kg (3 tons) of compost for use as fertilizer. The species that have been part of the composting process are equines, pigs and bovines that come from natural deaths in the Villa Elisa farm, which is the site of academic practices of the Faculty and in the Veterinary and Zootechnical Center, always with the consent informed and authorization of the owner of the animal.
"The positive impacts of this biological process are the reduction in emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) and nitrous oxide (N2O), both greenhouse gases (GHG), which are generated by transportation and incineration of mortality and use of chemical nitrogen fertilizers ” , explained Gregory Mejía Sandoval, professor at the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine and Zootechnics of the institution.
Currently, the fertilizer is used in the green and productive areas of the University headquarters located in Medellín, Envigado and Sabaneta.