JCCC Honors Journal


Composting is the aerobic method of using microbes to convert organic waste into a usable soil amendment. Many compost analyses have focused on nutrient testing rather than genomic analysis. However, bacterial microbes play a vital role in the degradation of organic plant matter in the formation of compost soil amendments [1]. Of the studies that have examined microbial life within compost systems, common findings have been that Firmicutes, Actinobacteria, Proteobacteria, and Bacteroidetes are the most prevalent phyla [2, 3, 4]. Further examination of the presence and impact of microbes in the composting process is still needed. Evaluating the microbial life through a multi-step food waste composting system can contribute to the determination of a baseline for similar systems and assist in the understanding of how microbial life contributes to soil amendments.