One potential solution to efficiently manage our municipal solid wastes is by using effective microbes or EM. It is a Japanese technology developed during the 1980s and is seen to reduce the volume of piled solid wastes, prolong the lifespan of our landfills and other disposal facilities, and can effectively treat wastewater and effluents such as sewages and other discharges.
The use of EM in the management of solid wastes is not new in the Philippines. There are several private companies in the country that already developed products, in liquid or powder form. A one liter of which will then be diluted to 100 liters of water, before it is sprayed to piles of solid wastes so that it will break down into soil in a short span of time, like days or weeks. The process effectively digested the solid wastes therefore removing the foul odor present in piled mixed or biodegradable solid wastes.
One of those who developed EM products claimed that they are using microbes that are naturally-occurring. Present in these products include yeast which work for the degradation of organic products. Other elements presents are Lactic acid bacteria, Photosynthetic bacteria, Actinomycetes and Fungi.
Therefore, the overall results are its benefits to ecosystem.
EM benefited the ecosystem because it helps restore the nutrients and made it available in the soil. It also helps in the disease control and management, treatment of wastewater, among others. Its most significant benefit is the restoration of the high nutrient and productivity of the soil as a result of the multiplication of beneficial microbes that will stay on the soil.
But the most important uses and benefits of EM is its ability to remove and reduce unpleasant odor in solid wastes, and rapid decomposition of all these biodegradable and compostable materials.
Unpleasant odor in our landfills and disposal facilities has been a never-ending problem to our local leaders, solid waste managers, and even to nearby residents whose residential houses are just within less than a kilometer from the landfills. They will suffer these unbearable odor, days and night, because the mixed solid wastes triggered these very foul odors, which already poses health risks to local residents, and to individuals exposed to it.
A zoologist based in Bukidnon province in Mindanao, who among those who advocated for the use of EM in solid waste management, claimed that in an experiment applying shock dose of EM products resulted the decomposition of corn cobbs as it turned into soil in less than 30 days. It proves that there is a fast decomposition of solid wastes using EM.
Before it was introduced as a potential solution to solid waste management, it was widely used in agriculture specifically by livestock raisers in piggery and poultry farms, specifically in odor reduction.
The EM enable a microbial treatment process as a way to bioremediate. Bioremediation is defined as the use of either naturally occurring or deliberately introduced microorganisms or other forms of life to consume and break down environmental pollutants, in order to clean up a polluted site. Therefore, these living organisms help transform, destroy and immobilize contaminants thus, the foul odor has been reduced or eliminated.
The process of treatment and detoxification that occurred through the use of EM has transformed the once-polluted site into a safer one, and no longer hazardous to human health and the environment.
Therefore, it is now high time for us, to make good use of these EM in reducing or minimizing foul odors in caused by piled solid wastes. In waste management facilities and landfills, it helps extend the lifespan of our landfill since the EM efficiently reduce the volume of our solid wastes after it breaks down rapidly some biodegradable materials and turn it into soil. It produced not only an ordinary soil, but rather a nutrient-rich soil which can help us in growing and producing agricultural crops.