The composting of winery waste is an alternative to the traditional disposal of residues, and also involves a commitment to reducing the production of waste products. We studied two residues (sludge and grape stalks), mixed in two proportions (1:1 and 1:2 sludge and grape stalks (v/v)), and we also examined the effects of grinding the grape stalks. Our results showed that composting the assayed materials was possible. Best results were obtained in the compost heap in which the residues were mixed in the proportion 1:2, and where the grape stalks had been previously ground. Optimum results required a moisture around 55% and a maximum temperature around 65°C and an oxygen concentration not lower than 5-10%. The resulting compost had a high agronomic value and is particularly suitable for the soils of the vineyards which have a very low organic matter content. The compost can be reintroduced into the production system, thereby closing the residual material cycle. © 2004 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
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