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Waste Manag. 2015 Jan;35:68-80. doi: 10.1016/j.wasman.2014.09.026. Epub 2014 Oct 29.

The use of fly larvae for organic waste treatment.

Author information

1
Institute of Zoology, Slovak Academy of Sciences, Dúbravská cesta 9, 845 06 Bratislava, Slovakia; Scientica s.r.o., Hybešova 33, 831 06 Bratislava, Slovakia. Electronic address: helena.cickova@savba.sk.
2
Department of Animal and Dairy Science, University of Georgia Tifton Campus, 2360 Rainwater Road, Tifton, GA 31793, USA. Electronic address: newtongl@uga.edu.
3
Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics, University of Georgia Tifton Campus, 2360 Rainwater Road, Tifton, GA 31793, USA. Electronic address: clacy@uga.edu.
4
Institute of Zoology, Slovak Academy of Sciences, Dúbravská cesta 9, 845 06 Bratislava, Slovakia. Electronic address: milan.kozanek@savba.sk.

Abstract

The idea of using fly larvae for processing of organic waste was proposed almost 100 years ago. Since then, numerous laboratory studies have shown that several fly species are well suited for biodegradation of organic waste, with the house fly (Musca domestica L.) and the black soldier fly (Hermetia illucens L.) being the most extensively studied insects for this purpose. House fly larvae develop well in manure of animals fed a mixed diet, while black soldier fly larvae accept a greater variety of decaying organic matter. Blow fly and flesh fly maggots are better suited for biodegradation of meat processing waste. The larvae of these insects have been successfully used to reduce mass of animal manure, fecal sludge, municipal waste, food scrapes, restaurant and market waste, as well as plant residues left after oil extraction. Higher yields of larvae are produced on nutrient-rich wastes (meat processing waste, food waste) than on manure or plant residues. Larvae may be used as animal feed or for production of secondary products (biodiesel, biologically active substances). Waste residue becomes valuable fertilizer. During biodegradation the temperature of the substrate rises, pH changes from neutral to alkaline, ammonia release increases, and moisture decreases. Microbial load of some pathogens can be substantially reduced. Both larvae and digested residue may require further treatment to eliminate pathogens. Facilities utilizing natural fly populations, as well as pilot and full-scale plants with laboratory-reared fly populations have been shown to be effective and economically feasible. The major obstacles associated with the production of fly larvae from organic waste on an industrial scale seem to be technological aspects of scaling-up the production capacity, insufficient knowledge of fly biology necessary to produce large amounts of eggs, and current legislation. Technological innovations could greatly improve performance of the biodegradation facilities and decrease production costs.

KEYWORDS:

Agricultural waste; Bioconversion; Food waste; Maggot; Manure

PMID:
25453313
DOI:
10.1016/j.wasman.2014.09.026
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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