A general definition of 'agricultural waste' is not available in the literature. According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA), agricultural waste is the byproducts generated by the rearing of animals and the production and harvest of crops or trees. Animal waste, a large component of agricultural waste, includes waste (e.g., feed waste, bedding and litter, and feedlot and paddock runoff) from livestock, dairy, and other animal-related agricultural and farming practices. Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) defines 'agricultural waste' as waste produced as a result of various agricultural operations including manure and other wastes from farms, poultry houses and slaughterhouses; harvest waste; fertilizer run-off from fields; pesticides that enter into water, air or soils; and salt and silt drained from fields. In the context of this chapter, agricultural waste is defined as waste in the form of the crop residues in the farm, manure from livestock operations, including dairy and piggery effluent, and poultry litter.
Table 1. Characteristics of agricultural solid waste (Source: Loehr 1978)
Agricultural activity Crop production and harvest
Fruit and vegetable processing
Dairy product processing Leather tanning
Types of waste Straw, stover
Biological sludges, trimmings, peels, leaves and stems, soil, seeds and pits
Biological sludges, bagasse, pulp, lime mud, filter mud
Blood, bones, feather, litter, manures, liquid effluent
Biological sludges Fleshings, hair, raw and tanned hid trimmings, lime and chrome sludge, grease Bran, straw, hull
Stover, cobs, husk trunk, leaves, coco meal
Method of disposal Land-application, burning, plowing under Landfill, animal feed, land application, burning
Landfill, burning, composting animal feed
Landfill, land spreading Rendering, by-product recovery, landfill, land-spreading Feeds, mulch/soil conditioner, packaging material for glass and ceramics
Feeds, vinegar, activated carbon, coir products
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