Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
Chemistry and Pharmacology
Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
Mechanical Engineering, Materials Science, Production Engineering, Mining and Metallurgy, Traffic Engineering, Precision Mechanics
Abstract The degradation of four formulations of yard waste-filled collection bags was evaluated in a field-scale test of 15.5- or 31-m-long windrows at a community yard waste composting site. Variables of bag contents, bag chemical composition, and length of exposure were evaluated. Chemical compositions of the bags included (1) low-density polyethylene (LDPE) + 6% cornstarch + 2 levels of prooxidant, (2) LDPE + 9% cornstarch + prooxidants, and (3) LDPE without cornstarch but with photooxidation enhancers. Results showed that all products weakened and/or disintegrated to some extent. However, the bags with 6% starch disintegrated too slowly to allow timely processing of the compost. The bags with 9% starch and other additives to promote multiple degradation mechanisms degraded at the fastest rate of those evaluated here. The photodegradable bags with solar exposure during composting disintegrated rapidly, but when turned to expose new surfaces to light, further strength losses occurred slowly.
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