Natural Resources Management and Environmental Sciences Department
BS in Earth Sciences
Anaerobic composting may be a way to eradicate Escherichia coli (E. coli) in viscera from cattle. The presence of potentially harmful E. coli would account for one of the reasons that viscera by law cannot currently be disposed of on a ranch premises. Investigating this to find whether E. coli could be eradicated through this process could reduce inconvenience for ranchers to have local slaughters in California and would be more sustainable as more nutrients would return to the ranch land. This study was done by using E. coli inoculated viscera, which was then put it into Bokashicycle anaerobic composting cyclettes. Then after the process had run the cycle, the cyclettes were opened and again tested for the presence of E. coli. The cylette results varied, but all the cyclettes significantly reduced their E. coli concentrations. One cyclette reduced E. coli quantities to zero. This process was not perfected in this short study, but the results show much promise to the future as a potential method of eradicating E. coli from viscera.