Sustainable waste management at household level with black soldier fly larvae (Hermetia illucens)

Saleha Mahmood, Christian Zurbrügg, Amtul Bari Tabinda, Azhar Ali, Adil Ashraf

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Waste management service is inefficient in peri-urban and rural areas where biowaste is a major component of the household waste produced. Biowaste recycling using black soldier fly larvae (BSFL) at source can reduce the burden on the authorities and add economic value to a yet underutilized resource. This study evaluated the practicability of BSFL bin use at the household level to handle kitchen biowaste by placing three bins per house after 15 days interval of larval feeding. It was found that 50% of the households contacted cooperated well to continue the experiment. A set of instructions for handling BSFL bins based on reasons of agreement and disagreement was developed and shared. Key parameters to evaluate waste treatment performance and larval development were waste dry matter weight reduction (89.66%, SD 6.77%), volumetric reduction (81.3%, SD 4.8), final prepupal dry weight (69 mg/larvae, SD 7.1), biomass conversion rate (12.9%, SD 1.7), metabolism (77.3%, SD 6.0) and residue (10.4%, SD 6.8). On average, 87.7% (SD 9.1) of waste was actually digested, with 16.6% (SD 2.2) efficiently converted into biomass. Initial moisture content of waste was found to be more significant for achieving greater waste dry weight reduction as compared with the feeding rate. Source separation of biowaste and cooperation between households and authorities may lead to successful implementation of BSFL-assisted biowaste bins.

Original languageEnglish
Article number9722
Issue number17
Publication statusPublished - 30 Aug 2021


  • Biowaste treatment
  • Black soldier fly larvae
  • Household waste
  • Organic waste recycling


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