Soil samples were collected from a dump site, isolations and identification of microorganisms were carried out. Bacteria isolated were Bacillus subtilis, Micrococcus luteus and Clostridium sp. while the fungi isolated were Penicillium sp., Fusarium sambucinum and Aspergillus niger. The ability of the isolates to utilize polyethylene for growth in liquid and solid culture media was investigated. At the end of 5 months, the result showed an increase in all bacteria cell count in both liquid and solid media. The highest weight loss in polyethylene inoculated with bacterial isolates under liquid culture was Bacillus subtilis (7.93%) followed by Micrococcus luteus (7.33%) and the least was observed in Clostridium spp (5.53%). For fungal isolates, Fusarium sambucinum caused the highest weight loss (16.06%) followed by Penicillium spp (8.20%) and the least was found in Aspergillus niger (4.53%). This reveals that these microorganisms could degrade polyethylene sample but faster in liquid than solid medium.
Keywords: Biodegradation, polyethylene, microorganism and dump site.