May 7, 2024 | Composting, Food Waste, Markets, Policies + Regulations, Storm Water Management

Standardizing Compost In Minnesota

Top: Compost screening at municipal yard trimmings facility. Photo by Doug Pinkerton

​For many years, state agencies in Minnesota that use compost have expressed concerns over the lack of standards for compost used in their projects. “The discussion focused on the lack of consistent quality of compost products created from yard waste and yard waste/food waste products,” explains the Minnesota Composting Council (MNCC), which commissioned a White Paper, Standardizing Compost by Defining Properties, Products and Systems in Minnesota.  “Of particular concern was immature compost that damaged the plantings in projects and the presence of invasive species from substandard compost products. These issues have led to state agencies, counties, and cities hesitating to use compost in their projects.” A significant recommendation in the paper was to establish a compost certification program that would assure the quality of compost used on state or private company projects. To move the recommendation forward, the MNCC is entering discussions with the MN Crop Improvement Association, which certifies seed used in all kinds of projects, both public and private. Another recommendation is for the state to officially adopt the national definition of compost approved by the American Association of Plant Food Control Officials.

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