Factsheets and Free Reports

In addition to the resources provided below, there is lots more information available on our LINKS page.

Compost Use
Composting Practices
Health and Safety

Compost and Its Benefits

What is compost and how is it made? This fact sheet summarizes the many physical, chemical and biological benefits that the use of compost brings.

Specifications for Using Compost for Highway E&S Control

These specifications contain all of the technical text found in the “Official” American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) versions found in their 2003 AASHTO Provisional Standards Manual. The Compost for Erosion/Sediment Contol “Filter Berm” is designated as MP 9-03, and the “Compost Blanket” as MP 10-03. For a copy of the official AASHTO specifications contact their Publications Assistant at 202-624-5800.

USCC Factsheet: Washington State Bioengineering

The Washington State DOT (WSDOT) completed a project involving soil bioengineering on problematic slopes. Compost was used as part of the soil bioengineering solution.

USCC Factsheet: Texas DOT – Revegetating Difficult Slopes

The objective of this project was to demonstrate how the utilization of compost could effectively revegetate a barren slope

Best Management Practices (BMPs) for Incorporating Food Residuals into Existing Yard Waste Composting Operations

In response to soaring waste management costs, diminishing landfill space, and the escalating need for more environmentally-responsible practices, EPA is working to promote more integrated solid waste management practices.  Within that framework, EPA Region 3, in cooperation with the US Composting Council, established the goal of creating this Best Management Practices (BMPs) document to assist yard waste composting facilities in expanding operations to include food residuals. These BMPs serve as a guide for that purpose, emphasizing planning and operational considerations as gleaned from experienced industry professionals, and is not intended as a comprehensive technical guide to composting.   By simplifying what is involved in composting food residuals, it is hoped that more composting will occur; and occur in a safe and sustainable manner.

Herbicide Carryover

Herbicide Carryover in Manure and Hay: Caution to Organic Farmers and Home Gardeners
by Jeanine Davis, North Carolina Extension Horticultural Specialist, June 2009
There have been a number of reports from organic farmers and home gardeners of damage to
vegetables following compost application. The symptoms exhibited are twisted, cupped, and elongated leaves; misshapen fruit; reduced yield; death of young plants; and poor seed germination. One possibility for the source of this crop injury is the presence of certain herbicides in manure and compost.

A Practical Safety Manual For the Composting and Mulching Industry

The objective of this manual is to help you establish a safety program that is compliant with regulations and effective in reducing or eliminating safety hazards.

From the University of Tennessee Center for Industrial Services. Mr. Bryan Lane, CIS Occupational Safety and Health Consultant, researched and produced this manual.

Composter Alert: New DuPont Herbicide “Imprelis” Will Persist in Compost

The new herbicide is entering the market in every state except California and New York, and despite label warnings to the contrary it will undoubtedly end up in compost via treated grass clippings. There are still many unknowns.  This fact sheet alerts composters to this threat and gives some suggestions about what to do.

Stand-Alone Industry Code For Composting

Andrew C. Kessler and Amy McCrae Kessler
BioCycle December 2010, Vol. 51, No. 12, p. 25
Part One of this three part article serries discusses how a stand-alone code for composting will provide robust statistical data of critical value to the finance community and other stakeholders.

COMPOSTING in the U.S. as a commercial activity employing people and  contributing to the economy has been around for decades. Today, there  are over 3,000 commercial composters in the U.S. and thousands more  businesses including service and equipment providers supporting the  processing infrastructure. Despite this size and depth, a number of  fundamental questions about the industry cannot be answered with a great  degree of authority or conviction. How big is the market for compost in  terms of total revenue and product volume? How many people does the  sector employ? How much does it contribute to local, state and national  economies?

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How To Classify The Composting Industry

BioCycle April 2011, Vol. 52, No. 4, p. 17
Andrew C. Kessler, Amy McCrae Kessler and Cara Unterkofler
Part 2 addresses where the composting industry belongs within the North American Industry Classification System. This article examines the options, analyzes alternatives using a common set of criteria and makes a preliminary recommendation.

IN the U.S. today, increasing demand for quality compost and engineered soils from a growing spectrum of users cannot be met with the current processing capacity. Developing the infrastructure of the composting industry to meet these growing market needs will require significant financial investment along with the continued support of local, state and federal government.

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Next Steps To An Industry Code For Composting

Andrew C. Kessler, Amy McCrae Kessler and Cara Unterkofler
BioCycle January 2012, Vol. 53, No. 1, p. 38
Part Three discusses what actions are necessary for the composting industry to gain a stand-alone North American Industry Classification System code. The final article in this series suggests a plan and timeline.

ONCE a thriving industry with 78 percent market share in retail textile products, the U.S. cotton industry declined dramatically in the mid 1960s after the introduction of synthetics, falling to just 34 percent market share in 1975. In what is one of the greatest examples of the power of industry-wide collective action, cotton growers called for industry cooperation and successfully lobbied Congress to pass an act creating a national cotton marketing and research program. The national program relied on a simple yet powerful funding vehicle — cotton producers and importers were assessed a fee, a small portion of every bale of cotton fiber sold in the U.S. This collective action enabled the industry to create Cotton Incorporated, an entity that went on to build an unprecedented marketing campaign (“The Fabric of Our Lives” and the Seal of Cotton) designed to recapture market share for cotton. Today, 8 out of 10 Americans can identify the cotton logo and cotton comprises two-thirds of the fiber market in the U.S.

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