Compost Definition
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STA Certified Compost

Definition of Compost

Knowing what compost is (and what it’s not) is an important first step in ensuring that you use compost in the best way possible. Below is the official definition for what can be considered compost.


Definition of Compost:  The term “Compost Product(s)” shall include EITHER of the following two numbered items:



1)    An item, material or finished article sold in commerce that meets ALL of the following criteria:

a.Is the product manufactured through the controlled aerobic, biological decomposition of biodegradable materials


b.Has undergone mesophilic and thermophilic temperatures, which significantly reduces the viability of pathogens and weed seeds, and stabilizes the carbon such that it is beneficial to plant growth


c.Is typically used as a soil amendment, but may also contribute plant nutrients


d.Bears little physical resemblance to the raw material from which it originated


e.Is an organic matter source that has the unique ability to improve the chemical, physical, and biological characteristics of soils or growing media


f.The sanitization through the generation of thermophilic heat shall meet the standards of the Processes to Further Reduce Pathogens (PFRP), as defined by the Code of Federal Regulations Title 40, Part 503, Appendix B, Section B.



2)    Vermicompost/worm castings (worm manure) for which all feedstocks have been composted prior to their being fed to the worms AND those feedstocks meet PFRP (Processes to Further Reduce Pathogens).