STA Requirements
Share |

STA Certified Compost

Requirements for Compost Manufacturers

Specifics may be found in the full STA Certified Compost Rules


1)     Meet the US Composting Council’s definition of compost.


2)     Stay in compliance with all federal, state, and local regulations and permitting to which the STA Certified Compost product(s) is(are) subject.  Immediately inform the US Composting Council if an issue arises.


3)     Use STA Certified Compost approved labs for testing.  These labs use TMECC test methods and are held to high standards through the STA’s CAP program that tests the labs against each other.


4)     Test STA Certified Compost product(s) according to the frequency determined by the annual wet tonnage finished compost manufactured.  Manufacturer and US Composting Council both receive the test results directly from the labs.


5)     Provide customers with STA Compost Technical Data Sheets (CTDS) including feedstocks and instructions for use.


6)     Meet the EPA testing limits for heavy metals and pathogens in every CTDS for every STA Certified Compost product.


7)     Compost manufacturers sign the STA Certified Compost rules contract through the online form.

8)     Compost manufacturers pay US Composting Council yearly fees for managing the STA Certified Compost program.


9)     Renew contract and payments yearly for each product.


** Please note-

Separate compost products are defined as being any one of the below:

  • Created at separate facilitiesMaterial created at different facilities, all with the same name, is not just one product.  They should be registered as multiple products, one per facility.
  • Created with different feedstocksIf you use the same feedstocks, in the same ratios, at the same facility, that should be registered as one product.  Even if only one feedstock is different, that should be registered as a separate product.  


Derivative products are defined as being STA Certified Compost products that are then changed in any one of the ways below, which do not get re-tested and do not get a new Compost Technical Data Sheet (CTDS):

  • Re-namedThe product's the same, but you or someone else want to distribute it under a different name.
  • ScreenedThe product's the same, but you've changed the sieve size.  Coarse derivative products are acceptable, but the originating compost product must be composted enough to match our definition of compost.
  • Blends/Mixes.  When sand, mulch, potting soil, or another substance are blended or mixed into your compost product.  Must contain at least 25% of your compost product or it cannot be in the program.


Mulch cannot be registered.  A registered compost may be screened to create coarse mulch-like material as a derivative product, but it must match our definition of compost prior to screening.