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If it isn’t STA compost what is it?

The question posed above may, at first glance, appear to be a bit silly. However, if you are seriously thinking about making compost, specifying compost or purchasing compost, you want to know exactly what you are purchasing? The US Composting Council’s Seal of Testing Assurance Program (‘STA’) is a compost testing, labeling and information disclosure program designed to give you the information you need to get the maximum benefit from the use of compost.

The program was created in 2000 and is the consensus of many of the leading compost research scientists in the United States. There was no other compost testing program available to compost producers or compost buyers that give you this type of information. The science behind the development of the STA Program and the various tests that are used is contained in ‘Test Methods for the Examination of Composting & Compost’ (‘TMECC’). This publication includes a suite of physical, chemical and biological tests. These were selected to help both compost producer and purchaser to determine if the compost they are considering is suitable for the use that they are planning, and to help them compare various compost products using a testing program that can be performed by a group of independent, certified labs across the country and in Canada.

The information contained in this area of the USCC website will provide you with a thorough explanation of all of the ‘what’s and why’s’ of the STA Program and will help you get started in enrolling your compost product.

Related Downloads

State Department of Transportation STA landscape specifications.
Please check with the specific DOT for the most current specification as these may be revised slightly with time. Some states have multiple STA specifications for different compost applications.