Compost Testing and Certification

Composting depends on microbes.

Composting required specific thermophilic microorganisms, as well as other organisms to successfully make nutrient rich compost

Composting requires specific thermophilic microbes, as well as other soil organisms, to successfully make usable and nutrient rich compost.

Whether consuming biodegradable plastics and packaging, or converting food and agricultural by-products into usable soil amendments (compost, fertilizer, or mulch), microbes have an important role both within natural settings and in controlled waste disposal systems.

Knowing how well the microbes consume a given feed stock helps to determine the value of a material or finished product.

This is commonly done by using standard biodegradation tests as ASTM D6400 or as part of quality assurance testing, such as as Certified Compostable testing and USCC STA testing.

Choosing the right approach depends on the intended use of the product.  For compostable plastics and other solids that will make their way to a commercial compost facility, they must show a level of disintegration in order to be acclimated into the compost at the facility.

For actual compost used for soil, there are other measures that need to be taken and samples are tested against different pathogenic organisms to assure that their product is of high quality and safe to use for agriculture and other food production.
[efaccordion id=”faqs”][efitems title=”Certified Compostable Testing” text=”Assuring the quality of biodegradable plastics, packaging or finished products can be crucial for market acceptance and repeat orders.  At Situ Biosciences, certification can be achieved in as little as 6 months, provided the formulation or input sources stay the same (for a minimum of 2 batches). We focus solely on the testing and include the certificate at no additional cost. Annual and long-term certification options are available.”]
[efitems title=”Commercial Compost Certification” text=”From a static perspective, composting is fairly straight forward: compost windrows, plots or bins need constant mixing, carbon sources, and the right temperature and moisture for the microbes to consume the input materials.

However, turning a compost into a commercial grade, value-enhanced product is not as easy as it sounds. The United States Composting Council’s USCC STA certification standard is one step producers can take in assuring the quality and assessing the potential value of their compost.”]

Contact the lab at 847-483-9950 or at for more information.