UK compost industry breaks 1m tonne barrier as heavyweight joins certified scheme

The British biowaste industry has reached a new milestone with Oxfordshire compost giant Agrivert signing up for certification by the Composting Association.

With an annual production capacity of 65,000 tonnes, Agrivert's entry into the association's BSI PAS 100 scheme brings national production of certified compost up to a million tonnes for the first time.

Agrivert produces and supplies fertiliser to farmers nationwide with all its compost is made from recycled garden waste, such as plant trimmings, prunings and leaves.

It is supplied to landscapers, farmers and garden centres throughout the county and beyond.

Agrivert is the 60th compost producer to join the association's certification scheme.

The 60 producers operate 67 composting processes and manufacture 97 different products suitable for a range of landscaping, horticulture and agriculture applications.

The milestone million tonnes has been welcomed by the Waste & Resources Action Programme (WRAP)

Anne O'Brien, Head of Organics at WRAP, said: "This is such an important milestone for the programme. It illustrates the truly integral nature of BSI PAS 100 within today's composting industry.

"Based on the most recent figures from The Composting Association annual survey, this tonnage represents almost 50% of the total UK processing capacity.

"This demonstrates the high level of commitment to manufacturing quality assured products and the professionalism of the sector."

The BSI Publicly Available Specification (PAS 100) for composted materials was sponsored by WRAP and developed with The Association.

It aims to improve confidence in composted materials among end-users, specifiers and blenders, and helps producers differentiate products that are safe, reliable and of high performance.

The Association has adopted BSI PAS 100 as the specification that composted materials must meet in order to achieve the independently verified Composting Association certification and use of its logo.

Announcing the milestone at The Composting Association's annual conference, chief executive Jane Gilbert said: "Composting is no longer a cottage industry. All across the UK professional composters are reaping the benefits of manufacturing high quality products fit for a range of markets."

Harry Waters, marketing manager of Agrivert, said: "We know there is a large and profitable market for fertiliser but our traditional resource, sewerage, does not suit every field.

"High levels of nitrogen in sewerage can cause the spread of algae bloom which threatens all kinds of pond or stream life.

"Recycled green waste has no similar repercussions so it can be spread in higher volumes. As a result, we now see big growth opportunities in the market for compost."




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