Compost firms urged to register for quality control

Compost producers in England and Wales are being urged to sign up to a certification scheme to ensure customers can use their compost without restrictions.

The Environment Agency and WRAP (the Waste & Resources Action Programme) have reminded producers they must be registered with The Composting Association for PAS 100 and Quality Protocol certification by November 15.

The move is the next key step in the phased introduction of the Quality Protocol for Compost, which sets out criteria for the production of quality compost from biodegradable waste.

It will mean customers can use the compost without an Environment Agency waste exemption or permit.

Martin Brocklehurst, head of external programmes for the Environment Agency, said: “The Quality Protocol allows operators to manufacture quality compost free of the waste tag.

“This makes compost a more marketable product and allows it to be spread on land without the need for an Environment Agency waste exemption.”

Dr Richard Swannell, joint project executive for the Waste Protocols Project, said: “The development of the Quality Protocol means that key markets such as landscaping, agriculture and horticulture can be confident that the compost they are buying will be of a high environmental standard.

“This makes it easier for businesses to market their compost as a desirable quality product.”

The Quality Protocol, which sets out the criteria for the production of quality compost from different types of biowaste, like food and garden plant waste, is also being revised following advice from The Composting Association and the Environmental Services Association.

The changes will see a procedure put in place for adding new biowastes to a list of acceptable materials for use in compost.

Mr Brocklehurst said: “These additional wastes must be agreed by the Environment Agency to ensure the door isn’t being opened to sham operators.”

Kate Martin

Action inspires action. Stay ahead of the curve with sustainability and energy newsletters from edie