Consumer Compost Use Program

The US Composting Council is launching its Consumer Compost Use Program!

Consumer Compost Use Program

What is the Consumer Compost Use Program?

The Consumer Compost Use Program will clearly identify the types of uses that a compost product will be good for. Those uses are:

  • Trees & Shrubs
  • Flower & Vegetable Gardens
  • Lawn

Each compost use classification is represented by easily interpreted icons that reflect the compost’s use (or uses). Only compost producers in the Seal of Testing Assurance program can use these symbols, as they are tied to the STA analytical data. These icons are expected to become part of STA compost producers’ literature, websites and packaging, and will also be available as rack cards in garden centers and nurseries.

“We now have an easy way for the homeowner to identify quality compost products that can be applied to their specific gardening needs.” Frank Franciosi, USCC Executive Director


Along with the Consumer Compost Use Program, the USCC will launch a ‘Strive for 5%’ campaign. This campaign is designed to reinforce the idea promoted by gardening experts that soils should contain at least 5% organic matter, and that to maintain or achieve this level STA compost is the product to use!

Consumer Compost Use Program

About the Consumer Compost Use Program

The Consumer Compost Use Program takes the USCC’s STA Program to the next level, and to the retail consumer, in an easy-to-understand format. The USCC created and has managed the Seal of Testing Assurance Program (STA) since 2000. The STA Program is a compost testing, labeling and information disclosure program whereby compost producers must test their compost anywhere from quarterly to monthly, based on production tonnage. The compost test suite, arrived at through a consensus process that included the leading compost research scientists and industry experts from across the US, includes chemical, physical and biological compost tests. It also includes EPA testing for health and safety standards (pathogens and metals). The results, along with feedstock information and specific compost use directions, are required to be disseminated to all prospects and customers.The STA Program has achieved a high level of success among professional users such as: Departments of Transportation (several specify STA compost ONLY for their landscape projects), landscape architects, landscapers, soil suppliers and others. The STA data, however, is just that; data available for interpretation by professional users. It is not a program designed for the retail consumer.

Compost can be purchased at landscape supply centers, nurseries and building supply centers in bulk or packages around the country. The use of STA compost will help consumers confidently achieve 5% organic matter efficiently and cost effectively by using compost, produced from locally recycled organic residuals.


Hilary Nichols
Market Development Coordinator
US Composting Council
Phone: 301.897.3715 ext. 3

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