SEATTLE, WASH. The Compost Manufacturing Alliance (CMA), a private industry group representing six composting industry pioneers, is launching a comprehensive field testing program for compostable food service ware feedstocks across twenty processing facilities in the U.S. The
program builds upon ten years of field testing developed by Cedar Grove Composting in Seattlewhen, in the early stages of accepting food service products, many items meeting lab based
compostability standards failed to adequately break down within their covered aerated static pile
To address this issue, Cedar Grove developed a field test of its own which allowed them to
create a customized list of accepted compostable products. Now, other major composters are joining them to expand this practice across four additional processing technologies- open aerated
static piles (ASP), turned windrows, mass beds, and agitated continuous flow tunnel systems.
The CMA partners include New Earth (San Antonio, Katy and Conroe, Texas), WeCare Organics (New York, New York and West Henrietta, New York), A-1 Organics (Eaton and Keensburg, Colorado and Phoenix, Arizona), St. Louis Composting (greater St. Louis area and Belleville, Illinois), Olympic
Organics (Kingston, Washington), and Cedar Grove Composting (Everett and Maple Valley, Washington).
CMA partners are encouraging other compost manufacturing sites to join them in taking a more proactive role in controlling feedstock quality. “There is an impressive body of work and ongoing
activity by committed people in the consumer products industry to increase composting capacity and the use of compostable packaging, yet most compost manufacturers don’t have the time or resources to engage with them,” says Susan Thoman, CMA Managing Director. “In the meantime, many composters are overwhelmed with plastic contamination, yet they have no real data on how compostable options may positively or negatively affect contamination levels, or which products are appropriate for their respective systems. The CMA model works to connect compost manufacturers
and product manufacturers around real-world scenarios so they can engage in a productive and integrated system of problem solving, contamination removal, waste minimization, and product
To qualify for CMA field testing, products must have BPI certification or meet laboratory testing protocols required by ASTM D6400 and D6868 (or equivalent international standards). This ensures
that the materials being tested have already met important requirements for phytotoxicity, heavy metals screening, and biodegradation. Samples are then processed by CMA and shipped to
designated testing sites where they are placed into facility compost rows. At the end of the active composting cycle, disintegration levels are recorded and communicated back to the manufacturer.
Initial testing rounds will begin in May, 2017 in New York, Colorado, Washington’s Kitsap Peninsula,
and the St. Louis area, with subsequent tests in June and July in Seattle and San Antonio. For more information, please visit composterapproved.com or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org