National Composter-Based Standards for

Compost Feedstocks

Compost Manufacturing Alliance LLC, Compost Feedstock Testing Institute LLC

Who We Are

Compost Feedstock Testing Institute (CFTI)

Competent and reliable field research to test and characterize the behavior of a diverse array of feedstocks including compostable packaging in real world technologies.

Compost Industry Owned and Operated

A partnership of pioneering composters throughout the United States.

Setting Industry Standards for Compost Feedstocks

Validating feedstock "compostability" through industry field tests while engaging the value chain, government and end users in understanding better feedstock management.


Welcome to the Compost Manufacturing Alliance (CMA), home of the Compostable Feed Stocks Testing Institute (CFTI). We are a composter owned and operated private industry group providing disintegration testing of pre-qualified compostable products and other feedstocks in real-world commercial composting environments. We also offer related support and services developed by and for compost manufacturers focused on cutting contamination while increasing food waste diversion.

Testing Technologies

Our Goals

To enhance composting capacity and the development of appropriate food service packaging options to increase food waste diversion to composting, minimize contamination in compost feed stocks, and create mutually beneficial business partnerships between compost manufacturers and compostable product manufacturers.

Compost Manufacturing Alliance (CMA):

Our mission is to move compost manufacturing forward to a more sustainable future.

Compost Feedstock Testing Institute (CFTI):

Our mission is to provide competent and reliable field research of potential compostable packaging and other feedstocks used in compost manufacturing.

Our Stats










Seeking Field Testing Sites

Testing sites are coming into the alliance continually at multiple facilities. To inquire about offering your site for testing or scheduling a round of testing at your site, please contact You aren’t quite sure, or don’t want to offer field testing, but want to stay in touch or learn more about CMA and CFTI? No worries! Just e-mail and we will keep you on our alert and news list.


Compostable Products Manufacturers

Product Composter Field Testing

Testing Technologies

CFTI will be testing compostables in various industrial technologies at sites that process over 5000 inbound tons of yard waste/food waste per year. These technologies include:

• Turned windrows • Membrane laminated covered aerated static piles • Open aerated static piles • Modified static piles • Mass beds • Agitated continuous flow systems

Testing Technologies

The Compost Manufacturing Alliance Launches Nationwide Compostable Testing Program

April 24, 2017

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 or e-mail

More News

Headlines With Impact

Compost Manufacturing Alliance Launches Nationwide Testing Program Full story: Waste 360™

The program builds upon 10 years of field testing developed by Cedar Grove Composting in Seattle when, 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 system.

Composters Unite to Combat Contamination Full Story: Resource Recycling

Materials recovery facilities have long been vocal about the impacts they’re seeing from a shifting waste stream. A new group is now aiming to elevate the voice of compost operations in that conversation.

Experts Sort Through Compostable Packaging Myths Full Story: Packaging Digest

For Eco-Products, the largest provider of environmentally optimized foodservice packaging including cups, containers and tableware, the goal is a zero-waste future. That’s a heady goal regardless of location, but particularly in the United States where only 5% of wasted food is composted.

Carrot not stick: Municipalities move beyond packaging bans to ensure compliance Full Story: Packaging Digest

For composters, a more holistic view is critical in mitigating contamination of post-consumer pick-ups. Principal and managing director of the Compost Manufacturing Alliance, Susan Thoman, elucidates that “With all the best intentions, foodservice operators often spend time and effort procuring compostable serviceware, only to substitute what they may believe to be incidental non-compostable components to go with them.”

Eaton-Based A1 Organics to Begin Field Testing Compostable Food Service Products Full Story: The Tribune

"According to a news release, A1 Organics has joined composters across the U.S. as part of the Compost Manufacturing Alliance to address the growing volumes of disposable food service items being brought to composting facilities. This is a result of cities pushing for higher levels of food waste recovery at colleges, stadiums and corporate campuses, the release said."

Five Trends Shaping How the Waste and Recycling Industry is Managing Food Waste Full Story: BioHiTech Global

"Each year, $218 billion worth of food is thrown away, 72 billion pounds of food is lost each year, 21 percent of landfill volume is comprised of food waste and 21 percent of fresh water is used to produce food that is discarded, according to nonprofit Feeding America. In an effort to reduce those numbers, the industry has launched organics collection services, various technologies and facilities for handling food waste and some municipalities have taken the step to launch legislation and regulations around food waste. "

Why Restaurants are Going Straw-less in Seattle by 2018 Full Story: Waste360

"The city of Seattle passed a law nearly a decade ago requiring food service vendors to switch to compostable or recyclable wares when available for use."

Our Partners & Management Team

The CMA management team is made up of industry leaders who been pioneering feed stock processing for decades. The partners for CMA/CFTI represent leading compost manufacturers from the Pacific Northwest, Rocky Mountain region, southeast, Midwest, and east coast.

Susan Thoman

Managing Director
Susan has over thirty years in the environmental and sustainability field, and served for 12 years on the Cedar Grove Composting leadership team in the Seattle area.   She has been instrumental in collaborating with end users, government stakeholders, and the world’s top compostable products manufacturers to develop compostability standards and innovative business models to engage solid waste systems with the packaging supply chain.  Susan’s collaborative and business centered philosophy links compost manufacturers, product development teams, end users and municipalities together in effective engagement models that minimize contamination in feed stocks while expanding the diversion and capacity for viable compost feed stocks eligible for organics recycling. 

Jeff West

Operations Director
Jeff has worked for over thirty years in the solid waste world, and has risen to the highest ranks of operational, finance and business management for some of the largest, publicly traded waste collection companies in the world. In 2007, Jeff branched out on his own and founded New Day Recycling in Kitsap County, Washington. In 2013, he moved into the compost manufacturing business by buying a failed composting site, investing over $2 million in upgrades and technology, and opened the Olympic Organics facility in Kingston, Washington. Jeff also provides commercial compost collection services to businesses throughout Pierce and Kitsap Counties.  

The Compost Manufacturing Alliance partnership consists of true pioneers and leaders in organics recycling.

Facilities within the partnership include:

St. Louis Composting

Throughout Missouri and in Belleville, IL.

WeCare Organics

Jordan and Staten Island, New York


San Antonio, Katy, and Conroe, Texas.

Cedar Grove Composting

Serving the greater Seattle and Snohomish County area.

Olympic Organics

Kingston, WA and the Olympic Peninsula.

A-1 Organics

Eaton and Keensburg, Colorado and Phoenix, AZ.

Contact Us

Compost Manufacturing Alliance, LLC.
Compost Feedstock Testing Institute, LLC.

PO Box 1063
Port Orchard, WA  98366

Hours: Monday - Friday, 7am to 5pm Pacific