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Publications

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Analysis of Composting as an Environmental Remediation Technology
Summarizes the available information on the use of compost for managing hazardous waste streams (as well as other applications) and indicates possible areas for future investigations.

Backyard Composting: It's Only Natural (PDF) (2 pp, 627K)
Provides reasons for composting, what you need to do to make compost, what to add and what not to add, and troubleshooting hints.

Biosolids Generation, Use, and Disposal in the United States (PDF) (81 pp, 542K)
Quantifies the amount of biosolids (historically known as sewage sludge) generated, used, and disposed of in the United States in 1998. Provides managers of municipal solid waste facilities with an overview of the various management options available for biosolids (e.g., composting, land application, incineration).

Biosolids Technology Fact Sheet – In-Vessel Composting of Biosolids (PDF) (9 pp, 100K)
Provides an excellent overview of in-vessel composting, including the advantages and disadvantages.

Compost Maturity and Nitrogen Release Characteristics in Central Coast Vegetable Production (62 pp, 328K) Exit EPA
This California Integrated Waste Management Board report characterizes three compost types produced within the Pajaro River Watershed—green waste, blends of green waste and poultry manure, and poultry manure.

Compost Maturity Index (26 pp, 103K)
This California Compost Quality Council report provides test methods for determining if compost is very mature, mature, or immature.

Compost Use on State Highway Applications
Funded by EPA, the Composting Council Research and Education Foundation (CCREF), in conjunction with the United States Composting Council (USCC), developed this publication to promote compost use on state and local ‘roadside’ applications.

Compost Use in Forest Land Restoration (PDF) (36 pp, 2MB)
Provides examples of using compost to successfully restore lands disturbed by forest management activities in the Pacific Northwest; many can be expanded for use in other environments with consideration of local conditions.

Compost—New Applications For an Age-Old Technology(Series of 5 fact sheets)

Composting, Yard Trimmings, and Municipal Solid Waste (PDF) (151 pp, 6.7MB)
Examines planning, siting, designing, and operating composting facilities. It also discusses basic composting principles; collection methods; processing methods, technologies, and odor control; environmental, health, and safety concerns; state legislation and initiatives; potential end-users; product quality and marketing; community involvement; and economics.

Decision-Maker’s Guide to Solid Waste Management, Second Edition (PDF) (58 pp, 1.7MB)
Chapter 7 of EPA’s Decision-Maker’s Guide to Solid Waste Management provides guidance on environmentally safe ways to compost.

The Effects of Composted Organic Materials on the Growth Factors for Hardwood and Softwood Tree Seedlings (PDF) (17 pp, 4.6MB)
Provides the results of a study designed to demonstrate the effects of three types of compost on the growth and survival rates of hardwood and softwood tree seedlings. The results of this study after 3 ½ years of monitoring indicate that compost mulching is consistently superior to straw mulching for revegitating severely disturbed areas of soil.

Fact Sheet: Cover Up with Compost (PDF) (2 pp, 468K)
Provides information on compost as a landfill cover.

GreenScapes: Environmentally Beneficial Landscaping (PDF) (8 pp, 1.6MB)
Describes EPA’s GreenScapes program, providing cost-efficient and environmentally friendly solutions for large-scale landscaping.

Greenscaping Your Lawn and Garden (PDF) (8 pp, 1.6MB) | en Español (PDF) (8 pp, 313K)
Encourages consumers to grasscycle, mulch, and compost to reduce the amount of yard waste in the waste stream and provides details on how and what to compost.

Markets for Composting (PDF) (191 pp, 4MB)
EPA-530-SW-90-073A, November 1993 [Note: Because this report is several years old, some material may be out-of-date]
EPA established a national goal of reducing municipal solid waste disposal by 25 percent through source reduction and recycling (including composting) as a means of reducing the nation’s dependence on landfills. Composting the organic portions of the MSW stream is one management technique that is being employed to help attain the EPA goal.

Organic Materials Management Strategies (PDF) (58 pp, 274)
Describes seven composting strategies for organic materials in the US municipal solid waste stream and presents an analysis of the benefits and costs of each strategy, the potential for diverting organic materials from landfills or waste-to-energy facilities, and the potential markets for diverted organic materials.

Quest for Less: Composting
Provides resources on composting for teacher of grades K-8.

Solid Waste Management and Greenhouse Gases: A Life-Cycle Assessment of Emissions and Sinks – Chapter 4. Composting (PDF) (15 pp, 278K)
Presents the results of an in-depth analysis to determine the net GHG impacts of composting yard trimmings and food discards.

Success Story: Turning Garbage into Gold (PDF) (2 pp, 423K)
Presents information on the success of composting organic waste in Massachusetts.

Supermarket Composting Handbook (PDF) (78 pp, 1.37 MB) Exit EPA
A field-tested, step-by-step, resource guide designed to help supermarket managers implement and sustain an efficient and effective composting program.

Tribal Waste Journal: Tribal Composting Nourishes Land and Tradition (PDF) (28 pp, 981K)
Focuses on Tribal composting programs and practices.

Virginia Yard Waste Management Manual (PDF) (84 pp, 1.5MB) Exit EPA
This manual provides guidance to public and private sector composters regarding the steps necessary to locate, design, and operate a yard-waste management program.

Waste Prevention, Recycling, and Composting Options: Lessons from 30 Communities
Analyzes the actual operating experience of 30 diverse communities–some with high materials recovery rates, others with model waste reduction initiatives–and draws lessons for communities wanting to strengthen their own programs. Addresses waste prevention strategies and comprehensive source-separation composting programs; improving residential, commercial and institutional recovery levels; and targeting construction and demolition debris for recovery.

Water Efficiency Technology Fact Sheet: Composting Toilets (PDF) (7 pp, 129K)
Provides an overview of this environmentall sanitation alternative.

 

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