Composting is beneficial for the entire community, and its potential markets are every home, business, school yard, roadside, and distressed vegetation area. Composting has diverse uses such as landscaping, erosion control, soil amendment, mulch, and weed control. To ensure product safety and market claims, standardized testing of compost products is crucial, and the Seal of Testing Assurance (STA) program validates the chemical, physical, and biological properties of compost. Large institutions such as universities can adopt procurement policies that minimize the use of fertilizers and water resources and prefer locally-produced compost. Similarly, government procurement policies should give preference to recycled feedstocks, regulated facilities, and quality-tested compost products. Landscaping water conservation ordinances should include the use of mulch and compost to reduce evaporation and increase the soil’s water holding capacity. Green building standards can also incorporate the use of compost in landscaping practices.
Applying compost and other soil amendments is an activity for the entire community. While large scale users are often the focus of educational and promotional efforts, the potential market for compost products is every home, business, garden, school yard, roadside and area of disturbed or distressed vegetation in the community. Efforts to increase the utilization of soil amendments are just as important as efforts to increase organics collection programs.