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Article
Assessment of State Composting Regulations in the United States
26th International Conference in Solid Waste Technology and Management Proceedings: Philadelphia, PA
  • Nazli Yesiller, California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo
  • Samuel A. Vigil, California Polytechnic State University - San Luis Obispo
  • James L. Hanson, California Polytechnic State University - San Luis Obispo
Publication Date
3-27-2011
Abstract

This investigation was conducted to identify the current "status of state composting regulations in the U.S. using an extensive survey administered to regulators from all 50 states. Questions were included regarding: background information on composting: status of regulations: regulatory details including feedstock specific provisions and regulatory framework with respect to MSW regulations: details regarding type, properties, and amount of materials handled by composting activities; outgoing materials and storage of materials; type of composting facilities: initial development of the regulations; level of rigor of regulations: enforcement and reporting requirements; efficiency and level of satisfaction with regulations: permitting fees; and modifications to regulations. A total of 37 states completed the survey. The majority of the surveyed states had regulations for composting activities and required pem1its for operation of composting facilities. In general, type of permit' was ba,ed on operational conditions at a facility including type and size of facility, type of materials processed, and throughput of material with various exemptions. Pem1itting requirements for composting generally were less strict than the requirements for MSW. Residual content generally was not quantified for regulatory purposes. The majority of the surveyed states had regulations related to the duration of materials storage at a facility. In the survey, 16 and 11 out of 35 states indicated that they had standards for the composition or quality of waste that may be composted and standards for the quality of compost intended for different applications, respectively. Regulations were developed to minimize impact to the environment or nuisance to nearby residents. Criteria developed by U.S. Composting Council, USDA, and other agencies and regulations from other states were adopted. Experience, engineering judgment standard composting practices, and input from industry were used in the development of regulations. Economic impact of the regulations was assessed by several states. More than a third of the states indicated changing current regulations. In most cases, new regulations were developed ±or management of food waste and biosolids composting activities and liquids at facilities including storm water and wastewater.

Citation Information
Nazli Yesiller, Samuel A. Vigil and James L. Hanson. "Assessment of State Composting Regulations in the United States" 26th International Conference in Solid Waste Technology and Management Proceedings: Philadelphia, PA (2011) p. 1281 - 1291
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/jahanson/25/