Development of an Industry-Led Quality Standard for Source-Separated Biodegrable Material Derived Compost

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Resource or Project Abstract

The purpose of this project is to offer a quality standard for compost derived from source-separated biodegradable materials in order to promote the development of markets for compost-based products on the island of Ireland as well as to protect human, plant, soil and animal health. Other EU countries with an established composting infrastructure show that successful biowaste treatment must include meeting quality standards in order to control the use and guarantee the environmental safety of compost application within agricultural, horticultural and landscaping industries, by home gardeners and local authorities. The establishment of an industry-based compost standard supports the long-term growth of the industry and ensures product satisfaction to maintain consumer confidence. The market development process will lead to the overall expansion of the composting industry in Ireland by developing other means of revenue generation apart from gate fees. This, in turn, contributes to developing a sustainable compost industry, that can effectively compete on a cost basis with other waste management technologies, and disposal facilities such as mechanical biological treatment (MBT), incineration and/or landfilling. The overall objective of this project was to collate the compost quality databases from Irish compost samples and compare them with databases and standards from other European countries to develop an Irish industry compost standard for source-separated biodegradable materials.A proposed industry compost quality standard for Ireland (see attachments to this resource). The industry standard developed by this project should be considered as a ?preliminary standard? and should be updated as required during the transitional period while source-separated collection schemes and their corresponding treatment facilities are being established, resulting in the gradual improvement of quality management within the composting industry. This standard should not be restricted to compost derived from biodegradable municipal waste (BMW) materials alone (landscape and garden materials, food, clean wood, paper and cardboard), as this does not reflect the wide range of acceptable feedstocks permitted by waste permits and licences of composting facilities in Ireland. It is recommended that the industry standard be widened to include the source-separated ?miscellaneous? category and other source-separated biodegradable materials that are individually assessed to be suitable, such as animal manures, food processing residuals, fish scraps and brewery or distillery residuals.

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Contact Information for This Resource

Dr. Munoo Prasad
CRE: Composting Association of Ireland

Dr. Percy Foster
Cre - Composting Association of Ireland

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Data, Files, Information Objects Related To This Project Resource

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Attachment Name and Download Link
Project Report Optimised For Online Viewing    STRIVE_22_Prasaad_Compost_web.pdf  (1.58 Mb)
Att 2    Executive_Summary_STRIVE_22.pdf   (0.42 Mb)

Suggested Citation Information

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Author(s)Prasad, M. Foster, P.
Title Of WebsiteSecure Archive For Environmental Research Data
Publication InformationDevelopment of an Industry-Led Quality Standard for Source-Separated Biodegrable Material Derived Compost
Name of OrganisationEnvironmental Protection Agency Ireland
Electronic Address or URL
Unique Identifier7ff95aa4-9a70-102c-9c91-0a68ec663af0
Date of AccessLast Updated on SAFER: 2024-07-14

An example of this citation in proper usage:

Prasad, M. Foster, P.   "Development of an Industry-Led Quality Standard for Source-Separated Biodegrable Material Derived Compost". Associated datasets and digitial information objects connected to this resource are available at: Secure Archive For Environmental Research Data (SAFER) managed by Environmental Protection Agency Ireland (Last Accessed: 2024-07-14)


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Access Information For This Resource

SAFER-Data Display URL
Resource KeywordsBiodegradable compost biowaste waste
EPA/ERTDI/STRIVE Project Code2006-WRM-DS-26
EPA/ERTDI/STRIVE Project ThemeWaste and Resource Management
Resource Availability: Any User Can Download Files From This Resource
Limitations on the use of this ResourceDatasets, data files, and information objects available for download and attached to this metadata resource can be accessed by anyone. If this access facilitates any datasets, data, or information resources being used in a journal article or other means of publication the original authors should be informed of this usage and an appropriate acknowledgement or citation is included within the published article. The EPA advise that this acknowledgement should take one of the following forms dependent upon how heavily the published work relates to the downloaded data:
* Co-Authorship(s) for the original author(s)* Written acknowledgement within the body of the article* Written acknowledgement by means of the inclusion of a bibliography entry which clearly cites the original authors. The EPA as a/the primary funder of the research should be acknowledged.
Number of Attached Files (Publicly and Openly Available for Download): 2
Project Start Date Monday 1st May 2006 (01-05-2006)
Earliest Recorded Date within any attached datasets or digital objects Monday 1st May 2006 (01-05-2006)
Most Recent Recorded Date within any attached datasets or digital objects Wednesday 20th May 2009 (20-05-2009)
Published on SAFERMonday 25th May 2009 (25-05-2009)
Date of Last EditTuesday 26th May 2009 at 17:31:09 (26-05-2009)
Datasets or Files Updated On Monday 25th May 2009 at 12:55:02 (25-05-2009)

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Geographical and Spatial Information Related To This Resource

Description of Geographical Characteristics of This Project or Dataset
The overall object of the project was to collate the compost quality databases from Irish compost samples and compare them with databases and standards from other EU countries to develop an Irish industry compost standard for source-separed biodegradable materials. The geographical coverage is the island of Ireland as the results of the laboratory analysis of 256 samples of compost from Irish compost facilities were collated. The database for the project is based on these 256 which were analysed from 2000 to 2006 by Bord na Mona and from 2001 to 2003 by UCC BioTreat. Stability testing of compost from six composting sites was conducted in spring 2008.

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Supplementary Information About This Resource

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Lineage information about this project or dataset
In 2006, the Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government (DoEHLG) published the National Strategy on Biodegradable Waste (NSBW), which outlines a plan for reaching Ireland?s landfill diversion targets. As a part of this plan, the establishment of a compost quality standard was identified as a necessity to develop and stimulate markets for compost-based products. The following year, the DoEHLG published the Market Development Group 5-year programme to support the development of stable outlets and robust markets for recycled materials and goods manufactured from recovered waste materials, including compost. Recently, at European level, guidance was published by the European Joint Research Centre in its End of Waste Criteria report1, which outlines the criteria to consider in a compost standard. This report provided good direction for the development of the Irish industry standard.
Supplementary Information
The results section of the report has been separated out to a separate PDF file to facilitate those who only wish to view the results.

The project collated a compost analysis database from Bord na Mona and UCC's BioTreat. It is also included as a PDF - separate from the main report.
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