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Composters freed of waste tag with new Quality Protocol

More opportunities for compost producers will be available with the publication of the new Quality Protocol for compost, which will free quality compost products of their waste tag.

Drawn up by the Environment Agency (EA) and Waste & Resources Action Programme
(WRAP) in partnership with key players including The Composting Association and the Environmental Services Association (ESA), the protocol sets out criteria for the production of quality compost from different types of source segregated biowaste.

Previously hampered by composts status as a waste rather than a product, the Quality Protocol, which will apply in England and Wales, hopes to change the way compost is perceived.

EA head of environmental protection external programmes Martin Brocklehurst said: Under the Quality Protocol for Compost, producers will be able to create compost which is no longer classed as a waste, making it a more marketable product to those who buy it, as it allows them to spread compost on to land without the need to register with the EA for a waste exemption.

The protocol hopes to boost the composting market, enabling compost producers to develop specific products for specific market sectors, and giving the markets confidence that the compost they are buying is of a high environmental standard.

The Composting Association chief executive Dr Jane Gilbert added: We are delighted that this protocol has finally been realised. This is an important issue for our members and we have been lobbying for this for many years.

The Quality Protocol will come into force at the end of Compost Awareness Week (May 6-12). To comply with the Quality Protocol, composters who are in the process or already certified to BSI PAS 100 standard will need to check they are only composting types of waste allowed in the protocol. Those without BS1 PAS 100 certification have until November 15 to register with a certification body and pay the registration fee, otherwise compost from such facilities can only be spread on land with an exemption from the EA or moved to a licensed waste management site for disposal.


The Quality Protocol can be viewed at


For more information see

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