The quality of certified compost is set to improve after changes to the British Standards Institution’s PAS 100 regime came into effect, according to the Renewable Energy Association (REA)
Under the new regime, a ‘compost quality’ clause will make it possible for producers and customers to set clear requirements above a baseline level.
Compost must also be reassessed for compliance with the requirements of these clauses when stored for a period of six months or longer.
Knowledge about organics recycling should also improve thanks to a new industry-led research and development ‘hub’ that will gather scientific evidence on composting issues. The hub was set up as a response to the PAS 100 revision.
Jeremy Jacobs, REA technical director, said: “It is essential that any standards are relevant to current market conditions, and the PAS 100 standard is no exception.
“The Organics Recycling Group is delighted that this revision took place in order that it assists in building confidence in the market for this valuable resource.
“We are particularly encouraged by the development of the research hub to further build evidence in the future for further improvements to the standard and ensuring it is fit for purpose in the 21st century.”
The PAS 100 standard is meant to be reviewed every two years, and it was during this process that some areas were highlighted as needing updating, prompting a revision.
The hub was established when it was discovered that there was a lack of evidence to back up some changes put forward by the industry.
Industry proposed, for example, that the limits on the levels of E-coli in compost may be too low for agricultural use, yet there was little evidence to back this claim.