WHAT IS COMPOST?

Compost is organic material that decomposes into a rich soil amendment.

Compost may look like dirt, but it’s so much more than that. Compost is an eco-friendly, cheap, and effective option for fertilizing your garden, plants, and crops.

Many nearby communities, grocery stores, restaurants, and school districts sustainably dispose of their organic waste at the SMSC Organics Recycling Facility. We take what may have been tossed in a landfill and repurpose it into high-quality compost, compost blends, mulch, and other useful products for landscaping projects big and small.

BENEFITS OF COMPOST

  • Used as an excellent soil amendment for plants, adding nutrients to the soil
  • Adds organic matter back into depleted soils
  • Creates a better plant root environment by improving:
    • Soil structure
    • Porosity
    • Density
  • Increases infiltration and permeability of heavy soils, reducing erosion and runoff
  • Provides habitat for beneficial soil microorganisms
  • Diverts material from being landfilled

HOW IT WORKS

OUR PROCESS

Once material arrives at our facility, it is ground up and mixed according to our “compost recipe.” Material is then placed into long composting windrows where it resides for the active composting period (about three months).

Composting is a biological process. Microorganisms break down organics into a soil-like material called compost. This process occurs in nature, but the SMSC Organics Recycling Facility is able to speed up the process to achieve faster decomposition.

SMSC Organics Recycling Facility staff carefully monitor composting windrows for temperature, oxygen, and moisture content to guide management decisions. We operate a windrow turner, which regularly turns the windrows to improve the process. During active composting, microorganisms produce heat, which destroys any pathogens or weed seeds in the compost, and ensures our end product is safe for use.

QUALITY STANDARDS

Our facility participates in the United States Composting Council’s Seal of Testing Assurance (STA) Program. This program requires extensive monthly testing of our compost in order to keep our STA Certification. Compost is analyzed for trace metals, pathogens, nutrient content, pH, organic matter, inert material, maturity, and more.

Our facility is also on the MnDOT Approved/Qualified Products list to supply MnDOT Grade 2 compost.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

MnDOT Specifications

MnDOT 3890 Compost

  • Grade 2 compost
  • The SMSC Organics Recycling Facility is on the MnDOT Approved/Qualified Products List for compost.

MnDOT 3877 Topsoil

  • 2A – Common topsoil borrow
  • 2B – Loam topsoil borrow
  • 2E – Rooting topsoil
  • 2F – Boulevard topsoil
  • 2G – Filter topsoil
  • 2H – Organic topsoil

MnDOT 3149 Granular Material

  • B.2 select granular material

MnDOT 3882 Mulch

  • E – Type 5 (storm slash)
  • F – Type 6