A Look Into STA-Certified Compost

May 31, 2023

Similar to when we shop for fresh foods at the market, we also want to know that the produce from our gardens and plants in our yards grow from top-quality soil and soil amendments such as compost. For the compost industry, the United States Composting Council (USCC) sets the standards for quality assurance in compost and compost blends sold from facilities throughout the country. The USCC’s Seal of Testing Assurance (STA) lets consumers know that the compost products they are purchasing are being tested and monitored for quality and safety.

Established in 2000, the STA Program is a third-party verification system that ensures compost products meet a number of quality standards. Currently, this is the only compost testing program available to provide certification. This certification is important because it provides consumers with confidence in the compost they are using on their lawn and in their gardens.

To obtain STA certification, a facility’s compost must be tested for factors such as nutrient content, stability, and maturity. The STA certification process for compost involves rigorous testing and analysis of the compost to ensure consumers understand the attributes of the compost they are purchasing. . This includes checking for nutrient content, harmful pathogens, and heavy metals. The certification process also includes periodic site inspections to ensure that the composting facility is following proper procedures and adhering to regulations.

STA certification for compost is an important tool for promoting the use of compost as a sustainable alternative to synthetic fertilizers. It provides consumers with confidence in the quality of the compost they are using and helps ensure that composting facilities are following proper procedures to produce a safe and effective product.

Compost that has been STA certified is deemed safe and effective for use in agriculture, landscaping, and other applications. By choosing STA-certified compost, consumers can be assured that they are using a high-quality product that will not harm the environment or their health.

The SMSC Organics Recycling Facility is a regular participant in the STA Program—we want our customers to have confidence knowing that we follow rigorous requirements. Our staff submit monthly compost samples to be tested for stability, maturity, nutrients, pathogens, heavy metals, and more.

At the SMSC Organics Recycling Facility, all of our compost and compost used in blends is STA Certified. This means any and all soil amendments purchased at our facility have met or exceeded all related product quality and testing requirements prescribed by state and/or federal regulations—leaving you with a high-quality and safe product for your lawn or garden.

Click HERE to shop our STA-certified compost products and mulch.