Compost procurement ordinances

Some counties and cities in Washington must adopt a Compost Procurement Ordinance (CPO) and submit an annual report on their compost procurement activities as required by the Organics Management Laws. CPOs are a way to build compost markets as organics collection programs expand under the Organics Management Laws. The information below covers the details on CPOs, including why they are necessary and contents of the report.

Compost procurement ordinances

Compost Procurement Ordinances (CPOs) are a tool for cities, towns, and counties to look for opportunities to buy compost products and use it in their projects. Compost has many possible uses in public projects, including:

  • Landscaping
  • Amending soil before and after construction
  • Preventing erosion
  • Filtering stormwater runoff and pollutants
  • Promoting plant growth
  • Improving stability and longevity of roadways

The following are required to adopt a CPO:

  • Cities and counties with a population of 25,000 residents or more.
  • Cities and counties (less than 25,000 residents) that provide, contract to provide, or require their UTC-franchised hauler to provide residential organics collection.

If required, cities and counties must adopt a CPO by Jan. 1, 2023. Upload your current CPO to the Box Portal. Within the Box website, there are examples of CPOs and other CPO resources.

If you have not adopted a CPO, consult the resources and examples in the Box website or reach out to us for assistance.

The following are not required to adopt a CPO but can adopt one voluntarily.

  • Cities and counties with less than 25,000 residents where residential organics collection is not provided or where the hauler provides residential organic collection service but is not required to by the city or county.
  • Cities with less than 25,000 residents where residential organics collection are provided by the UTC-franchised hauler(s) under a requirement set by the county.

Compost procurement reporting

Every city or county that adopts a CPO must complete an annual report with their previous years’ compost procurement activities. We are developing an online system to submit these reports. The reporting system should be available by the end of 2024. The first CPO report is due March 31, 2025, and will include compost procurement in 2024. Reports are due annually on March 31 for the previous years’ data.

The draft annual report currently includes:

  • Total tons of organic material diverted from landfills and collected:  
    • by all curbside programs you directly provide or contract with a hauler to provide.
    • at drop-off sites you operate or contract with a third-party to operate.
    • by residential curbside programs you require the UTC franchised hauler(s) to provide in your jurisdiction. If only the amount of cubic yards is available, then use conversion formulas in Ecology’s General Measurement Standards and Reporting Guidelines to convert to tons.
  • The facility or facilities used for processing this organic material.
  • The volume and cost of compost purchased made directly by the city, county, or your contractors.
    • Only report compost products that were purchased. If compost used was not actually purchased, do not report it.
    • Only report the cost of the compost. Do not include sales tax, transportation costs, or other fees.

    • For volume of compost, report in cubic yards.  If you only have the amount in tons, you can use Ecology’s standard conversion of 1,100 pounds per cubic yard of compost.

    • For each amount of compost purchased, the name of the compost facility that it was purchased from (“source”) will need to be reported.  However for the cost of compost, only the total cost of all compost purchased is reported.  If bagged compost product was purchased, then report the compost facility name on the bag where the compost was produced.

    • If 100 percent of the compost was not purchased, then report the quantities and costs based on the percentage of the blended product that is compost.

    • Cities and counties that enter into collective purchasing agreements should only report the volume and cost of the compost they purchased under those agreements for use by their jurisdiction.

  • The source or sources of the compost purchased.

Frequently asked questions