Composting is an important component of "closed loop" recycling. We set regulatory standards for composting facilities, compost quality and provide technical assistance to local governments. By composting yard debris, food scraps, manure and crop residues, we can reduce the production of greenhouse gases and produce a valuable resource for farmers, orchardists, gardeners and muncipalities.
Washington has committed to reducing landfill-disposed organic material by 75% by 2030. By 2025, amount of edible food disposed of in the landfill must be reduced by 20%. Composting is a key tool to move organic waste out of the landfill.
Composting is key to keeping organic waste out of the landfill
Composting at home
Several composting systems can help you manage food waste at your home, including outdoor yard bins, in-vessel systems and countertop grinding devices. Often, your municipal solid waste department will also offer tools for home composting. Be sure to contact them before purchasing any composting tools. They may have free or subsidized options.
At-home composting resources
- EPA quick guide
- EPA webpage on approaches to composting
- Ecology’s A User's Guide to Compost
- Tilth Alliance classes
For more technical training toward optimizing your compost:
Composting at my business
Many businesses produce organic waste from food services and production businesses, as well as from businesses that merely have food consumed at their workplace.
Similar to residential handling of organic waste, a business may contract for curbside pickup. If you are seeking to identify the organic waste hauler in your area, start by contacting your solid waste hauler.
If your business is located in a Business Organics Management Area (BOMA), it is presumed to have a viable organic waste hauler to provide curbside pickup service. BOMA maps will be updated each July.
Beginning Jan. 1, 2024, many businesses are required to arrange for organic material management. For more information, see our Organics management for businesses webpage.
Compost and agriculture
Composting often goes hand-in-hand with agricultural practices. Much of this compost activity is exempt from the Solid Waste Handling Permit process. See the agricultural exemptions within the composting regulations.
The primary agencies that provide assistance and oversight to agricultural operations are U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service and Washington State Department of Agriculture.
Compost reimbursement for agriculture producers
Washington farmers are eligible for up to $10,000 in annual reimbursement costs for obtaining, transporting, and spreading compost produced by permitted Washington compost facilities.