How Naturcycle Uses Compost Data to Design Specifications
To review previous posts in this series, the United States Composting Council’s Seal of Testing Assurance (STA) Program requires regular laboratory analysis of compost, and the test results are summarized and presented in the same format no matter where in the country the compost is produced, via a Compost Technical Data Sheet. With this information standardized and accessible, engineers and landscape architects can easily find the right compost for a variety of applications. For example, a finished stable compost with a neutral pH that is low in nutrients would be a good match for a bio-retention blend, while a coarser compost with a larger particle size and higher organic matter content would be best for an erosion control blanket, and an acidic compost with a finer texture is ideal for topdressing an athletic field. Naturcycle works with these construction industry professionals to source the correct compost for their projects. Compost is not one-size-fits-all!
At Naturcycle, we use compost both directly and indirectly. For direct compost uses, we create a specification, which is a set of parameters that a compost must meet to be used on a given project, using the Test Methods for the Evaluation of Compost & Composting (TMECC) methods and well-researched allowable ranges for important compost characteristics. For indirect uses, such as our green roof media, where compost is used as one element in a blended product, we require STA certified compost as the only acceptable organic component, which ensures that data from recent laboratory analysis is available. When building a specification, it is essential to remember to include the desired range, reported units, and test method for each parameter, so that the design can be replicated.
At Naturcycle, we offer the highest quality products based on established standards to ensure success and allow us to expand compost markets and uses. By partnering with multiple STA participant compost producers in several states, we can assure our customers that we have the appropriate compost available to meet their needs. This allows us to supply not only high-quality compost, but also to manufacture the best engineered soils and green roof media throughout the Northeast!
Click through to read Part One, Part Two and Part Three of this series.