For those who don't know, BioCycle Magazine has been in circulation since 1960, and is an authority on all things composting, organics, recycling, anaerobic digestion, renewable energy and community sustainability. There really is no better way to stay current on what is going on in the world of organics recycling, and we highly recommend that you consider becoming a subscriber and attending their excellent conferences.
The cover story of the most recent addition is an article by BPI Executive Director Rhodes Yepsen, and is a summary of a study commissioned by the Foodservice Packaging Institute (FPI) and BPI to assess the value of compostable foodservice packaging as a feedstock, and not just as a delivery mechanism for food scraps.
Since 1999, BPI has only certified products and packaging associated with organic waste diversion - products like cups, cutlery, straws, plates, bowls, and takeout containers. This has led many to view these products simply as "tools for diversion", and not necessarily of value to the quality of the finished compost itself.
This study used full-scale parallel field tests at two commercial composting facilities located in two geographies, with two of the most common composting methods - aerated static pile (ASP) at Olympic Organics in Washington state and open windrow at A1 Organics in Colorado, and was conducted by the Compost Manufacturing Alliance (CMA) to ensure relevance to other composters.
The results of the analyses provide evidence that compostable FSP at both the 15 and 30 percent loading rates did not affect the balance of C:N ratios, nutrient levels, moisture content, or porosity in the feedstock mix or finished compost at these two facilities. Further, compostable FSP performed as an adequate bulking agent compared to wood and other traditional feedstocks used in compost production.
The full report is available here.