How Composting Works
Commercial Composting vs. Home or Backyard Composting
BPI’s Certification program is strictly limited to commercial compostability, and does not verify items for home or backyard compostability. This is because the ASTM standards that BPI certifies to are specific to commercial environments. This is also why BPI requires that qualifying language such as “Commercially compostable only. Facilities may not exist in your area.” is used on all products and packaging displaying the BPI Certification Mark.
While a small number of BPI Certified items have been certified for backyard compostability by the European program TUV Austria, most require temperatures that can only be achieved in professionally managed commercial environments. .
Different Commercial Methods in Practice Today
All three of these methods require diligent management of temperature, oxygen, and carbon / nitrogen ratios to produce quality finished compost. The time required for compostable products to break down varies with the type of facility, the specific material(s) used to make the product, and the combination of time, temperature, and moisture levels. Click here to learn more about field testing for compostable products.
Acceptable and Unacceptable Feedstocks
Benefits to Soil