BioCycle Magazine

Marketing waste mixed compost

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Courtesy of BioCycle Magazine

Marketing of compost has come a long way over the past 15 to 20 years. Today the word “compost” is an almost everyday household term and the use of compost is now a preferred way to garden. With the ever-increasing product awareness of the benefits of compost, it has become easier for compost manufacturers and marketers to sell their products. At least this is the case for those companies that are marketing the more commonly accepted kinds of composts, derived from by products such as yard trimmings, agricultural manures and food waste.

Then there are two types of composts derived from less popular by-products: biosolids and municipal solid waste (MSW). It may not be the most glamorous product, but biosolids compost has grown in popularity in the United States over the past 20 years as more end users become educated about the advances in the wastewater industry, reduction of heavy metals to background soil conditions and its overall product use benefits. Understanding the rigorous testing that takes place with biosolids composting has also helped with its acceptance. In addition, the benefits of utilizing biosolids compost have been well documented, with engineers and landscape architects increasingly specifying the use of it for high-end turf establishment projects.

MSW compost has had the toughest path to widespread industry and consumer acceptance. There are multiple reasons, but it comes down to the unknowns in MSW and contaminants in the end product, especially glass. In order to achieve a marketable MSW compost product, an advanced composting technology and a well developed marketing plan are needed.

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