MDAR's Agricultural Composting Program (330 CMR 25.00) encourages and supports composting on farms by providing technical assistance to compost operators as well as an Agricultural Composting Registration process that allows qualifying farms to register their operations with MDAR under an Agricultural Waste Composting exemption in MassDEP's Site Assignment Regulations for Solid Waste Facilities (310 CMR 16.00).  Under that exemption, any farm that wishes to compost organic materials other than those that are generated on their own farms, must register their operation with MDAR. To qualify for an Agricultural Composting Registration the following conditions must apply:

  • The farm must be engaged in agriculture or farming as defined in MGL c. 128, Sec. 1A.
  • Only agricultural wastes and other approved materials may be composted.
  • The applicant demonstrates the knowledge and capability to conduct an agricultural composting operation to produce a stabilized compost product.
  • The applicant agrees to comply with MDAR's Agricultural Compost Guidelines pdf format of Ag Compost Guidlelines
  • If a registration is approved, the registrant agrees to submit Annual Reports to MDAR (reporting forms to be provided).
  • Ultimately the composting process should lead to a useable, saleable, quality material that has
    value for land application.

Farm operations that qualify for an Agricultural Composting Registration with
MDAR need to fill out the   Agricultural Composting Registration Application Form doc format of Compost Registration Application
. The compost plan submitted with the application, should follow the principles laid out in this document -   Guide to Agricultural Composting pdf format of Agricultural Composting Guidelines
file size 1MB

Compost Regulations Hearings

The Commissioner of MDAR will hold a public hearing to amend the following regulation: 330 CMR 25.00, Agricultural Composting Program (“Regulation”).  All persons desiring to provide oral testimony are hereby notified to appear upon the following date and time at the respective designated location:

Division of Fisheries and Wildlife, 1 Rabbit Hill Road, Richard Cronin Building Room 110, Westborough, MA, for a public hearing to be held on October 20, 2016, from 1:00 P.M. to 3:00 P.M.

In addition to oral testimony, written comments will be accepted at the Hearing and MDAR will continue to accept written comments until October 20, 2016, at 5:00 P.M. Written comments should be addressed to Gerard Kennedy, Director, Division of Agricultural Conservation and Technical Assistance, Department of Agricultural Resources, 251 Causeway Street, Suite 500, Boston, MA 02114. The full text of the regulations and background information is available at