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 farm must submit an application for an Agricultural Composting Registration, and agree to a site visit.
- 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 .
- 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 (“Registration”) with
MDAR need to fill out the “ Agricultural Composting Registration Application Form ,”. The compost “plan” submitted with the application, should follow the principles laid out in this document, “ Guide to Agricultural Composting file size 1MB .”
New Regulations: MDAR is in the process of updating its compost regulations. Input and comments are requested prior to the formal promulgation process. Draft regulations can be accessed here and any comments can be submitted to Gerard.Kennedy@state.ma.us