CWMI has identified 8 general compost use categories, all of which are listed below along with brief overviews. Sources of information are also included here. If you would like to learn more about the organizations that provided guidelines for a category, click here.


Container Mix and Potting Soils
Sources: Rodale, MSC and USCC FGC
The use of compost as a growing medium is an established method of plant production in horticultural operations. This category outlines includes recommendations provided by the US Composting Council and the Mulch and Soil Council, for container mix/potting soil as well as Rodale guidelines for container mix.
Topsoil Blends
Sources: USCC FGC
Many topsoil producers will use compost as an amendment to an existing soil product to increase the final amount of organic matter and/or water holding capacity. Guidelines are provided by USCC are included for this category of use.
Erosion Control
Source: USCC FGC
Compost has many desirable characteristics that make it suitable for use in erosion control, such as high water holding capacity. This use category outlines guidelinesGuidelines provided by the USCC composting council are included for erosion controlthis category of use.
Nursery Beds
Source: USCC FGC
Compost is often utilized as an amendment to planting beds for a wide variety of ornamental plants and flowers. Guidelines provided by the USCC are included for this category of use.

Turf Establishment

Source: USCC FGC
Soils that are low in nutrients or have a low capacity for holding water are not always suitable for growing turf, and compost products can be used to enhance these qualities. Guidelines provided by the USCC are included for this category of use.
Backfill for Trees and Shrubs
Source: USCC FGC
Compost has many benefits when used as a component of backfill mix for trees and shrubs that are planted in poor soils. Guidelines provided by the USCC are included for this category of use.
NYSDOT Specifications
Source: USCC SHA
State DOT's will often use compost products for a variety of purposes. This use category summarizes guidelines developed by the New York State Department of Transportation to be used when selecting compost products for projects that might include building, construction, highway seeding, planting and erosion control.
Vegetable Crops
Sources: USCC FGC and NRAES
Compost can be used as an additive to soils in which vegetable crops are grownto enhance growing conditions. . Guidelines provided by the USCC and NRAES are included for this category of use.

2003 Cornell Waste Management Institute
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