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Composting & recycling


COMMERCIAL COMPOSTING

Commercial composting facilities provide the ideal/best composting conditions. Many organic wastes, like meat or bioplastics (including compostable foodservice products), can be composted under ideal composting conditions – temperatures, regulated airflow and fixed moisture content.

read more about composting (PDF)

COMPOSTABLE VS. BIODEGRADABLE

A compostable item is capable of undergoing biological decomposition in a compost site.

Certification requirements

  • Completely biodegrade within 120 days
  • Leave a nutrient rich humus with no toxicity

The main difference between biodegradable and compostable is the latter breaks down within one to four months into humus, which provides valuable nutrients to the soil. Biodegradable products disintegrate into smaller pieces and no timeframe is specified, and the fragments could be toxic. Certified compostable products, will biodegrade in commercial composting facilities at a specified rate (usually 120 days or less).

BIODEGRADABLE

Biodegradable is often used by marketers to mislead consumers about the environmental benefit of their products.

Technically, biodegradable refers to anything that breaks into smaller and smaller pieces until microorganisms can consume it.

Unlike compostable products, there are no industry standards for what is and isn't considered biodegradable.