Composting is controlled decomposition, the natural breakdown process of organic residues. Composting transforms raw organic waste materials into biologically stable, humic substances that make excellent soil amendments. Compost is easier to handle than manure and other raw organic materials, stores well and is odor-free. This paper describes the composting process, general guidelines for pile management, siting considerations, choosing a composting method, composting regulations and permits, qualities of finished compost, and compost quality standards.
Center for Integrated Agricultural Systems
University of Wisconsin-Madison