Compost comes Of age

Zero Waste Scotland has today published new guidance outlining good practice for the use of quality compost across a host of building, civil engineering, landscaping and regeneration projects in Scotland and across the UK. The Good Practice Guide for the use of BSI PAS 100 Compost in Landscape and Regeneration is available both online and to download from the Zero Waste Scotland website.

25 Mar 11

Based on evidence gathered by WRAP over the last four years, the Compost Good Practice Guide provides a wealth of information, helping to strengthen confidence in this natural organic growing medium, and increase its use.

The easy to use practical guide has been written to help both new and regular users of quality compost and understand how best to use this material. It outlines the environmental and business cases for using compost, and associated savings. The guide is aimed primarily at those engaged in the following fields, but will also be of interest to others connected with the landscape and regeneration sector;

  • General landscaping;
  • Sports turf care;
  • Building (Sustainable Urban Drainage Systems and Green Roofs);
  • Civil engineering and highway, waterway maintenance;
  • Brownfield restoration; and
  • Habitat establishment

Aimed at both small and medium sized businesses, and for large-scale public development projects, the Compost Good Practice Guide details the appropriate use of compost in;

  • Soil manufacture and habitat creation;
  • Housing and mixed use development;
  • Energy crops on brownfield land;
  • Sustainable Urban Drainage Systems (SUDS) and green roofs;
  • Slope stabilisation and erosion control;
  • Recreation and sports turf;
  • Landscape maintenance; and
  • Bioremediation

Each of these areas is discussed in detail. Application guidance is given for each, with accompanying specific site investigation and sampling direction. Case studies demonstrate good practice for each area, including a number of projects which are based in Scotland. The appendix gives general mixing ratios guidance, compiled from a range of site specific trials.

As part of the guide two tools have also been developed to help users.

  • The Decision Tool gives a helping hand at the very beginning of a project. It is essentially for those looking to use compost, but unsure how to go about this. The Decision Tool asks a series of questions and directs the user to resources within the guide that will answer these. It outlines the practical actions that should be taken when, for example, wanting to use compost in the manufacture of soil on site in landscaping and civil engineering projects. This tool links to four technical documents, explained below.
  • The Compost Checklist is just that.  It provides a number of checks that should be considered prior to, during, and after compost application. This tool aids the project management of compost application.

A series of technical documents accompany the Compost Good Practice Guide giving specific data on compost use in the following:

  • Soil improvement;
  • Topsoil manufacturing:
  • Soil amendment and surface treatment; and
  • Erosion control, sustainable urban drainage systems (SUDS) and green roofs

Primarily an online resource, the guide will be updated on an on-going basis with additional case studies and information as it arises through WRAP’s continuing landscape and regeneration work.

Paul Mathers, Landscape & Regeneration expert for Zero Waste Scotland, explains;

“BSI PAS 100 compost is widely available throughout the UK. Armed with this new guidance and access to local producers, we are confident that more businesses will realise the advantages of using BSI PAS 100 compost, whatever their area of expertise.

“The Compost Good Practice Guide pulls together all the evidence we have gathered over the past few years. It outlines good practice across a range of landscape and regeneration applications and will be of interest to lots of potential users, many of whom may not realise the economic and environmental benefits of compost – architects, civil engineers, sports ground experts, brownfield developers and landscapers."

Details of UK wide BSI PAS 100 compost producers can be found on the WRAP Compost Suppliers list.

Notes For Editors

BSI PAS 100 Quality Compost

Compost is an important product to thelandscaping industry and can providevarious benefits in projects involvingreclamation, restoration and the improvement of land. Compost is a source of organic matter and can improve the physical and chemical properties of the soil to which it is applied, enhance plant growth, stimulate biological activity and improve resistance to erosion.BSI PAS 100 compost is ideal because not only is it a rich source of nutrients, it is also quality assured and therefore reliable and consistent.

Good Practice Guide for the use of BSI PAS 100 Compost in Landscape and Regeneration provides advice on the use of BSI PAS 100 compost, therefore the information included should not be considered appropriate for the application of other compost types and compost like outputs that do not comply with BSI PAS 100 specification.

About Zero Waste Scotland

  • Zero Waste Scotland works with businesses, communities, individuals and local authorities to help them reduce waste, recycle more and use resources sustainably.
  • Zero Waste Scotland is funded by the Scottish Government to support the delivery of its Zero Waste Plan.
  • More information on all Zero Waste Scotland’s programmes can be found at:
  • Examples of case studies in Scotland are available in the document.
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