Test Methods for the Examination of Composting and Compost

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Test Methods for the Examination of Composting and Compost (TMECC) the publication that contains the science behind the U.S. Composting Council's Seal of Testing Assurance program.[1] The STA program, developed in 2000, requires regular testing of compost products by "certified" labs. The testing is relatively minimal and the standards are designed to allow for certification of products containing sewage sludge.

According to USCC:

"The science behind the development of the STA Program and the various tests that are used is contained in ‘Test Methods for the Examination of Composting & Compost’ (‘TMECC’). This publication includes a suite of physical, chemical and biological tests. These were selected to help both compost producer and purchaser to determine if the compost they are considering is suitable for the use that they are planning, and to help them compare various compost products using a testing program that can be performed by a group of independent, certified labs across the country and in Canada."

Development of TMECC

"TMECC was jointly published by the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Composting Council Research and Education Foundation (CCREF). The TMECC Project was initiated by The Procter and Gamble Company in mid 1995 under the direction of Phil B. Leege, and adopted by the Composting Council Research and Education Foundation in late 1995 under the leadership of Dr. Charles Cannon, former Executive Vice President of the Composting Council."[2]

Elements Tested Under TMECC

Composts in the STA program are tested for the following:[3]

Additionally, "any and all testing required by applicable State and/or Federal regulation (e.g., pathogens, heavy metals, pesticides, inerts, etc.) to assure public health/safety and environmental protection must be completed at the frequency so regulated."[4]

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