California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle)

Organic Materials Management

Compost and Mulch

Composting, nature's own way of recycling, is the controlled decomposition of organic material such as leaves, twigs, grass clippings, and food scraps.

Compost is the soil amendment product that results from aerobic composting. Whether it's done on site, at the point of waste generation or in a large-scale, centralized facility, composting helps to keep the high volume of organic material out of landfills and turns it into a product that is useful for soil restoration.

Small-scale on-site composting reduces the cost of hauling materials to the landfill and is generally exempted from solid waste regulations. Consult current composting regulations and contact your Local Enforcement Agency for guidance on any local permit requirements prior to beginning a compost project.

Large-scale compost facilities handle more material and typically produce a more consistent compost product, and they are required to comply with regulatory and permitting standards.

Mulch is the soil covering used to control weeds or erosion, retain moisture in soil, and insulate soil from cold weather. Organic materials commonly used for mulch include wood chips, ground up landscape trimmings, shredded bark, coarse compost material, straw, and shredded paper.

Homeowner Resources

Producers of Compost and Mulch

Government Agencies: Procurement

Compost Demonstration Projects

Additional Resources

Last updated: June 7, 2012
Organic Materials Management http://www.calrecycle.ca.gov/Organics/
Contacts: http://www.calrecycle.ca.gov/Organics/Contacts.htm