The California Integrated Waste Management Board (now known as the Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery or CalRecycle), in partnership with the California Department of Transportation Headquarters Landscape Architecture Program, developed new compost use specifications for district designers including landscape architects, biologists, and storm water quality coordinators. A series of four workshops were held across the state. These workshops provided designers with the opportunity to comment, suggest revisions, and ask compost and water quality-related questions of a diverse team of experts.

These workshops featured practical tools and information on using compost for erosion control and revegetation. In addition, the publication Compost Use for Landscape and Environmental Enhancement was provided to workshop participants.


Topics covered included:

  • The characteristics and uses of mulches, soil amendments, and organic fertilizers.
  • The benefits of compost for roadside applications, including reduced runoff, improved infiltration, improved erosion control, and filtration.
  • The U.S. Composting Council's Seal of Testing Assurance Program, the national compost quality and labeling program.
  • Using compost to reduce erosion and improve the establishment of roadside vegetation.
  • Innovative Caltrans projects, pros and cons of different types of applications, and lessons learned.
  • Panel discussion on using compost and mulch on roadside applications.


Stakeholders included:

  • University professionals
  • Researchers
  • Soil scientists
  • California compost industry professionals
  • Landscape architects
  • Caltrans representatives
  • State Water Resources Control Board