Green waste has grown in popularity, not only benefits the garden and soil but also has a positive environmental impact, reducing waste reaching the landfill sites and lowering carbon footprint.

PAS100 is the certification for green waste compost and ensures that your compost has gone through the correct quality procedures, and is safe for you to use on your garden. PAS100 is the industry standard certification for compost, created by The British Composting Association.

The process to meet PAS100 standards is extensive and is comprised of 7 points:

1) Random spot inspections are required on loads that are brought into the recycling site and are checked thoroughly for materials that are banned. Upon inspection, if loads are contaminated and a percentage of other objects found, these loads will be rejected.

2) The green waste is shred then formed into batches to start the composting process. All information is recorded and each batch is given its own individual code to ensure full traceability.

3) Each composting batch goes through a monitoring phase in which temperatures are checked and maintained at 65-80 °C to ensure all weed seeds are destroyed. Moisture is retained throughout this phase and each batch is turned regularly. This phase consists of sanitisation and stabilisation of the compost and can last up to 14 weeks.

4) Each batch will then go through product preparation procedures, all plastic and stone contaminants are removed and the compost is then screened to a size of 0-10mm and 10-25mm.

5) Once the product is all prepared it will need to be stored well away from any materials undergoing composting.

6) Once the composting process is complete a representative sample is taken on a regular basis and tested for safe use. Samples are tested to ensure there are no materials that affect the quality of the compost, such as Salmonella, E.coli, various plant nutrients and heavy metals. With each sample taken information is recorded, such as the date, grade and batch code. The sample is then sent within 1 working day of being taken to the laboratory to be tested.

7) If the sample does come back as a fail, an investigation as to why it failed will proceed and compost will not be allowed to leave the site. New samples will be taken from the failed batch and once passed, compost leaving the site can resume.

Full traceability, from arrival on site to composting and dispatch from the site, is paramount to PAS100 accreditation and guarantees that the correct procedures are in place. Being aware of the PAS100 accreditation allows you to know exactly what you are purchasing when it comes to compost.