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US Composting Council

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This article is part of the Center for Media & Democracy's spotlight on front groups and corporate spin.

WARNING! Sewage sludge is toxic. Food should not be grown in "biosolids." Join the Food Rights Network.

The US Composting Council (USCC) is a front group for dumping sewage sludge onto gardens and farms. It sponsors the ironically titled International Compost Awareness Week; the irony is that the buyer of compost is not "aware" that USCC puts their seal on sewage sludge-derived "compost." It describes itself as a national trade and professional organization with over 600 members including Synagro, compost manufacturers, local government, equipment suppliers and others. It promotes "compost" manufactured with sewage sludge.[1] As a promoter of "biosolids," the sludge industry PR term for sewage sludge dumped on farms and gardens, it works closely with BioCycle magazine, Water Environment Federation, Kellogg Garden Products, and other promoters of growing food in sewage sludge.


USCC Behind "Compost Awareness Week

The Truth about Kellogg "Organics" Amend

International Compost Awareness Week (ICAW) is a yearly PR campaign by the US Composting Councilto promote dumping sewage sludge on gardens and farms. Jeff Ziegenbein of the giant Los Angeles, CA, Inland Empire Utility Agency (IEUA) coordinates the program for the USCC. IEUA supplies the sewage sludge "compost" that is resold by the Kellogg Garden Products company.

Sludge Industry Gives an 'Award' to Alice Waters and Chez Panisse Foundation

The USCC gave celebrity chef Alice Waters and her Chez Panisse Foundation an 'award' in January, 2011. "The H. Clark Gregory Award to Promote Grassroots Efforts in Composting" was awarded to Alice Waters, Chez Panisse Foundation and their Edible Schoolyard program which promotes children growing food from their own gardens. The award is given each year to an individual who has displayed outstanding service." [2]

Involvement in San Francisco Sludge Controversy

In April 2010, the U.S. Composting Council sent a letter of support to the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission in favor of its sewage sludge compost giveaway program.[3] In the letter, the U.S. Composting Council says sewage sludge composts "provide many benefits while being safe for use."

Seal of Testing Assurance (STA)

One of USCC's main programs is its Seal of Testing Assurance (STA) for compost products.[4] 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. For more information, see the article on the Seal of Testing Assurance.

About USCC


According to its website:[5]

"Established in 1990, the US Composting Council (USCC) is the only national organization in the United States dedicated to the development, expansion and promotion of the composting industry. The USCC achieves this mission by encouraging, supporting and performing compost related research, promoting best management practices, establishing standards, educating professionals and the public about the benefits of composting and compost utilization, enhancing compost product quality, and developing training materials for composters and markets for compost products. USCC members include compost producers, marketers, equipment manufacturers, product suppliers, academic institutions, public agencies, nonprofit groups and consulting/engineering firms.
"The USCC is a non-profit 501(c) (6) organization that also directs the Composting Council Research and Education Foundation (CCREF), a 501(c) (3) charitable foundation, which administers public and private research and education activities."

Board and Staff

The leadership of the U.S. Composting Council is as follows:[6]


Board of Directors:


"USCC members include compost producers, marketers, generators of organic residues, policy makers, regulators, equipment manufacturers, product suppliers, academic institutions, public agencies, nonprofit groups and consulting/engineering firms."[7]

Members include:[8]

Compost Producers:

Compost Industry Affiliates:


Equipment Manufacturer/Product Suppliers:

Compost Testing Laboratories:

Industry Publications:

Public Agencies:

Academic and Research:

Non-Profit Organizations:

Steven Mojo

Charles Jolly

Contact Information

  • U.S. Composting Council
  • 1 Comac Loop, Suite 1481
  • Ronkonkoma, NY 11779
  • Phone: (631) 737-4931
  • Fax: (631) 737-4939
  • Email:
  • Web:

Articles and resources

Related SourceWatch articles


  1. "USCC - Letter of Support for SFPUC's Biosolids Compost Program"
  2. USCC Website Accessed 4/17/11
  3. "USCC - Letter of Support for SFPUC's Biosolids Compost Program"
  4. Seal of Testing Assurance, Accessed May 3, 2011.
  5. Mission, US Composting Council, Accessed April 25, 2011.
  6. Governance - US Composting Council, Accessed April 22, 2011.
  7. About, US Composting Council, Accessed April 25, 2011.
  8. 2010 Member List

External resources

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