Biodegradable:  something this is capable of decaying through the actions of living organisms. Items that are biodegradable MAY NOT BE COMPOSTABLE as there is no regulatory time limit placed on the biodegradation process.  Items that take decades to break down may be classified as biodegradable.

Bulk sales: products that are not packaged.  A truck is required for loading. Materials may not be shoveled into passenger vehicles.

Certified Compostable Products:  Items that are ASTM (American Society for Testing and Materials) D6400 or D6868 compliant or BPI (Biodegradable Products Institute) certified compostable. For an extended definition and a list of certified products and manufacturers, please visit

Compost:  a mature organic soil amendment that has the ability to sequester carbon while improving the biological, chemical and physical characteristics of the soil.  It does contain nutrients but id usually not classified as a fertilizer.

Feedstocks:  organic materials used to create finished composts.  AgRecycle is permitted to accept the following feedstocks: crop remnants, plants, herbivore manure, and bedding, yard debris, certified compostable items, tree and shrub trimming, untreated paper, corrugated, non-biosolid organic liquids, untreated wood, and some green building materials.

Fertilizer:  a substance containing nutrients used to improve plant growth and crop yields.  They do not enhance or improve soil structure.

Greenhouse Gas Emissions (GHGs): any atmospheric gas that contributes to the greenhouse effect by absorbing infrared radiation produced by solar warming of the earth’s surface.

“Organic Materials” AS USED ON THIS WEBSITE: pertaining to compounds existing in or derived from plants or animals. Items that have received organic certifications from agricultural organizations are herein designated as such.

Permitted Sites:  all composting sites in Pennsylvania processing compostable materials that were generated off-site, MUST be approved to operate by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection and receive a permit issued by PADEP.

Sanitized (compost): is derived from the process when feedstocks are actively composting for a minimum of fifteen days above temperatures of 131F {{ needs to have the degree symbol inserted}}. This sanitization process kills off pathogens and weed seeds.  All AgRecycle composts are sanitized.

Soil Amendments:  substances that are incorporated into the soil to improve its physical and chemical structure.  They have the ability to improve aeration, prevent compaction, enhance the nutrient holding capacity, introduce beneficial biological diversity, as well as impacting the soil’s water penetration and water holding capacity.

Source Separated:  by regulation in Pennsylvania, composting operations are only permitted to accept compostable materials that the generator has separated at their point of origin. Composters operating in Pennsylvania do not have the option to accept compostable items that are co-mingled with other recyclables or wastes.

Windrow:  the pile configuration used during the active decomposition phase in commercial composting operations.