image of compost

The Department’s Compost Program endeavors to encourage composting as an environmentally-sound approach to managing organic wastes and for returning stabilized nutrients and organic matter to the soil. The Program includes participation by Department staff on the Maine Compost Team and sponsorship of the internationally recognized Maine Compost School. Staff conduct research and demonstration projects to address current organic waste management issues through composting techniques.

Recent projects include the development of:

  • a technique for composting large animal carcasses in response to concerns about potential outbreaks of contagious diseases, and for routine carcass disposal by composting;

  • research into nitrogen transformations and the potential for loss of nitrogen from large animal carcass compost piles, which is used as the basis for improved recommendations for carcass composting procedures and for nutrient management planning;

  • methods for composting the offal generated by slaughterhouses;

  • Compost Management Plans for farm operations, which enable the farm to compost certain materials or larger volumes of certain materials without having to obtain a license from the Department of Environmental Protection;

  • an educational best management practices manual for carcass composting, Best Management Practices for Animal Carcass Composting (PDF 419KB)

  • public outreach through the sponsorship of, and participation in, the fourth international symposium on managing animal mortalities and food by-products held in Dearborn, Michigan in May 2012; and

  • public outreach through instruction at the first California Compost School held at California Polytechnic  in San Luis Obispo, California in March, 2012


Updated: November 22, 2016