BSI PAS 100 FAQs

13th December 2016

Have questions about BSI PAS 100? WRAP has developed further information about the PAS100 specification for compost in the form of some handy FAQs.

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To find information related to that contained in this report, please use the following links:

BSI PAS 100 Specification >> 
BSI PAS 100 Sample Clause >>>
Good Practice Guide:  Using BSI PAS 100 Compost in landscape and regeneration projects >>

What is BSI PAS 100?

The British Standards Institution’s Publically Available Specification 100 (BSI PAS 100 or ‘PAS100’) provides a baseline quality specification for compost. PAS 100 includes requirements about how materials such as green and green-food waste can be processed, and is one of the fundamental pillars of the Compost Certification Scheme.  Composts produced by an accredited site under the certification scheme can achieve ‘product status’, which means that they are no longer regulated as wastes.

PAS100 was launched in November 2002 and was developed jointly by WRAP and The Organics Recycling Group (formerly the Composting Association). The Compost Certification Scheme now manages updates to PAS100.

Why do we need BSI PAS 100?

PAS100 provides strict requirements to make sure that feedstock materials, such as green and green-food waste, are processed in a controlled way. For example, that the materials being composted are passed through an effective sanitisation stage. These requirements mean that users of compost certified against the Compost Certification Scheme can be assured that they are safe to use.

Can I sell, transport and apply compost certified to BSI PAS 100?

Composts must be managed either in compliance with waste regulations, or they must be accredited under the Compost Certification Scheme to achieve end of waste status.

The requirements of the Compost Certification Scheme include PAS100, but they also include other requirements. For example, in England, Northern Ireland and Wales, composts must also be certified against the requirements of the Quality Protocol for Compost or, in Scotland, against SEPA’s position statement. The Compost Certification Scheme takes into account these regional differences.

Composts derived from food waste must also comply with the Animal By-Products Regulations, which has specific requirements for the storage, transport and handling of relevant composts.

Can I use compost on organic farmland?

The governing EU regulation for organic farming lists the types of compost that are considered acceptable for use by organic farmers and growers. If you are unsure about the use of a specific organic material, you should contact your organic certifying body.

Is there a lot of work involved in getting certified under the scheme?

Certification involves a series of steps and the Compost Certification Scheme cwill be able to assist you with most of them. The steps involved are:

  • Creation of a quality policy
  • Hazards analysis
  • Creating standard operating procedures
  • Process validation and day-to-day record keeping.

How long does it take to get BSI PAS 100 certified?

As a rough guide, allow seven to 10 months from beginning to end. It really depends on what stage you are starting from, how quickly you make your compost, the speed at which you process the paperwork, and how long it takes for the lab to perform its analysis.

How do I join the Compost Certification Scheme?

The certification section of the Compost Certification Scheme's website has all the information relating to scheme applications and enquiries. Contact details for the Compost Certification Scheme are available from their website.

How can I find a supplier of certified compost?

The Compost Certification Scheme’s website includes searchable information about certified producers and their products.

What do I do if I don't think the compost I purchased is up to standard?

A survey published in 2017 found that the majority of compost users are pleased with the quality of compost. If you have purchased PAS100 certified compost accredited against the Compost Certification Scheme but are unhappy with its quality, it is important to register your complaint at www.qualitycompost.org.uk/product-complaints.

If you have a complaint about compost that is not certified under the scheme, please contact the relevant regulator: the Environment Agency, Natural Resources Wales or the Scottish Environmental Protection Agency.

Where next?

Want to know more about composting? Take a look at our reports, guides, tools and case studies for further information:

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