To accomplish higher food waste diversion and minimize contamination in urban feed stocks, CMA and its affiliated members offer a program of technical review and field testing of compostable products to determine their feasibility as a feed stock when shipped to fully permitted industrial composting facilities.1Sample ReviewSamples arrive at CMA offices where they are photographed and logged into the tracking system. Required documentation is reviewed.2Placement / AnalysisField technicians travel to testing sites to place samples into piles of compost feedstock (unprocessed yard and food waste).3Movement & MonitoringSamples are monitored by on-site operational personnel through each customary stage of processing until the end of the active composting cycle. Monitoring reports are sent to the CMA offices for each field test conducted.4ExtractionAt the end of the active composting cycle, samples are extracted from the piles and dried.5Sample CollectionThe CMA field technician returns to the site to filter and sift through composted material in testing vessels and then bags and marks any residual material for return to the CMA offices to report results. 6ResultsResults are reported to the client.CMA SPECIAL PROJECTS TEAM
CMA’s network of facilities, piles, and expertise has increased interest in a variety of special projects conducted between the supply chain and the compost piles. From feedstock recipe trials to large campus waste audits, CMA can help! Email us!


As cities, businesses and residents strive for zero waste, the use of compostable food service ware is increasing. The Compost Manufacturing Alliance (CMA) works to support these programs while maintaining a high standard of compost quality across 20 composting facilities throughout the U.S.  Items submitted for CMA field testing include bags, utensils, plates, bowls, clamshells, wraps and more. As new products are developed to meet growing market demands, CMA provides the expertise to determine how well the products will break down in modern, large scale compost manufacturing technologies. For general questions about this, please contact: customerservice@composterapproved.com, use the Contact Us form on our website or call 206-771-3853.

Submission Guidelines

Include three (3) to five (5) samples for each item submitted per technology test and include a unique Identification Number written on at least one of the items. (EXAMPLE- if you are testing in ASP and WINDROW, send three to five samples for each technology to cover both tests, or 10 samples in total.

Where to Ship Samples

ATTENTION: Kari Cummins
Compost Manufacturing Alliance2501 SE Mile Hill Dr., Suite A104Port Orchard, WA 98366206-771-3853

Requirements for CMA Testing & Substrate Review

You must be the manufacturer (or an authorized agent for the manufacturer) Items must be related to food service or yard waste collection

Other Technologies Available for Testing Trials

Testing trials occur every month and/or when enough samples are collected to constitute a testing round. Testing technologies in the cycle include: Covered/in-vessel (Gore), aerated static pile (ASP), mass bed, turned ASP, agitated continuous flow systems, and others as requested.(Note that CMA only offers testing in aerobic compost manufacturing facilities. Anaerobic digestion is a distinctively different and separate technology than composting, and CMA does not offer testing in these types of units).


Effective January 1, 2020, CMA facilities do not accept products for field testing or substrate review that contain > 100 ppm total fluorine and/or intentionally added fluorine. Any new submittals or items submitted for recertification must be accompanied by this profile addendum (Form Here) with the qualifying documentation as requested.COMPOSTABLE FOOD SERVICE ITEMS ⮟ Category A: Items must meet ASTM D6400 or EN 13432 standards for mono layer bioplastics and co-polymers (such as compostable plastic cutlery, bioplastic straws, PLA clear cold cups, portion cups, etc.)
Category B: Items that meet ASTM D6868 requirements for plastics used as coatings on compostable substrates, fibrous materials and multi-layered structures.

Note that ASTM lab result submissions must include: Heavy metals analysis, spectral analysis, phytoxicity, and biodegradation.
Other Notes
Testing of multiple products of varying sizes to represent a full line are considered on a case by case basis only.
Cost: $4750 for up to 10 items. Each additional item will be charged $350.COMPOSTABLE KITCHEN BUCKET BAGS, BIN LINERS ⮟Required Documentation: Products must meet ASTM D6400 and lab reports supplied to verify.
Notes: You may submit smallest to largest size, along with lowest and highest mil thickness to cover all sizes and thicknesses in your product line.
Cost: $2750 for up to 3 bags. Each additional bag, less than 10 gallon, $650. more than 10 gallon, $750 each.PRE-ASTM COMPOSTABLE FOOD SERVICE ITEMS ⮟Required Documentation: Products in process of receiving BPI certification and/or completing ASTM or ISO 16929 testing.
Notes: Testing of multiple products of varying sizes for full line consideration are offered on a case by case basis only.
Cost: $4950 for up to 10 items. Each additional item will be $350.Profile results will be provided, but acceptance letters are only provided after other certifications are met.PAPER PRODUCTS, WOOD AND WOOD FIBER BASED PRODUCTS, UNCOATED PAPERBOARD, CLAY COATED PAPERBOARD, CORRUGATE, AND OTHER UNCOATED OR UNTREATED WOOD FIBER BASED PRODUCTS ⮟Required Documentation: All inks, treatments, coatings and available certifications and/or FDA documentation for food contact must be provided. Field testing may be required based upon sample and documentation review.
Notes: Substrate review and/or field testing.
Cost: Up to 3 items, $1,000. Each additional item, less than 20 items, $100 / item. Each additional item, more than 20 items, $75 / item.
PRODUCT RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT TESTING ⮟Required Documentation: Research testing is designed to test a variety of products or prototypes that may have slight differences in composition. You can run up to five different substrates, components or specific items and product prototypes per testing batch.
Service Includes: Field testing, detailed written report with information on the variable and comparative breakdown of each “recipe”/prototype sample, one hour debrief.
Note: This test can also be done as a preliminary ASTM disintegration test.
Cost: $4950 for up to 5 items/$895 each additional.Profile results will be provided, but acceptance letters are only provided after other certifications are met
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