What is
Field Testing?

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.

Sample Review
Samples arrive at CMA offices where they are photographed and logged into the tracking system. Required documentation is reviewed.
Placement / Analysis
Field technicians travel to testing sites to place samples into piles of compost feedstock (unprocessed yard and food waste).
Movement & Monitoring
Samples 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.
At the end of the active composting cycle, samples are extracted from the piles and dried.
Sample Collection
The 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.
Results are reported to the client.


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!



Facility/LocationLocationTest No.TypeProcess DaysSamples DuePlacementResults
Cedar GroveEverett, WACG127Covered In-Vessel466/3/20246/10/20248/28/2024/2024
Walker Industries – Arthur FacilityON, CanadaWAL02Covered In-Vessel605/28/20245/31/20248/31/2024
Olympic OrganicsKingston, WAOLY21Aerated Static Pile42TBDTBDTBD
St. Louis CompostingBelleville, ILSLC24Windrow90TBDTBDTBD
New EarthSan Antonio, TXNEW19Windrow905/10/20245/22/20249/25/2024
Facility/LocationLocationTest No.TypeProcess DaysPlacementResults
Olympic OrganicsKingston, WAOLY20ASP42-503/19/20246/25/2024
Cedar GroveEverett, WACG125Covered In-vessel462/15/20245/16/2024
Cedar GroveEverett, WACG126Covered In-vessel4604/16/20247/3/2024
New EarthSan Antonio, TXNEW18Windrow902/21/20246/21/2024


Submissions for testing are now accepted via an online form. Use the button below to get started, or keep scrolling for more information about the testing process.



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. Effective January 1, 2021, any items containing total fluorine > 100 ppm, or items that are not verified as containing < 100 total fluorine by lab report from the manufacturer, will be removed from all CMA lists. To learn more about CMA’s fluorine testing protocols, refer to our Technical Memos section under News/Blog tab above.



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.

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. All required certifications and documentation are provided with submission. Up to one hour of technical support provided with each submission. Additional tech support (scientist) charged at $250/hour. 
Cost: $3,750 minimum, 1 to 2 SKU’s
          3 to 5 SKU’s: $1,424/SKU
          6 to 10 SKU’s: $1,292/SKU
          11+ SKU’s: $938/SKU

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: 1-8 SKUs: $1,000 flat rate/minimum charge
           9-19 SKUs: $125/SKU
           20+ SKUs: $100/SKU
           50+ SKUs: Contact for a quote

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, phytotoxicity, 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. All required certifications and documentation are provided with submission. Up to one hour of technical support provided with each submission. Additional tech support (scientist) charged at $250/hour. 
Cost: $3,750 minimum, 1 to 2 SKU’s
          3 to 5 SKU’s: $1,424/SKU
          6 to 10 SKU’s: $1,292/SKU
          11+ SKU’s: $938/SKU

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 $350 each, more than 10 gallon $575 each.

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