AfOR's input material specification template for composters/local authorities contracts

AfOR has released today an input specification schedule template that enables composters and their suppliers to define a standard for the quality and types of input materials delivered to their composting sites. Two versions of the template have been developed:

1) one for GARDEN WASTE ONLY; and
2) another one for FOOD & GARDEN WASTES.

These versions can be adapted to include any other biodegradable wastes that are allowed under contractual arrangements between the composters and their waste suppliers.

This input specification template also provides guidance on how the input materials delivered to the composting facility shall be compared to the input quality standard and defines the actions to be taken if it is established that the material does not meet the required standard.

Although the use of this template is not mandatory under AfOR Compost Certification Scheme, AfOR recommends that this, or an equivalent template, is used by the composters and their suppliers when signing up new contracts or reviewing existing contracts.

The need for developing such a template was identified at one of the last meetings of AfOR Special Interest Group focused on feedstock quality and contamination. Although large waste management companies may be using similar forms already, smaller operators may be not. Feedback from members highlighted that there is currently little clarity and consistency on what information should be included in contracts in terms of feedstock quality and types. Contracts do often not specify maximum acceptance criteria for physical contaminants or, if they do, they tend to refer to a ‘5% maximum level’, which is often inadequate given the PAS 100 current stringent limit for physical contaminants and plastics (especially when process losses are taken into account). In addition, it is not uncommon to find contracts that set a maximum 5%, with no reference to whether this fraction is expressed on a volume or a weight basis. AfOR hopes that composters on the Scheme will find these templates useful and would be grateful to receive feedback on how to improve them.
The specification template includes reference to a methodology developed and released few months ago by AfOR to assess the levels and types of physical contaminants in biowastes delivered to composting sites. The methodology can be found HERE .

Copies of these templates can also be downloaded from section 'Certification' of AfOR's website, HERE (Certification Scheme templates 10d and 10e).

Finally, AfOR would like to thank Viridor for having provided examples of biowaste specifications that have represented the basis for this template. We would also like to thank Tony Breton at Novamont for his expert contribution and assistance in writing this template.

If you need any clarification or you wish to provide any feedback, please contact Kiara (07717294793,

Last update: 03/12/2012
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