image of compost

The Department’s Compost Program promotes composting as an environmentally-sound approach to managing organic wastes and converting them to a more stabilized form for use by agricultural operations and homeowners in crop production. Department staff collaborate with the Maine Compost Team by participating in the internationally-recognized Maine Compost School and many other educational programs related to general composting and carcass management. Compost School staff develop and teach programs for USDA veterinarians and personnel related to foreign animal disease outbreaks, and also conduct research and demonstration projects to address current organic waste management issues through composting techniques.

Projects include the development of:

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

  • 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; and

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