North Carolina’s solid waste policy reflects the state’s desire to reduce, reuse, and recycle before turning to disposal as a management option for solid waste. To that end, the North Carolina General Assembly established a hierarchy of preferred alternatives to using landfills. The first option, after reduction, reuse and recycling, is composting.

For more information contact: Donna Wilson, Engineering Project Manager, at (919) 707-8255 or

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The new compost rule changes, effective November 2019, require that compost facilities have an operator, supervisor, or manager trained in compost operations according to a Division approved course.  The requirement applies to Large Type 1, Large Type 2, all Type 3 and all Type 4 compost facilities. The rule can be viewed at this link - 15A NCAC 13B .1406(19).  

Existing permitted compost facilities are required to have an operator approved by November 1, 2022.  New facilities permitted after November 1, 2019, are required to have an approved operator within 18 months of the first permit issuance. 

Three courses have been approved by the Division of Waste Management as "an approved solid waste management facility operator training course" as provided in General Statute 130A-309.25(c) and 15A NCAC 13B .1406(19).  Information for the approved courses can be found at the following weblinks:

Compost Operations Training Course (CREF)

North Carolina Compost Program Manager (LaBella Associates)

SWANA Managing Composting Programs (NC SWANA)

Compost facility operators, managers, or supervisors may satisfy the requirements of G.S. 130A-309.25(c) and 15A NCAC 13B .1406(19) by successfully completing one of these courses or by receiving a renewed certification from the training provider.   A person who has achieved and maintained compost operator certification from the US Compost Council Certification Commission ( is considered to have met the requirement.  

Large Type 1 compost facilities will not be required to complete training at this time as there is currently no approved course available specific to those operations. 

Other compost operator training courses for Type 2, 3, and 4 facilities can be considered for approval. Also, training courses specific to Large Type 1 facilities are particularly needed. Interested training providers may contact Deb Aja at for more information.

Compost Training Memorandum