Composting Operations

25 Hours / Access Length: 12 Months / Delivery: Online, Self-Paced

Course Overview:

Using the Internet this course will provide the student with a comprehensive look at  composting. This class will meet or exceed requirements for the educational components of certification and/or licensing required for solid waste professionals.

Course Outline:

Lesson 1 – Science of Composting
  • Understand that composting is very similar to farming and that, like farming, there are specific environmental conditions that lead to success.
  • Identify the primary organisms responsible for organic decomposition and describe the
  • environment they thrive in.
  • Describe the chemical parameters of composting and where each parameter is at its
  • optimum.
  • Describe the physical parameters of composting and where each parameter is at its
  • optimum.
Lesson 2 – Composting Processes
  • Describe the numerous composting processes and explain how these processes can vary depending on the type and quantity of waste to be composted. Describe how waste or compost feedstock should be properly prepared, depending on the composting process, in order to reach optimum composting conditions.
  • List the variety of physical and chemical adjustments that can be made to the feedstock prior to beginning the composting process.
  • Identify the operating parameters associated with the rapid decomposition phase.
  • List the high, low, and optimum range for each of the parameters.
  • Identify the process and benefits of properly curing compost.
  • Identify the processes and benefits of compost refining.
  • List the multiple end users for the compost.
  • Describe the various end uses for the compost and the different degrees of refining for each.
Lesson 3 – Feedstock & Compost Technologies
  • Understand its waste source and matches the best composting technology to the waste source.
  • List the distinctive categories of potential compost feedstock and understand some of the concerns associated with each category.
  • List the primary categories of composting technologies and the advantages and disadvantages with each.
Lesson 4 – Compost Quality & Classification
  • Explain why there is currently a lack of standards classifications and regulations that govern the compost industry.
  • Identify the different compost qualities and the ranges that make for a quality product.
  • Identify the different methods used to test compost.
  • Explain the basic element of a compost quality assurance program.
Lesson 5 – Facility Development
  • Explain how the design and process complexity of a compost facility is relative to the type and quantity of feedstock it handles.
  • Explain why siting a compost facility, like siting any waste facility, is a complex, controversial, and very important part of developing a facility.
  • Identify the basic components of a complete facility design.
  • Explain why there may be both state and local requirements for permitting a compost facility.
  • Explain the basic requirements for operating a composting facility.
Lesson 6 – Environmental Concerns & Control
  • Describe many of the primary causes of odor and some of their controls.
  • Identify areas of concerns for water quality at a compost facility and some of the controls.
  • Identify areas of concern for air quality and some of the controls practiced to protect air quality at a compost facility.
  • Identify some of the causes and controls for noise pollution at a compost facility.
  • Identify some of the causes and controls for managing vectors and pests at a compost facility.
Lesson 7 – Compost Regulations
  • Understand that there are currently no federal standards governing compost unless biosolids are used.
  • Understand that though there are no federal standards that directly govern compost and/or the composting process, there are environmental laws that may govern aspects of composting.
  • Understand that many states have developed compost or composting standards through their solid waste agency.
Lesson 8 – State Programs
  • Determine and describe the two different types of composting facilities.
  • Determine and explain the regulations and operation requirements for all composting Facilities.


All necessary materials are included.

System Requirements:

Internet Connectivity Requirements:
  • Cable and DSL internet connections are recommended for the best experience.
Hardware Requirements:
  • CPU: 1 GHz or higher
  • RAM: 2 GB or higher
  • Resolution: 1280 x 720 or higher
  • Speakers / Headphones
  • Microphone (Webinar / Live Online sessions)
Operating System Requirements:
  • Microsoft Windows 7 or 10 (Home, Pro)
  • Mac OSX 10 or higher.
  • Latest Chrome OS
  • Latest Linux Distributions

NOTE: While we understand that our courses can be viewed on Android and iPhone devices, we do not recommend the use of these devices for our courses. The size of these devices do not provide a good learning environment for students taking online or live online based courses.

Web Browser Requirements:
  • Latest Google Chrome is recommended for the best experience.
  • Latest Mozilla FireFox
  • Latest Microsoft Edge
  • Latest Apple Safari
Basic Software Requirements (These are recommendations of software to use):
  • Office suite software (Microsoft Office, OpenOffice, or LibreOffice)
  • PDF reader program (Adobe Reader, FoxIt)
  • Courses may require other software that is denoted in the above course outline.

** The course outlines displayed on this website are subject to change at any time without prior notice. **