WORC strives to connect members, the organics recycling industry, government, researchers and the public with current best practices, cutting edge research, regulatory changes, and useful tools for closing the loop with organics. Let us know if there’s a link we should add!


Request for proposals (RFP) for Organic Processing Services
SPU RFP/Contract #16-216-B

The City of Seattle's Seattle Public Utilities (SPU) is requesting proposals for processing approximately 40,000 tons per year of organic materials produced by the City's residential, commercial and transfer station services. Processing can include composting and/or anaerobic digestion into marketable end products such as compost, mulch, biogas for energy generation or fuel and digestate for composting and/or land application.

Interested vendors are encouraged to review the RFP, background documents, and any RFP addenda online at https://www.ebidexchange.com/seattle. Note that you are required to complete a free registration to view, print or save documents posted on this website and to view contact information for other vendors who have downloaded documents from this website.

The deadline for submitting Proposals is 3:00 PM, Monday, January 23, 2017, at the 50th Floor, Seattle Municipal Tower, 700 Fifth Avenue, P.O. Box 34018, Seattle, WA 98104-4018.

An optional Pre-Submittal Conference for prospective bidders will be held on Wednesday, January 4, 2017 in Conference Room SMT 4050/60 (40th Floor) of the Seattle Municipal Tower Building, 700 Fifth Avenue, Seattle, WA 98104, from 10:00 AM to 11:00 AM. Seattle Public Utilities will review the scope of work, vendor expectations, and answer questions from the prospective bidders.

All questions regarding this request shall be directed only to Kathy Peterson, Contract Administrator & SPU's designated contact person.

Questions can be posted online at https://www.ebidexchange.com/seattle or by e-mail to Kathy Peterson as listed below.

The City of Seattle is an Equal Opportunity Employer and selection of Contractors is subject to applicable laws and ordinances regarding equal opportunity employment.

Kathy Peterson, MBA 
Strategic Advisor
Seattle Public Utilities
Finance & Administration Branch | Contracts Division
206.684.5084 | kathya.peterson@seattle.gov

Other organizations
US Composting Council (USCC) – the nation leader, maintains compost standard specifications and testing through their Seal of Testing Assurance (STA) program.
Compost Council of Canada 
Northwest Biosolids Management Association


BioCycle – the organics recycling authority
Compost Science and Utilization
Resource Recycling

Public Information

WORC Users Guide to Compost
Natural Yard Care (Seattle Public Utilities) – soil, composting, plants, and more
Composting at Home resources (WA Dept. of Ecology)
Guide to Apartment and Condo Composting

For Professionals: Natural Landscaping: Design, Build, Maintain and Landscape Professionals website
Non-Residential Composting & Data (WA Dept. of Ecology)

The Soil-Water Connection

Learn how to protect and restore soil quality, to manage stormwater and meet Washington’s regulations, at WORC’s two sites: Soils for Salmon (science and design) and Building Soil (for builders and contractors).

Facilities Best Practices

Organics Facility Inspection Guidance
Siting and Operating Composting Facilities in Washington State: Good Management Practices (pdf - WA Dept. of Ecology), and see more Ecology resources below.
Managing Stormwater Onsite by David McDonald.
Sustainability in Prisons Project involves inmates in composting and other best practices – see Using Worms to Reduce Food Waste at Monroe Correctional Complex and their inspiring video The Power of Sustainability: Worm Farming
Compost and Vermicompost in Organic Crop Production
USDA National Organic Program (NOP)

  • NOP Handbook
  • NOP 2606 describes the policies and procedures used to evaluate requests for temporary variances from the production and handling requirements of the USDA organic regulations submitted by certifying agents or State organic programs.
    NOP Fact Sheet Making the Transition to Organic Production & Handling: This document provides an organized set of resources that help producers and handlers transition their operations to organic.  
  • NOP Fact Sheet Technical & Financial Assistance for Organic Producers: This document outlines a variety of technical, educational, and financial resources available to organic producers through several USDA agencies and external non-profit organizations. 
  • Find other fact sheets regarding organic regulations,
    certification, practices and more: NOP Fact Sheets.

Regulatory Structure

The regulatory framework for composting in Washington is covered in WAC 173-350-220. Contact your local jurisdictional health authority to find out if your composting activity will require a solid waste permit or not.  In short, local health departments issue solid waste permits that WA Department of Ecology’s regional offices review. This framework is unique among states — most state environmental agencies directly regulate and enforce solid waste handling. See Ecology’s Organic Materials Management Law and Rule page for more information.
Ecology’s Waste 2 Resources Program links to regulations, science, and best practices.  On their Organic Materials Management site, Compost & Healthy Soil has a map of permitted and some exempt composting facilities, composting facility annual report data, and other valuable resources for the public and the organics industry.
US EPA Composting has national regulatory and best practice resources.  See also the NOP Handbook Table of Contents.

On Farm Composting

Farms the compost and use their residuals on-site generally do not need permits, but farms that distribute or sell material off-site must comply with WAC 173-350-220.
NRCS Organic Farming Handbook

Research and Science Education

WSU Soil Management – The best resource for current science and best practices in composting, biosolids, urban and agricultural soils and practices
WSU Clopyralid in Compost for current information on this persistent pesticide
See also WSU Gardening for soil sampling, composting and other tools,  and Center for Sustaining Agriculture and Natural Resources for farming research and best practices.
Soil Biology Primer and more resources from the USDA NRCS Soils program
ATTRA sustainable agriculture
Research Needs Report lists research priorities identified by WORC members.