Ensuring the safety of composts, soil conditioners and mulches

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If you have ever purchased a bag of mulch for your garden, you may not be aware of the specific requirements that are involved in its production.  The Standards Australia Technical Committee CS-037 Garden Soils and Potting Mixes has been working over the past few years revising the standard recently published in its 4th edition as AS 4454-2012 Composts, soil conditioners and mulches.  CFA representative Tracey Colley has been active in representing consumer interests on this committee which made a number of changes including a definition of raw mulch and mature compost; and a requirement to test for pathogen indicators when high risk materials are used.

The standard is intended to provide clarity for consumers, those who manufacture or supply compost, mulches and soil conditioners, and those involved in providing compostable organic materials as feedstocks to manufacturers. Where there currently are no regulations covering compost or mulch, this standard will provide protection for consumers.

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