Supporting scientific research is a core focus of the CREF mission.  Here are some of the most current research projects and upcoming future project areas from the Foundation:

Soluble Salts in Compost and Their Effects on Soil
The goal of this paper was to explore the know knowledge regarding the speciation of the specific salt measured by the EC test.  The paper has recently been published in Compost Science & Utilization (CS&U).  Published by Taylor & Francis, CS&U is abstracted in the prestigious Science Citation Index with an impact factor of 0.969.  Publication of such work in an internationally recognized peer-reviewed research journal gives the work an extra level of recognition in the scientific community and reinforces CREF’s commitment to understanding and communicating the science involved in composting.  The full paper is available open access, for Free, HERE.

Field Sampling of Compost Materials
The Compost Sampling Video Project developed a two-part video series designed to educate composters on how to effectively and accurately take samples from both finished compost or an active heterogeneous stockpile or windrow. A Sampling Reference Guide is being written as an additional educational tool. Sampling Video Page

Compostables Field Testing Program
The CREF and partners have created a ready-to-go field test for certified compostable food packaging. This open source standardized field test will provide baseline data on composting conditions that impact disintegration of compostable products and packaging. This will allow the CREF to develop tools for composters wanting to understand best practices for processing these feedstocks. Field Testing Page

Air Emissions
This literature review is evaluating current air quality testing methods to determine their effectiveness and identify possible changes or alternatives to current testing methods that are more cost-effective and will provide suitably accurate data regarding the emissions at a compost facility. This review is currently out for peer review. Once the review is completed, it will be available here. But, before that review is available, here is a shorter version you can read on this subject.

Next research project for CREF

Return on Investment (ROI) Analysis of Applying Compost to Aid Product Marketing
While organic diversion has increased, market demand for compost has not kept pace; Many compost facilities have growing stockpiles. One reason for this is that it has been difficult to educate the market on the economic benefits of applying compost. The CREF will research current literature and studies documenting ROI and then create individual reports that will provide instructions and explain the ROI for very specific compost applications.

Click here to find a list of other research projects CREF has done over the years.

If you have a research project you would like CREF to consider,
please contact the Foundation at
Thank you to all the companies and individuals who donated to our match challenge at Compost2020 to help us grow our research projects.  These generous donations will allow CREF to continue to offer more industry-specific research projects.
  • A1 Organics
  • Atlas Organics
  • Barnes Nursery
  • Bartlett Ventures
  • Burtol Ewert
  • California Compost Coalition
  • Cedar Grove
  • Chris Wood
  • Christiansen Farms
  • Chuck Duprey
  • Clean it Green It
  • Colorado Composting Council
  • Compost & Organics Association of Missouri (COAM)
  • Compost Crusader
  • Crystal Warren
  • Dan Noble, ACP
  • Daniel Matsch
  • Darby Marketing
  • David Weindorf
  • Dirt Hugger
  • ECO Products
  • Emily McGill
  • Engineered Compost System
  • Gary Gittere
  • Ginny Black
  • Good Food 4 U
  • Good Nature Organics
  • Grow Amsterdam NY
  • Homestead Slow Food
  • Jack Hoeck
  • Jamie Brown
  • Jeff Ziegenbein
  • Jeffrey Dannis
  • John Janes
  • JPM Development
  • Kellogg Garden
  • Larry Pottebaum
  • Linda Norris
  • Lorrie Loder Rossiter
  • McGill Environmental Systems
  • Michael Bryan-Brown
  • Minnesota Composting Council
  • Missouri Organic
  • Nathan O'Connor
  • Natur-Tec
  • New Earth
  • New Jersey Composting Council
  • Noel Lyons, McGill
  • North Carolina Composting Council
  • Northern Tilth
  • Ohio Organics Council
  • Olympic Organics
  • Patriot Acres
  • Premier Tech
  • Rexius Forest By Products
  • Rob Michitsch
  • Ron Alexander
  • Rooflite
  • SET Processing Solutions
  • St Louis Composting
  • US Composting Council
  • US Green Building
  • Virginia Composting Council
  • WECAN Waste
  • WeCare Denali

© 2020 Compost Research & Education Foundation. All rights reserved.

Compost Research and Education Foundation (CREF)
Physical Address:
1053 E Whitaker Mill Rd
Suite 115
Raleigh, NC 27604

Mailing Address:
PO Box 19246
Raleigh, NC 27619
tel: 301-897-2715