Skip to Main Content

Commercial Compost Permits

How do I get started?

Permit Determination Process

A composting facility is exempt from permitting if:

  • You are composting your own material on your own property or leased property and plan to use it on that property (or for agricultural practices at another agribusiness if you are an agribusiness)
  • You are composting 400 cubic yards or less per year of yard trimmings or similar material.
  • You are composting 100 cubic yards or less per year of food scraps or similar material using an in-vessel composting method or 50 cubic yards per year or less using other methods (windrows, aerated static piles, etc.).

If your operation falls outside the exempt practices, the operation will be required to obtain a permit.  Two different types of composting permits exist. Composting facilities processing over 400 cubic yards per year of yard trimmings or similar material may apply for a permit-by-rule. Composting facilities processing more than 100 cubic yards per year of food scraps or similar material using in-vessel composting methods (or more than 50 cubic yards per year using other methods) must apply for a full composting permit.

Applying for a Permit

Permit-By-Rule

Submit form CN-1035 to the Division of Solid Waste Management staff at the appropriate Environmental Field Office.  See the Permitting section of this website for more information.

Composting Permit

The applicant must submit the following items to the Division of Solid Waste Management staff at the appropriate Environmental Field Office. A new facility cannot begin construction without submitting Parts I and II and receiving an effective permit.

Part I:
  • A completed application (form CN-1036) which includes the name, address and phone numbers of the owner(s); proposed activities to be conducted at the facility; a statement regarding whether the facility is subject to local approval (TCA § 68-211-701) and county approval if necessary
  • A topographic map showing the facility, property boundaries to 1/2 mile past the boundaries, each waste processing or disposal unit, wells, springs, and other surface water bodies within 1/4 mile of the property boundaries
  • A disclosure statement containing information concerning past performance in waste management fields of the applicant, officers, directors and/or partners of the applicant's business
Part II:
  • A hydrogeologic assessment of the potential site
  • Facility design plans and operations manual
  • Financial assurance demonstrating the financial responsibility for closure and post-closure care
  • Other specific requirements for Tier II and III composting facilities

Regulations

Article on New Regulations (July 2016)

REQUIREMENTS FOR COMPOST AND COMPOSTING FACILITIES 0400-11-01-.11 (pages 127-138)

Contacts

Robert Wadley

615-741-4907
Robert.Wadley@tn.gov