A:  Biosolids are a by-product of biological wastewater treatment systems.

A:  One of the most common questions asked of our compost products team is — “How much compost should I use?”

A good rule of thumb is no more than 30 percent in any mix or soil profile if using a compost product for the first time.

Volumes and types of specific feedstocks or ingredients used in the compost formulation will influence the quality and nutrient value of the resulting compost products. Therefore, there may be some variations in compost product quality, depending on the specific manufacturer.

McGill products, for example, are considered performance composts, because the feedstocks used in the blend are richer than those products made from yard waste only.

When using a McGill compost for the first time, ask to see an analysis and correlate the application rate to a recent soil sample and the requirements of the crop or turfgrass variety.  A knowledgeable compost sales representatives can help determine the right product and volume for your project.

Compost is not topsoil

Do not make the mistake of using compost as fill.  It is not topsoil.  However, you can make an enriched soil by mixing a native soils and compost.  How much compost?  Mix it 50/50.  Studies have shown blending compost with soil already on site can be more cost-effective than buying topsoil.

Use our compost calculator

why compostingA:  Composting saves natural resources, reduces landfill space requirements, protects the environment and saves money.

In addition, most fertilizers are manufactured from fossil fuels – not in abundant supply.  Distances from point of manufacture to markets are considerable, often over oceans.  Raw materials for compost manufacture are sourced locally.  Compost products are used locally.  Both reduce transport-related  energy consumption.

Why composting?  The #1 reason isn’t about recycling or diversion

It may surprise some that the #1 answer to “Why composting?” isn’t related to the process, but the product.  The most important reason to compost (the verb) is because it results in compost (the noun).

Finding ways to save landfill space and reduce the generation of greenhouse gases are important reasons to compost biodegradable materials.  But human activities deplete topsoil at an accelerated rate.  Compost is the only product that can economically, efficiently and naturally restore and maintain soil productivity.

Compost use builds organic matter.  A healthy soil requires less synthetic fertilizer.  It retains more rainwater, aids nutrient uptake, and degrades pollutants.

In fact, many of the problems related to water quality and water supply are related to poor soil quality.  The need to return organic matter to the soil through compost use cannot be under-valued as a tool for managing stormwater and improving water quality.

A: A wide variety of feedstocks and post-processing ingredients are blended to make McGill compost products.  Our compost is manufactured from biodegradable by-products and processing residuals from agriculture, municipalities and industries, including such materials as:

  • Yard waste (aka green waste)
  • Clean wood (pallets, dimensional lumber, forestry products)
  • Vegetable scraps and culls, past sell-by or recalled products and other pre/post-consumer food wastes such as  fats, oils and grease (FOG)
  • Biosolids
  • Selected residuals from drinking water and industrial wastewater treatment, including DAF sludge
  • Agricultural by-products (manure, bedding, hatchery waste)
  • Paper and cardboard (waxed and unwaxed)
  • Compostable plastics

Click the image to read the ingredients list (PDF) from the back of the SoilBuilder bag:

SoilBuilder bag back - ingredients

McGill Environmental Systems is a commercial organics recycling and compost manufacturing company.  Also known as McGill Compost or simply McGill, it incorporated in 1991 in North Carolina.

Who is McGill?

We are one of the oldest and largest advanced-technology composting companies in the world.
  • We own and operate industrial composting facilities in the North Carolina, Virginia, and Ireland.
  • We employ about 100 people worldwide.
  • We use an advanced composting technology to convert biodegradable materials into high-value compost products for commercial and professional markets.
  • We offer related services like sludge dewatering and transportation.
  • We process indoors and use computers to provide the maximum level of process control.  This results in a fast, efficient process and high-quality compost products.
  • We design, build and operate composting facilities for ourselves and for others.
  • We market a line of branded compost products to landscape suppliers, golf courses, athletic fields, construction contractors, stormwater managers and farmers.