Waste-derived and Micronutrient Fertilizer Review Process

Waste may be used to create fertilizers. Companies wanting to register a waste-derived fertilizer in Washington must submit an application to the Washington State Department of Agriculture (WSDA) to show that their fertilizer is not dangerous waste.

In order to pass registration review for waste-derived fertilizers, a product must pass one of two tests. These are called "Initial Criteria" and "Secondary Criteria."

This page describes the process as it was last revised in 2000. Products manufactured solely from organic waste materials, such as animal parts or manure, commonly pass under the Secondary Criteria. Additions of minerals, metals, or other materials requires that a product undergoes the laboratory tests required by the Initial Criteria. The Secondary Criteria Review allows the registrant to provide information to show that the Dangerous Waste Regulations do not apply to the fertilizer product.

The Dangerous Waste Regulations presume that a product made with dangerous waste is dangerous waste and ask each applicant to prove otherwise. The registrant may rebut this presumption by providing information to show that the product meets certain rules (for example: the use of constituting disposal regulations for waste derived products to be placed in/on the ground; WAC 173-303-505).

Apply for a Review

To register a waste-derived fertilizer in Washington through the Initial Criteria Review process, registrants must provide Ecology, through WSDA, with copies of the following:


For a Secondary Criteria Review, registrants must provide Ecology with the following information:

If a non-organic-derived waste does not meet the standards described in the Initial Criteria, Ecology will recommend to WSDA that the product is not registered for sale or distribution. The registrant may then chose to enter into the Secondary Criteria to further evaluate the product. If the secondary criteria are passed the product will be recommended to WSDA for registration in Washington.

Thomas Cusack 360-407-6755, reviews applications and can answer questions about the Waste-derived Fertilizer Review Process.

Related information

The Washington State Department of Agriculture (WSDA)

Metals in Fertilizers at WSDA

Fertilizer Product Registration at WSDA