ASTM D5929 - 96(2009)

    Standard Test Method for Determining Biodegradability of Materials Exposed to Municipal Solid Waste Composting Conditions by Compost Respirometry

    Active Standard ASTM D5929 | Developed by Subcommittee: D34.03

    Book of Standards Volume: 11.04


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    Significance and Use

    As the crisis in solid waste continues to grow, MSW composting is increasingly being considered as one component in the overall solid waste management strategy. The volume reduction achieved by composting, combined with the production of a usable end product, is resulting in increasing numbers of municipalities analyzing and selecting MSW composting as an alternative to incineration or to reduce reliance on landfill disposal. This test method will help determine the effect of materials on the compost process and establish if the material can be properly disposed through solid waste composting facilities.

    This test method attempts to provide a simulation of the overall compost process while maintaining reproducibility. Exposing the test material with several other types of materials that are typically in MSW provides an environment which provides the key characteristics of composting: material not in a sole carbon source environment which allows co-metabolism, compost system is self heating, and provides a direct measurement of organism respiration.

    1. Scope

    1.1 This test method covers the biodegradation properties of a material by reproducibly exposing materials to conditions typical of municipal solid waste (MSW) composting. A material is composted under controlled conditions using a synthetic compost matrix and determining the acclimation time, cumulative oxygen uptake, cumulative carbon dioxide production, and percent of theoretical biodegradation over the period of the test. This test method does not establish the suitability of the composted product for any use.

    1.2 The values stated in both inch-pound and SI units are to be regarded separately as the standard. The values given in parentheses are for information only.

    1.3 This standard does not purport to address all of the safety concerns, if any, associated with its use. It is the responsibility of the user of this standard to establish appropriate safety and health practices and determine the applicability of regulatory limitations prior to use.


    2. Referenced Documents (purchase separately) The documents listed below are referenced within the subject standard but are not provided as part of the standard.

    ASTM Standards

    D513 Test Methods for Total and Dissolved Carbon Dioxide in Water

    D1129 Terminology Relating to Water

    D1293 Test Methods for pH of Water

    D2908 Practice for Measuring Volatile Organic Matter in Water by Aqueous-Injection Gas Chromatography


    ICS Code

    ICS Number Code 13.080.30 (Biological properties of soil)

    UNSPSC Code

    UNSPSC Code 47101524(Sludge or sewage composting equipment)


    DOI: 10.1520/D5929-96R09

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