Commercial Composting vs Home Composting: What to Know

woman holding a compostable cup

The most sustainable option for dealing with food scraps and other organic waste is undoubtedly composting. But when it comes to commercial composting vs home composting, which composting process is the best?

Things like tea bags may easily break down, but the degradability of compostable plastic may be a slightly different story. In fact, it’s these difficult-to-compost items that make the home composting vs industrial composting debate a worthy one to explore. Use the following sections to help you better understand the various composting systems and which one is best for different compostable items.

Home and commercial composting each offer different benefits. So, we’ll explore the ins and outs of these different composting methods, ultimately helping you decide whether to turn to backyard composting, industrial composting, or perhaps the easiest solution: the Lomi indoor electric composter

What does home compostable mean?

woman adding scraps to composting tumbler

Home composting makes use of a compost pile or bin. The organic material goes through a slower decomposition process, due to lower temperatures. Typically, organic waste and certified compostable bioplastics will biodegrade in a natural microbial environment in 12 months, according to TUV Austria.

Around 40% of what we throw away can be composted, making the home compost bin one of the best places to put our food waste, coffee grounds, yard waste, and other organic materials. Turned regularly and maintained properly, at home composting systems can handle many compostable items, on a smaller scale. For faster composting, you can use a home composting machine like Lomi that has the ability to handle many approved bioplastics apart from your regular kitchen waste.

Unfortunately, however, there are many things that a home compost system can’t handle—which is where a commercial composter comes in.

What does commercially compostable mean?

commercial composting facility

Operating on a larger scale and using the proper conditions, a commercial composting facility can handle a bigger range of compostable products. Higher temperatures facilitate a quicker decomposition process, allowing things like compostable packaging to break down in as little as 3 months.

Industrial composting facilities use three different composting methods to transform large scale amounts of material to something that can be used to support soil. The most common of these methods uses windrows, which are long rows where waste is piled in and regularly turned and watered. In doing so, windrow composting can reach higher temperatures—up to 140°F at the core!

Waste may also be placed in-vessel, in a silo, drum, or concrete-lined trench. Using special equipment, moisture levels and other conditions are carefully maintained. Lastly, an aerated static pile may be used. In this case, the static pile is layered with organic waste and bulking agents like shredded newspaper and wood chips. These other materials allow for air filtration and pipes are added to increase airflow—thus speeding up the decomposition process. 

Industrial and home compostable certifications

lid certified for commercial composting

So, just how do you know if a product is commercially compostable or can be composted at home? When it comes to home composting vs industrial composting, certifications are the best way to determine whether you need to seek out a commercial facility, turn to your backyard compost piles, or simply drop a Lomi approved product into the electric kitchen composter.

  1. Biodegradable Products Institute (BPI): North America’s leading certifier for compostable packaging and products. Those bearing the logo have been tested to scientifically-based standards for industrial composting: ASTM D6400 or D6868 (will break down to something non-toxic within 180 days). 
  2. Lomi Approved: Pela certifies non-food compostable products that have been tested and approved to physically disintegrate in a Lomi to a minimum threshold size and not release or become any toxic chemicals. They can also biodegrade in a commercial facility. 
  3. EN 13432: The European equivalent to the ASTM D6400 standard used by the Biodegradable Products Institute. Certifies that the compostable items will achieve 90% disintegration within 12 weeks and biodegrade after 6 months. 
  4. TŪV Austria OK compost INDUSTRIAL: Another equivalent to BPI and the ASTM D6400 and EN 13432 standards. 
  5. TŪV Austria OK compost HOME: Based on the EN 13432 standard to ensure breakdown in composting facilities, but also applies to home composting systems. This means that compostable items will reach 90% biodegradation within 12 months in compost after disintegrating into <2mm pieces within 6 months. 
  6. AS 5810: The Australian standard for compostable products that disintegrate in 6 months and biodegrade into compost within a year. Was developed based on the TŪV Austria OK Compost HOME standards. 

How to tell if a compostable item can go in a green bin?

bins sorting materials for composting

If you live in a city that offers a composting service by using the three-bin system, you might wonder what can go in your green bin. Generally speaking, the items that can go in your green bin include food waste and yard waste, like grass clippings. However, this may only include food scraps from fruit and vegetables. For other foods, like dairy products and meat and fish scraps, you may want to check with your local government.

What about compostable packaging and bioplastics? When choosing between home and commercial composting, the best thing we can do is look for one of the aforementioned certifications. Even if a plate or bag appears to be plant-based or biodegradable, these certifications will help you determine if they could be handled through a backyard composting system, or if an industrial composting system would be better. 



17 home compostable products and brands you should use

clear cups for composting

Nowadays, many of the best eco-friendly products are being made with compostable materials or come wrapped in compostable packaging. Between compostable bioplastics and natural materials like bamboo, cotton, and jute, it’s easier than ever before to turn to home composting to compost our household goods.

However, it is good to be aware of the fact that while many bioplastics and biodegradable plastic may be deemed “home compostable” they may take a long time to decompose in a home compost system—especially if it’s not exposed to higher temperatures. For this reason, the following at home composting-ready products mostly include those that can be composted by the Lomi—at the touch of a button! 


Shop this brand

Lomi approved? 

Home compostable trash bags 



Home compostable coffee pods 



Home compostable resealable food storage bags



Home compostable cups



Home compostable fork

Good Natured


Home compostable spoon

World Centric


Home compostable knife



Home compostable plates


Home compostable coffee cups

Eco Products


Home compostable take-out container

World Centric


Home compostable meat tray



Home compostable straws



Home compostable bowls



Home compostable mailer

The Better Packaging Co. 


Home compostable stickers



Home compostable tea bags 



Home compostable cling wrap





Try Lomi - the best home composter machine in the market

woman pressing button on Lomi

If you’ve been asking, “what is industrial composting,” perhaps a better question would be, “where is industrial composting?” While commercial composting facilities can handle a large range of organic materials, these industrial facilities aren’t accessible for all households. Some cities have their own compost service where they collect organic matter, but most do not—leaving home composting bins the only solution for waste. Until the Lomi electric countertop composter came along, that is.

Cheaper and easier than finding an industrial composting facility and quicker and more efficient than home composting bins, the Lomi smart composter can compost a range of materials. In addition to organic waste, it can transform fats, dairy products, fish scraps, and some compostable bioplastics, into nutrient-rich dirt that can support healthy soil.

Instead of pondering over commercial composting vs conventional home composting, turn to the Lomi. The Lomi composting system has already won over the hearts of thousands of households. This impressive household appliance is a quick, mess-free solution to food waste and many other compostable items—why not try one in your home today?

Written by: Heather Seely