Composting Facilities Permit Application Process

Following the recent amendments to the Organic Matter Recycling Regulation (OMRR) that took effect on June 9th, 2016, composting facilities that process food waste and/or biosolids and possess the design capacity to produce 5,000 tonnes or greater of finished compost per year will be require a permit under OMRR. 

Facilities that meet this requirement have been notified in writing and provided with permit application information. These facilities have 60 days from the date of the amendment to apply for a permit, i.e., they must apply by August 8, 2016.

Guidelines for Compost Facility Requirements:


Sites that meet these criteria will require either a Permit or an Operational Certificate:

  • Receives and uses biosolids and/or food waste to produce compost.
  • Has the design capacity to produce 5,000 tonnes or greater of finished compost product annually.

Permit applications are being expedited for this regulatory change, and some steps are being adapted and modified from the existing Ministry of Environment (ENV) process.

How to Submit an Application

Please visit the Guidance, Forms & Fees for Waste Authorizations webpage for information pertaining to the Organic Matter Recycling Regulation. Specific information can be found under the Routine Application Forms & Guidance heading.

Application Review

The application package will be reviewed by ministry staff and applicants will be contacted if more information is needed. The ministry’s permit adjudication process is a public process and timelines are not fixed. While the process may take several months or longer, in general, the more complete the application and responsive the proponent, the more quickly the ministry is able to make a decision.

During the permit application process, compost facilities will still be required to abide by OMRR.

For affected facilities, the permit process is replacing the OMRR notification process. However, facilities will still be required to abide by both OMRR and the permit terms and conditions.

Affiliation with Local Government

Composting facilities may operate under an approved Waste Management Plan within a local government. If a facility is doing so, and has an approved Operational Certificate in place, it is not required to obtain a permit.  However, if the facility does not have an Operational Certificate, and meets the criteria above, a permit would be required. 

A detailed fact sheet is available for facilities that operate under municipal Waste Management Plans (PDF)