Compost samples from two composting facilities, the Urbana (Illinois) Landscape Recycling Center (ULRC) and Illinois State University (ISU), were selected to examine the effect of compost age on atrazine removal from solution. The ULRC samples were made from yard waste without an additional nitrogen source. The ISU samples were made from yard waste or sawdust with the addition of manure. The 6-month-old ULRC compost had the greater capacity to remove atrazine from solution, which we attributed to its greater organic carbon content. The addition of nitrate into ULRC compost could influence the extent of atrazine removal, but did not have a significant impact on atrazine removal when applied to ISU compost, probably because manure was added to the yard waste to produce the compost. For both ULRC and ISU samples, the presence of sodium azide inhibited atrazine removal, suggesting that microbial activity contributed to the atrazine removal. Metabolic analysis demonstrated that hydroxyatrazine was the major identified metabolite that accumulated in solution before significant ring mineralization could occur. When compared with the ISU compost, the ULRC compost sample had a greater capacity to remove atrazine from solution during the 120 days of study because of the larger humic acid content. The experimental results suggested that less-mature compost may be better suited for environmental applications such as removing atrazine from tile-drainage waters. ?? 2006 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.