Partial (one month) composting of solid olive processing waste is shown to produce extractable emulsifiers. Size exclusion chromatography (SEC) and Fourier-transform infra-red spectroscopy (FTIR) show that these consist of polysaccharides and proteins from the composted waste. Aqueous extraction at pH 5, pH 7, and pH 9 all yield extracts rich in oligosacchrides and oligopeptides which derive from the break-down of the macromolecules under composting, with the extract obtained at pH 5 being the richer in such components. Fourier-transform infra-red (FTIR) spectroscopy also confirms that these materials consist of proteinic and poly/oligosaccharidic populations. These materials can emulsify stable oil–in–water emulsions at pH 3 for a few days, while the same emulsions collapse in less than 24 h at pH 7. Confocal microscopy and droplet size distribution data suggest that Ostwald ripening, rather than coalescence, is the major course of emulsion instability. The above point to a short-process alternative to full composting in producing a high added value product from solid olive processing waste.