District residents can drop-off food waste to be composted at designated Farmers' Markets. The drop-off locations are open on the weekends in all eight wards.
Where Can I Participate?
DPW also has introduced new procedures to use at the markets that reflect Mayor Bowser’s objectives to keep District residents safe.
- Gloves and hands sanitized periodically with sanitizer.
- Reusable washcloths replaced with compostable paper towels.
- Paper squares provided to use with the spoon handle.
- Sign-up sheets have been removed to eliminate using a shared pen.
- Hand sanitizer will be kept on table.
Visitors are encouraged to wash their compost bins with soap and hot water after drop-off, as an extra precaution.
Through the free service, residents are able to drop off food waste at designated farmers' markets in all eight city wards. The food waste collected at these drop-off locations is composted locally at District community composting sites and at the Prince George’s County Organics Compost facility.
Market locations and dates are subject to change. For the most up-to-date information, please reference this website.
Complete List of Items Accepted in the Food Waste Drop-Off Program
- Fruit, vegetable scraps, and salad
- Coffee grounds, paper tea bags, and loose tea
- Bread, grains, cereals, rice, and pasta
- Egg shells
- Stale beans, flour, and spices
- Cut or dried flowers
- Pumpkins and Squash
- Milk, cheese, or other dairy products
- Meat or Fish scraps and bones
- Fats, grease, oil, or oily foods
- Plastic bags, wraps or film
- Coated or Uncoated Paper and Cardboard (Paper bags, plates, bowls)
- Non-compostable materials like plastic, metals, foil, glass, or Styrofoam
- Pet refuse
- Diseased or insect-infested houseplants and soil
- Biodegradable or compostable plastics & packaging
How to Bring Your Food Waste to the Market
Acceptable food scraps and organic materials can be collected in covered plastic containers, paper/plastic bags. Please keep in mind that plastic bags are NOT recyclable in the District. We recommend rinsing plastic containers holding the food waste between uses and lining the bottom with shredded newspapers for odor control. Another tip for controlling odors is to store food scraps in the freezer or refrigerator.
Can Businesses Drop Off Materials to Compost?
Commercial food scraps are not accepted. Businesses should contact a local hauler who can handle commercial organic waste.