Zero Waste

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Zero Waste

Food Waste Drop-Off

COVID-19 OPERATIONS STATUS (Updated March 25, 2021): Food waste drop off is open. Locations, times and COVID-19 safety procedures are below. For updates on the District's response to Coronavirus (COVID-19), visit

Where Can I Participate?

Program Status*
Program Day
Drop-Off Times
Columbia Heights Farmers' Market
14th and Kenyon Streets, NW
Waiver Approved - OPEN
Sat  - Year Round
DuPont Circle Farmers' Market
1500 20th Street, NW
Waiver Approved - OPEN
Sun - Year Round
University of District of Columbia Farmers' Market
4340 Connecticut Ave., NW
Waiver Approved
Sat - May 1 - Nov 20
Palisades Farmers Market
48th Place NW &, MacArthur Blvd NW
Waiver Approved - OPEN
Sun - Year Round
Uptown Farmers' Market
14th and Kennedy St., NW
   Waiver Approved
Sat - May 1 - Nov 20
Brookland Farmers' Market
716 Monroe St., NE
Waiver Approved - OPEN
Sat - Apr 3 - Dec 18
Eastern Market (in front of Rumsey Pool)
635 North Carolina Avenue, SE
Waiver Approved - OPEN
Sat - Year Round
SW Farmers Market
425 M Street, SW
Waiver Approved - OPEN
Sat - Apr 3 - Dec 18
*Kelly Miller Middle School - Meal Distribution
301 49th Street, NE
Waiver Approved
Closed for Winter
TheArc Farms
1901 Mississippi Ave SE
Waiver Approved
Closed for Winter


*In accordance with Mayor’s Order 2020-058, the District Government will only allow farmers markets to operate if operators submit and get approved a COVID-19 waiver request to operate during the COVID-19 public health emergency.

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

Materials Accepted
Materials Not Accepted
  • Fruit, vegetable scraps, and salad
  • Coffee grounds, paper tea bags, and loose tea
  • Bread, grains, cereals, rice, and pasta
  • Egg shells
  • Nutshells
  • Corncobs
  • Stale beans, flour, and spices
  • Cut or dried flowers
  • 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.

Contact TTY: