Food Waste Drop-Off
District residents can now drop off food waste at designated farmers' markets in all eight District wards free of charge. The food waste will be taken to a local composting site where it will be turned into compost, an environmentally friendly-soil amendment. Come visit us at one of our farmers’ market locations and ask our compost experts for more information!
Winter Market Season Information
Market locations and dates are subject to change. For the most up-to-date information, please reference this website. There will be three locations open throughout the winter season for residents to bring their food waste to be composted. The food waste drop-off locations at Columbia Heights, Dupont Circle, and Eastern Market are open year-round. DPW will re-launch the food waste drop-off program for all wards in conjunction with the opening of the farmers market season in May 2019.
*The Minnesota Ave Farmers Market has moved to 3701 Hayes Street, NE near the Ceasar Chaves Public Charter School.
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
- 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.