Department of Public Works

DC Agency Top Menu

-A +A
Bookmark and Share

Food Waste Drop-Off

COVID-19 OPERATIONS STATUS (Updated May 29, 2020): 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. Food Waste Drop Off is available only at the markets in the program that have approved waivers. If the farmers’ market where it occurs does not have an approved COVID-19 waiver and has also suspended its operations, Food Waste Drop-Off is suspended. For updates on approved markets please visit  coronavirus.dc.gov.

Waivers are awarded weekly. Please check coronavirus.dc.gov/farmersmarkets or this page to see which farmers’ markets will be open Saturday, May 30, and/or Sunday, May 31 where food waste may be dropped off. DPW will provide information about additional food waste drop-off sites as it becomes available.

Where Can I Participate?

Program Date*
Drop-Off Times
Columbia Heights Farmers' Market
14th and Kenyon Streets, NW
Waiver Approved - OPEN
DuPont Circle Farmers' Market
1500 20th Street, NW
Waiver Approved - OPEN
University of District of Columbia Farmers' Market
4340 Connecticut Ave., NW
Waiver Approved - OPEN
Uptown Farmers' Market
14th and Kennedy St., NW
   Waiver Approved - OPEN
Brookland Farmers' Market
716 Monroe St., NE
Waiver Approved - OPEN
Eastern Market (in front of Rumsey Pool)
635 North Carolina Avenue, SE
Waiver Approved - OPEN
SW Farmers Market
425 M Street, SW
Waiver Approved - OPEN
Minnesota Ave Farmers' Market
3701 Hayes Street, NE
Opens - June 6th
Ward 8 Farmers Market
3200 6th Street, SE
Closed for Winter

*In accordance with Mayor’s Order 2020-058, the District Government will only allow farmers markets to operate if operaors 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: