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Food Waste Drop-Off

Food Waste Drop-Off

District residents can now drop off food waste to be composted at designated Farmers Markets, one in each of the District's eight wards, free of charge on Saturdays. The food waste will be taken to a local composting facility where it will be turned into compost, a soil amendment. Come visit us at one of our farmers market locations and ask our compost experts for more information!


Where Can I Participate?

There will be a total of eight food waste drop-off locations with one site in each ward. The program will be established at a Saturday farmers market.

Farmers Market Name
Market Season
Closing Date
Drop-Off Times
Columbia Heights Farmers Market
14th and Kenyon St. NW
Dec 9, 2017
9 am – 1 pm
Glover Park Burleith Farmers Market
34th and Wisconsin Ave. NW
Nov 18, 2017

9 am – 1 pm

University of the District of Columbia
4340 Connecticut Ave. NW

Nov 25, 2017

9 am – 1 pm
14th and Kennedy Farmers Market
14th and Kennedy St., NW
Nov 18, 2017
9 am – 1 pm
Brookland Farmers Market
716 Monroe St NE
Dec 9, 2017
9 am – 1 pm
Eastern Market
(in front of Rumsey Pool)
635 North Carolina Ave. SE
Year - Round 
9 am – 1 pm
7 + 8*
Parkside-Kenilworth Farmers Market
750 Parkside NE
Nov 25, 2017
9 am – 1 pm

*The Ward 8 Farmers Market (3200 6th St. SE) closed for the season on September 30. Ward 8 residents are welcome to utilize any of the other drop-off locations throughout the city.

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 or plastic bags. Please keep in mind that plastic bags are NOT recyclable and ends up in the trash. We recommend rinsing plastic containers holding the food waste within each use and lining the bottom with shredded newspapers for odor control. Another tip in controlling odors over the week is to consider storing your food scraps contained in either a sealed bag or plastic container in the freezer or refrigerator.

Can Businesses Drop-off Materials to Compost?

No. Commercial food scraps are not accepted as the program is available strictly to District residents. Businesses should contact a local hauler who can handle commercial organic waste.

How Else Can I Get Involved in Composting?

To learn how else you can get involved in composting, visit the Zero Waste DC website by clicking here.

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