Food Waste Drop-Off
The Department of Public Works (DPW) food waste drop-off locations at Columbia Heights, Dupont Circle, Brookland and Eastern Market are open.
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.
DPW will re-launch the food waste drop-off program for all wards in conjunction with the opening of the farmer’s market season.
Where Can I Participate?
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
- 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.