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Bowser Administration Says Once Trick and Treating Ends, Don’t Trash Pumpkins, Use Them to Fight Hunger and Stop Food Waste

Thursday, October 31, 2019
Residents encouraged to drop off pumpkins at food waste locations, for composting and food donation

The Bowser Administration, through the Department of Public Works (DPW), is encouraging residents not to discard pumpkins after Halloween ends. Instead, residents can help the environment and fight hunger by dropping them off at DPW nine food waste locations.

Carved and painted jack-o-lanterns collected at the nine sites will be composted, along with other food scraps, at District community composting sites and the Prince George’s County Organics Compost facility. Fully intact pumpkins will be donated to local food rescue partners.

“In 2018 we kept more than five tons of pumpkins and jack-o-lanterns from going into landfills and donated 1.5 tons pounds of edible pumpkins to local organizations,” said DPW Director Chris Geldart. “This year we aim to double down on our efforts by keeping 10 tons of pumpkins out of landfills and sending more than two tons of edible pumpkins to local groups such as DC Central Kitchen, Freshfarm/Foodprints, Martha’s Table, and Miriam’s Kitchen.”

The nine drop off sites are:



Columbia Heights Farmers Market 14th & Kenyon Streets, NW

Saturday: 9:00am-1:00pm

Dupont Circle Farmers Market

1500 20th Street, NW

Sunday: 8:30am-1:30 pm

Glover Park Burleith Farmers Market

34th & Wisconsin Avenue, NW

Saturday: 9:00am-1:00pm

UDC Farmers Market

4340 Connecticut Avenue, NW

Saturday: 9:00am-1:00pm

14th & Kennedy Farmers Market

14th & Kennedy Streets, NW

Saturday: 9:00am-1:00pm

Brookland Farmers Market

716 Monroe Street, NE

Saturday: 9:00am-1:00pm


Eastern Market Farmers Market

635 North Carolina Avenue, SE

Saturday: 9:00am-1:00pm

Minnesota Ave Farmers Market 3701 Hayes Street, NE

Saturday: 9:00am-1:00pm

The ArcFarms

1901 Mississippi Avenue, SE

Saturday: 11:00am-2:00pm

Residents not quite ready to part ways with their pumpkin don’t have to worry—DPW’s food waste drop-off program will accept pumpkins throughout the fall season. The program also accepts fruit and vegetable scraps; breads, grains, cereals, rice and pasta; coffee grounds, coffee filters and tea bags; eggshells, household flowers and nutshells. Dairy, meat and fish items are not accepted.

DPW’s pumpkin recapturing and composting effort comes on the heels of DC Food Recovery Week (October 13-20), the region's annual push to help reduce 40 percent of food that's wasted in the United States. For more information on DPW food recovery initiatives, please visit zerowaste.dc.gov.

DPW provides essential city services in two distinct program areas: environmental services/solid waste management and parking enforcement. Both contribute to making District streets and public spaces clean, safe, attractive and accessible for residents, businesses, commuters and visitors.