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District Releases Inaugural Solid Waste Diversion Progress Report

Tuesday, January 10, 2017
Details accomplishments, goals and future initiatives toward a zero waste city.

(WASHINGTON, DC) – The Department of Public Works (DPW) today released the District’s first-ever Fiscal Year (FY) 2015-2016 Solid Waste Diversion Progress Report. The report provides an overview of the District’s waste diversion programs and initiatives. It also provides waste generation and diversion rate data to assist District stakeholders in working together to achieve its waste diversion goals. The report includes FY ‘15 solid waste data and diversion rates, FY ‘15 & ‘16 accomplishments, and FY ‘17 planned initiatives. Most notable of these achievements is the growth of DC Public School cafeteria composting programs and the Department of Parks and Recreation’s community composting programs. In FY ‘15, 39 public schools had cafeteria composting programs, and 25 community composting bins.

Other key achievements include the creation of DPW’s Office of Waste Diversion and the District’s Interagency Waste Reduction Working Group. Both entities are charged with implementing the requirements of the Sustainable Solid Waste Management Amendment Act of 2014, which mandates the creation of waste diversion policies and programs. These initiatives are designed to support the District in achieving 80% waste diversion through source reduction, reuse, recycling, composting, and anaerobic digestion.

The report notes that the District’s FY ‘15 residential recycling diversion rate is 28.46%-- more than a seven percentage point increase compared to FY ’10. It also introduces a new residential diversion rate (20.93%) and a citywide residential diversion rate (20.96%), which will be incorporated into future annual waste diversion reports. The residential diversion rate reports on the diversion rate for residential waste collection managed by DPW while the citywide residential diversion rate includes all residential waste collected by DPW as well as waste collected by programs for residents offered by sister agencies and private haulers.

“My hope is that this information will be used by residents and the District of Columbia government partners  to support productive collaboration and well-informed decisions in the pursuit of greater resource conservation and higher standards of sustainability,” said DPW Director Christopher Shorter.

“The first of its kind, the District’s solid waste diversion report reflects increased transparency and reflects movement by the District towards creating a more defensible citywide residential diversion rate and corresponding per capita waste generation baseline,” said Chris Weiss, Executive Director of the DC Environmental Network.

“Collecting and understanding this data is critical to the development of new policies and programs that will help make the District a true zero-waste city,” said Weiss. “Mayor Bowser and DPW Director Shorter should be commended for their stakeholder engagement and willingness to do what is necessary to move the District’s waste management system into the 21st century.”

DPW will offer a webinar on January 12th from 11 am – 12 pm to highlight key aspects of the report and share the District’s progress towards zero waste. For those interested in participating, please RSVP at  

Click here to read the full Solid Waste Diversion Progress Report ( Be sure to check the DPW Website, for the latest news and information.