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Mayor Bowser Celebrates Earth Day With Kickoff of Food Waste Drop-Off Program

Saturday, April 22, 2017
Residents are encouraged to bring their food waste to designated farmers markets

Today, Mayor Muriel Bowser celebrated Earth Day by kicking off DC Government’s first citywide Food Waste Drop-Off program. Through this new free service, residents will be able to drop off food waste at designated farmers markets, one in each ward, on Saturdays. The food waste will then go to a local composting facility where it will be turned into compost, a nutrient rich soil fertilizer.

“We are well on our way to becoming the sustainability capital of the world, and this new Food Waste Drop-Off program is a great example of how the government can work together with the community to build a greener, more sustainable DC,” said Mayor Bowser. “As we celebrate Earth Day, today’s kickoff is a good reminder that we all have a role to play in protecting the environment and fighting climate change.”

The Mayor was joined at the kickoff by Ward 3 Councilmember Mary Cheh, Department of Public Works (DPW) Director Christopher Shorter, Department of Energy and Environment (DOEE) Director Tommy Wells, and representatives from the Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR) and the Department of General Services (DGS). At the end of the event, the District Department of Transportation’s Urban Forestry Administration used compost from one of the program’s food collection facilities to plant five new trees.

“Composting food waste is a simple but important way we can all contribute to a cleaner environment for the future,” said DPW Director Shorter. “Starting today, residents can bring food waste here on Saturdays to be composted for free. This is the first of eight farmers markets, one in each ward, where residents may bring their food waste.”

As additional sites launch, residents are encouraged to drop off the following types of food scraps: vegetables, fruits, grain, bread, pasta, and coffee grounds. Launch dates align with the opening of the farmers market season and are as follows:

Ward Farmers Market Name Address Program Launch Date Drop-Off Times
1 Columbia Heights Farmers Market 14th and Kenyon St. NW May 13, 2017 9 am – 1 pm
2 Glover Park Burleith Farmers Market 34th and Wisconsin Ave. NW May 13, 2017

9 am – 1 pm

3 University of the District of Columbia 4340 Connecticut Ave. NW

May 20, 2017

9 am – 1 pm
4 14th and Kennedy Farmers Market 14th and Kennedy Tentative
May 13, 2017
9 am – 1 pm
5 Brookland Farmers Market 716 Monroe St NE May 13, 2017 9 am – 1 pm
6 Eastern Market
(in front of Rumsey Pool)
635 North Carolina Ave. SE April 22, 2017 9 am – 1 pm
7 Parkside-Kenilworth Farmers Market 750 Parkside NE May 13, 2017 9 am – 1 pm
8 Ward 8 Farmers Market 3200 6th St. SE June 3, 2017 9 am – 1 pm

The launch of the Food Waste Drop-Off program comes just three days after the release of DC's 2017 Sustainable DC Progress Report. Sustainable DC is the District's plan to become the healthiest, greenest, and most livable city in the United States in just one generation. Of the plan’s 143 actions, 25 percent are already complete and 72 percent are underway.

Under the Bowser Administration, Washington, DC continues to progress toward meeting the plan’s 2032 goals. Highlights from the past year include:

  • Mayor Bowser signed the Renewable Portfolio Standard Expansion Act to decrease the energy bills of low-income residents by 50 percent and create 100 green jobs within its first year, and adopted Climate Ready DC, the District’s plan to prepare for and adapt to climate change.
  • Washington, DC was accepted into 100 Resilient Cities, a competitive global program supporting leading cities around the world with development and implementation of  resilience strategies.
  • The District continues to incorporate sustainable design into new construction and improving the environmental performance of existing buildings while increasing the vibrancy of neighborhoods, and now 65 percent of neighborhoods are walkable.
  • DOEE partnered with the Mayor Marion S. Barry Summer Youth Employment Program, the Department of Employment Services, and GRID Mid-Atlantic to train 15 young adults on solar panel installations, with three participants earning full-time jobs by the end of the summer.
  • The District Department of Transportation installed six miles of bike lanes for a total of 80 miles of bike lanes across DC.
  • DOEE launched new programs to collect and recycle paint and electronic waste from residents, with the first paint drop-off event yielding 27,000 pounds of used paint.
  • The Department of Parks and Recreation reduced rates for District recreational facilities and programs, expanding access for low-income residents.
  • DOEE’s Stormwater Retention Credit trading program, which accelerates green infrastructure installation through innovative regulations that provide flexibility for regulated development, received a 2016 Innovation Award from the Environmental Council of the States.

For the most up-to-date information on the Food Waste Drop-Off program, residents should visit