The Food Waste Collection Program is a curbside collection service provided to eligible Takoma Park residents at no cost. Collected food waste is then converted into compost. The Food Waste Collection Program makes it easy for Takoma Park residents to dispose of household food waste in a sustainable fashion.
The initial pilot program started in mid-February of 2013. According to data from the pilot program almost 30% of food waste that was disposed of in regular trash (which is incinerated) could have been composted.
Interested in participating? A sign up form is available at the bottom of this page.
How it Works
Participants will receive a five gallon plastic bucket with a tight sealing lid and a supply of compostable bin liners. Food waste is then put into the buckets that are set on the curb and picked up by the Public Works Department. Curbside collection takes place once a week. Participants should have their containers at the curb by 6:00 AM on their collection day.
Additional compostable bin liners are available from local stores such as Old Takoma Ace Hardware and the TPSS Co-Op. If an alternative to compostable bags is desired participants can use paper bags or no bag at all. Frequent cleaning of containers is necessary to keep odors down.
Participants in the Food Waste Collection Program can get free compost! In an effort to encourage organic lawn care in Takoma Park participants are eligible to receive up to five buckets of free compost. Compost is primarily available in the spring and summer. To check for availability call Public Works at 301-891-7633.
What Can Be Collected as Food Waste in Takoma Park
The following items can be placed into food waste collection buckets in Takoma Park:
- fruit and vegetable scraps (fresh or cooked)
- meat, fish, shellfish (including bones)
- dairy products (cheese, butter, ice cream, etc.)
- bread, pasta, rice, grains, cereal, baked goods, etc.
- nuts, beans, seeds (including shells/hulls)
- coffee grounds, filters, tea bags (no foil or foil-backed products)
- paper products (paper towels, napkins, & paper plates)
- pizza boxes (remove non-food items)
- chopsticks and popsicle sticks
Not Accepted Food Waste Items
The following items should not be placed in food waste buckets:
- facial tissues
- fats, oils or grease
- pet waste
Food Waste Collection Program Schedule
Households with Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday trash collection: Food waste is collected on Monday mornings.
Households with Friday trash collection: Food waste is collected on Friday mornings.
The Food Waste Collection Program curbside service schedule is subject to holiday changes. Visit the "Holiday Collection Schedule" page for a comprehensive list of holidays affecting food waste curbside collection.
Map of Food Waste Collection Program Areas
Register for the Food Waste Collection Program
Interested in registering your household for the curbside Food Waste Collection Program? The program is currently accepting new participants. Read on and learn how to sign-up!
The Food Waste Collection curbside program is available to all the households within the City of Takoma Park. Single family and multi-family properties with 12 units or less that currently receive City of Takoma Park curbside trash and recycling pickup are eligible to participate in the program.
The City of Takoma Park's Public Works Department and The Compost Crew operate curbside food waste collection routes. Households with a Thursday trash route or Friday trash route can register by filling out the form at the bottom of this page. Public Works staff will follow up with you to let you know how to get started! Households with a Wednesday trash route are divided into two areas and are serviced by either the Compost Crew or Public Works. Review the map below to determine your service provider. Households within the Compost Crew service area are highlighted yellow and should register on The Compost Crew website. Households with Wednesday routes outside of the yellow area will be serviced by Public Works and can register at the bottom of this page. Households with a Tuesday trash route can register on The Compost Crew website.