Food Waste Collection


Help us improve the quality of our services.


Survey: We need your feedback!

Please take a few minutes to fill out this survey regarding our collection program. Your responses will help us improve the quality of our services. Please click on this link to fill the survey: Food Waste Collection Survey

About the Food Waste Collection Pilot Program

The City of Takoma Park food collection waste program is currently in its pilot phase. Volunteer households in Takoma Park have been invited to participate in a pilot program in which food waste is separated from household trash and is placed curbside for weekly collection. The food waste collection pilot program begun on mid-February of 2013. The program aims to make it easier for residents to get rid of household food waste in a sustainable fashion — according to the data from the current pilot program almost 30% of what would otherwise be thrown away for incineration could be composted.

The food waste collection program is currently being expanded to an additional 500 households. If you live in the pilot area (see map below) you can participate and the Participation is voluntary. If you have Thursday trash collection sign up on the registration form at the bottom of this page.


Information For Participants

Participants receive a 5 gallon plastic bucket with a tight sealing lid and a supply of compostable bin liners. Curbside collection takes place once a week. Participants should have their containers at the curb by 6:00 am on the collection day.

The food waste collection pilot program will provide a limited supply of compostable plastic bags to each participant. Once the supply has run out, participants can purchase compostable bin liners from local stores such as Ace Hardware external link icon and the TPSS Co-Opexternal link icon  An alternative to compostable bags is to use a paper bag, or no bag at all. Frequent cleaning of the container will probably be necessary to keep odors down.

Please direct your questions and concerns related to the program to:

Nima Upadhyay
Special Projects Coordinator
Department of Public Works
Phone: 301-891-7621


What is Accepted?

  • 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, and paper plates)
  • Pizza boxes (remove non-food items)
  • Chopsticks and popsicle sticks


What Is Not Accepted?

  • Fats, oils, grease
  • Facial tissues
  • Styrofoam
  • Pet waste
  • Diapers


Benfits Of Food Waste Collection For Composting

  • Reduces household trash. On average a Takoma Park household throws away 11 lbs of food waste every week.
  • Creates a useful end product – compost is a great soil amendment that returns nutrients to gardens and produces healthy plants.
  • Provides social awareness about how we use natural resources. Composting is a natural process where we take things that were once from a plant or animal and turn it back into nutrient-rich soil.


Program Map


Map of the food waste pilot collection area

Above: Areas highlighted in purple are scheduled to be part of the food waste collection pilot program. Purple areas include current collection area.


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Registration Form

Takoma Park Food Waste Collection Registration Form

NOTE: Registration is only available to households in certain areas. Please review the text and map below. Households in the pilot program area will receive mail from Public Works staff with instructions about the food waste collection pilot program. If you haven't received anything from us recently regarding the program, please check back in mid-December.

Enter your full name here.
Enter your email address here.
Enter your Takoma Park street address here. Your household must be in the pilot area to participate.
Enter the total number of people living in your household.