UPDATE (12/11/2013): City has recently hired The Compost Crew to collect food waste from additional 500 households. If you are within the pilot area and have received a letter, you can register at http://compostcrew.com/takomasignup/. Once your registration is accepted, Compost crew will deliver a bin and bin liners to your household. The program is being offered to the household on a first come, first served basis. Sign up now while spots last!
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.
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 includes 365 households within the city limits of Takoma Park. The program, which began in mid-February of 2013, is currently scheduled to run through the end of June, 2014. 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 will have received a post card from the Park Public Works Department inviting your household to participate. Participation is voluntary. Residents who received correspondence that are interested in participating can use the webform at the bottom of this page to sign up.
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 and the TPSS Co-Op. 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:
Special Projects Coordinator
Department of Public Works
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
- Pet waste
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.
Above: Areas highlighted in purple are scheduled to be part of the food waste collection pilot program. Purple areas include current collection area.