Food Waste Collection

Beginning the week of September 1st, 2015: Food waste will be collected on the same day as trash and recycling. There will be no more Monday collections.

The Food Waste Collection Program is a curbside collection service provided to eligible Takoma Park residents at no cost through the Public Works Department. 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 below.

Important Waste Collection Information

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.

Free Compost!

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.

Food Waste Bucket
Takoma Park residents can sign up for curbside food waste collection.

How To 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 Sanitation Division operates curbside food waste collection routes. Households can register by filling out the form immediately below. Public Works staff will follow up with you to let you know how to get started! Review the map lower down this page to check your food waste, trash and recycling Schedule.

Register for Food Waste Collection

Households in Takoma Park that would like to participate in the Food Waste Collection program should sign up with this webform.

Last Name (required)

Enter your last name here.

First Name (required)

Enter your first name here.

Email Address (required)

Enter your email address here.

Street Address (required)

Enter your Takoma Park street address here. Your household must be eligible to participate.

How many people live in your household? (required)

Enter the total number of people living in your household.

What day of the week is your trash collected? (required)

Select the day of the week your household trash and recycling are collected.

This question is to help prevent automated spam submissions.

Enter in the CAPTCHA code displayed above.

Map of Food Waste Collection Program Areas

What Can Be Collected as Food Waste in Takoma Park

The following items can be placed into food waste collection buckets in Takoma Park:

  • bread, pasta, rice, grains, cereal, baked goods, etc.
  • chopsticks and popsicle sticks
  • coffee grounds, filters, tea bags (no foil or foil-backed products)
  • dairy products (cheese, butter, ice cream, etc.)
  • fruit and vegetable scraps (fresh or cooked)
  • meat, fish, shellfish (including bones)
  • nuts, beans, seeds (including shells/hulls)
  • paper products (paper towels, napkins, & paper plates)
  • pizza boxes (remove non-food items)

Not Accepted Food Waste Items

The following items should not be placed in food waste buckets:

  • diapers
  • facial tissues
  • fats, oils or grease
  • pet waste
  • styrofoam

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.

Need Help?

Please direct your questions and concerns related to food waste collection to:

Nima Upadhyay

Special Projects Coordinator

Public Works

Curbside Collection Services Sections


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Plastic Bags No Longer Accepted Curbside

As of July 1, 2015 plastic film and plastic bags can no longer accepted in the City's collection curbside recycling program.

Curbside Recycling Details