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Food Waste Collection

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

Benefit to Residential participants, Free Compost!

We are giving away free compost, stop by Public Works Yard to receive your share!

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.

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 signup form is available below.

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 multifamily 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.


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. The 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, the Fullfillery, 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.


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.

    Food Waste Collection
    Registration Form

    How to register:

    Fill out this webform if you would like to participate in Takoma Park's food waste collection program. Single family and multifamily 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.

    Fields marked with an * (asterisk) are mandatory.

    Participant & Household Info

    Your street address and a valid email are required to register for curbside food waste collection.


    *Last name:

    *First name:

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

    *How many people live in your household?
    Enter the total number of people living in your household.

    *What day of the week is your trash collected?
    Select the day of the week your household trash and recycling are collected.

    Submit Registration


    Map of Food Waste Collection Program Areas

    Food Waste Collection Program Schedule

    Food waste will be collected on the same day as trash and recycling. No more Monday collections.

    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:

    Public Works

    Curbside Collection Services Sections


    Georgetown University Energy Prize

    Thank you to everyone who participated

    Takoma Park Won Third Place!

    We Won 3rd Place!

    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