Curbside Food Scraps Collection (Composting)
With the successful implementation of the Curbside Food Scraps Composting pilot and the expansion in the early summer of 2021, Prince George’s County is proud to expand this opportunity Countywide to all residents receiving County-contracted trash and recycling services. The County is offering this program to help keep valuable materials, that are not waste, out of our landfill, reduce excessive greenhouse gas emissions, protect our environment and help Prince George's County get closer to its zero waste goals.
Food and food-soiled paper items, including paper towels, plates and napkins, pizza boxes and ice cream containers may be composted by setting out at the curb by 6 am on Mondays for collection. For the purposes of the program, residents are asked to include only food, food-related items, and yard trim/waste (optional) in the cart for collection. The County wants to gauge the amount of food and related materials that are diverted from landfills. If yard trim/waste is not stored in the cart, residents may continue to place yard trim/waste beside the cart in paper yard trim/waste bags or in another container with a tight-fitting lid marked "Yard Trim" or "Yard Waste". However, all food and food-soiled items must be placed in the 32- gallon wheeled organics cart for pick-up.
Households will receive collection materials, including a 32-gallon wheeled cart, a 2-gallon kitchen mini bin, a How-To Guide, a refrigerator magnet, and a list of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs). A list of acceptable compostable liners can be viewed here.
If you would like to participate, but missed opting in, please stay tuned for announcements on the next enrollment period. Other questions?
May 12 How To Compost Virtual Workshop
Are you currently enrolled or recently opted into the County curbside food scraps collection? Then this virtual workshop is for you! Learn what compostable liners are accepted, how to prepare for your food and yard waste, and other vital information to make your organics collection on Mondays a success!
View the recorded session below or l.
Learn How to Compost with this Video Guide!
Weekly curbside collection of food scraps is year-round on Mondays only, EXCEPT on certain holidays (see holiday collection schedule below). Food scraps are collected with yard trim, but food-related items must be placed in the County-issued 32-gallon "organics" wheeled cart. Yard trim includes grass clippings, leaves, small branches, brush, and Christmas trees (December through January).
For more information about food scraps and yard trim collection, contact PGC311.
Food Scraps Collection Holiday Schedule
|Memorial Day||The next Monday following the holiday|
|Independence Day/4th of July||The next Monday following the holiday|
|Labor Day||The next Monday following the holiday|
The pilot program was funded by an Environmental Protection Agency grant. Collections began in the PepperMill/Carmody Hill and Wilburn areas in December of 2017 and in January 2018 in the Tantallon/Ft. Washington area. In July 2021, the opportunity was expanded to include areas within Upper Marlboro, Suitland, District Heights, Forestville, Beltsville, and Laurel. All materials are transported for processing at the County-owned Organics Composting Facility located at 6550 South East Crain Highway in Upper Marlboro, by the contracted hauler for the participating areas.
What are Food Scraps?
About 1.3 billion tons of food are wasted globally each year, around 40% of that comes from restaurants and 10% from Grocery Stores.*
Food scraps are exactly what they sound like: any pre or post-consumed food substance that is discarded.
Nearly 24% of the garbage that is landfilled in Prince George’s County is food waste that could have been composted. Sending your food scraps to the Prince George’s County Organics Composting Facility (OCF) for composting will help keep valuable materials out of our landfills, reduce harmful greenhouse gases, protect our environment and help Prince George’s County get closer to our zero waste and waste diversion goals. Your company will be viewed by customers as an environmentally conscious business. And, you may experience savings in disposal costs, as the composting facility’s fee is less than most landfills.
Many businesses in Prince George’s County are already sending their food scraps to the County’s Organics Composting Facility. Instead of tossing your organics in the garbage and having it go to the landfill where it partially decomposes and releases methane (one of the most potent greenhouse gasses and causes of climate change), it can be 100% composted into an all-organic soil amendment.
Want to join the successful businesses that are diverting their food scraps to the composting facility?
- Evaluate your waste stream to determine the number of food scraps generated daily or weekly
- Call the (OCF) at 301.627.6388 to obtain detailed information, take a tour, and establish an account
- Ask your current hauler or contact another local hauler for delivery service to the OCF. Click here for a list of County licensed haulers
By listing the names of licensed haulers operating in Prince George’s County this does not constitute an endorsement by the County of their products and/or services. If you are a licensed hauler in Prince George’s County and are not listed please contact the Recycling Section at 301-883-3635 for business and hauling licensing information.
- Provide organics collection receptacles, signage, and education for your staff and customers
- Begin food scrap diversion program!
Prince George’s County Organics Composting Facility
The Prince George’s County Organics Composting Facility located at 6500 Old Crain Highway in Upper Marlboro is one of the largest composting facilities on the East Coast accepting yard trim and food scraps through its residential curbside collection program, institutions and educational facilities.
The facility produces a nutrient-rich amendment product called Leafgro Gold® that is great for flower gardens, vegetable gardens, perennials, bulbs, planting trees and shrubs.