City weighs curbside compost collection program

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The city is evaluating whether to establish curbside compost collection similar to existing trash and recycling services. (Brady Holt/The Current/June 2017)

A newly released study looks at the potential for expanding D.C. composting through a city-run curbside collection program and building a new local composting facility.

The report (available at dpw.dc.gov/compostfeasibilitystudy) recommends the most efficient ways to move forward with such a scheme, such as collecting food waste and yard waste at the same time, and using a covered and aerated composting method that helps control odors and nuisance.

The Resource Recycling Systems firm conducted the composting feasibility study for the D.C. Department of Public Works. The report recommends eventually building a large-scale centralized facility within the District to avoid the high costs of transferring compost material to existing facilities in Maryland and Virginia. A D.C. composting program would still face high costs, though, due to challenges like collection trucks that can’t be updated to the preferred fully automated mode due to limited space in D.C. alleys.