* Habit: Compost Your Food Scraps

One way that Westerners can be better stewards of the environment is composting — turning used organic matter into fertilizer.  Westerners can save their compost materials at home and drop it off at convenient locations.  Eliminating food waste helps cut greenhouse gas emissions and using natural fertilizers cuts down on the use of chemicals.

The District of Columbia Department of Public Works is rolling out sights in every Ward to allow drop-off of compost materials.  Compost collection has already begun at Eastern Market. It will start on May 13 at the Columbia Heights, Glover Park Burleith, 14th and Kennedy, and Brookland farmers markets. It will begin on May 20 at the University of the District of Columbia and the Parkside-Kenilworth farmers market, and on June 3 at the Ward 8 Farmers Market. It will run year-round at Eastern Market and through market season at the remainder of the sites.

The city has partnered with a local company, Compost Cab, to bring most of the materials to local composting sites (some of which are managed through the Department of Parks and Recreation’s compost cooperatives, others are independent). Then, once broken down into soil, it will be distributed to nearby community gardens.
Takoma Park has curbside compost collection and Alexandria and Arlington have already implemented drop-off programs. (Click on the links for more information.)

People are encouraged to keep particular items out of the garbage can: fruit and vegetable scraps, coffee grounds, paper tea bags and loose tea, bread, grains, cereals, rice, pasta, eggshells, nutshells, corncobs, stale beans, flour, spices, and cut or dried flowers.