As part of D.C.’s larger sustainability effort, Mayor Muriel Bowser launched a new food waste drop-off program to help the District’s green progress.
Announced on Earth Day, Saturday, April 22, Bowser joined Ward 3 Council member Mary Cheh, Department of Public Works (DPW) Director Christopher Shorter and Department of Energy and Environment (DOEE) Director Tommy Wells to kick off the citywide initiative.
“Composting food waste is a simple but important way we can all contribute to a cleaner environment for the future,” Shorter said. “Starting today, residents can bring food waste here on Saturdays to be composted for free. This is the first of eight farmers markets, one in each ward, where residents may bring their food waste.”
Residents will be able to drop off food waste at the eight designated farmers markets on Saturdays. The food waste will then go to a local composting facility where it will be turned into compost, a nutrient-rich soil fertilizer.
The eight drop-off sites will launch on a rolling basis starting this month at Eastern Market, Columbia Heights Farmers Market, Glover Park Burleith Farmers Market, University of the District of Columbia, 14th and Kennedy Farmers Market, Brookland Farmers Market, Parkside-Kenilworth Farmers Market and Ward 8 Farmers Market.
The launch of the program came days after the release of DC’s 2017 Sustainable DC Progress Report.
Sustainable DC is the District’s plan to become the healthiest, greenest and most livable city in the United States in just one generation.
Of the plan’s 143 actions, 25 percent are already complete and 72 percent are underway.
In the past year, Bowser signed the Renewable Portfolio Standard Expansion Act to decrease the energy bills of low-income residents by 50 percent and create 100 green jobs within its first year, and her administration adopted Climate Ready DC, the District’s plan to prepare for and adapt to climate change.
The DOEE partnered with the Mayor Marion S. Barry Summer Youth Employment Program, the Department of Employment Services, and GRID Mid-Atlantic to train 15 young adults on solar panel installations, with three participants earning full-time jobs by the end of the summer.
The District Department of Transportation installed six miles of bike lanes for a total of 80 miles of bike lanes across the city.
“We are well on our way to becoming the sustainability capital of the world, and this new food waste drop-off program is a great example of how the government can work together with the community to build a greener, more sustainable D.C.,” Bowser said. “As we celebrate Earth Day, today’s kickoff is a good reminder that we all have a role to play in protecting the environment and fighting climate change.”