Food Scraps (Food Waste) Recycling

The Montgomery County Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Recycling and Resource Management Division estimates that approximately 89,000 tons of food waste, or food scraps, were disposed in the waste in Montgomery County, MD last year.

food scraps

In alignment with Montgomery County’s Integrated Solid Waste Management System, DEP is also working to develop a strategy to:

  1. Reduce the amount of food waste generated at the source
  2. Channel excess food to those with unmet needs
  3. Recycle/compost food scraps into useful and usable material, and encourage the use of the resulting recycled material to ensure that there is sufficient demand for recycling.

Food Scraps at Work

It is estimated that businesses and organizations dispose approximately 25,000 tons of food scraps in their waste annually. Montgomery County provides technical assistance, education and training to businesses and organizations to assist them with implementing a commercial food scraps recycling program. Watch our Commercial Food Scraps Recycling video (also available in Spanish) to learn how to set-up a commercial food scraps recycling program at your business or organization.
Commercial Food Scraps Recycling video
Commercial Food Scraps Recycling video (In Spanish)

Commercial Food Scraps Partners

The Commercial Food Scraps Recycling Partnership Program assists businesses that generate larger quantities of pre-consumer food scraps to recycle those food scraps. Through this program, the County provides technical assistance, training, education, and support to collect, transport and process food scraps into compost or energy. After a period of time, the County will assist partners to contract food scraps collection services with a private food scraps recycling collection service provider. Becoming a partner will allow you access to the following resources:

  • Food scraps recycling collection carts
  • Compostable liners
  • Limited duration of food scraps recycling collection service and transportation of food scraps to a processing facility
  • Staff training and educational materials

For more information about foods scraps recycling email: Katherine Vazquez at [email protected] or call at 240-777-6484.

Maryland’s New Regulation on Food Scraps Diversion

Beginning January 1, 2023, Maryland law requires food scraps diversion for certain businesses or institutional cafeterias, convenience stores, mini-marts, supermarkets or schools (individual public and private). Visit the Maryland Department of the Environment food residuals website.

Food Scraps at Home

Composting food scraps, such as vegetable peelings, requires more steps and monitoring, to reduce odors and the risk of pests.

Montgomery County, Maryland requires the use of a rodent-proof compost bin, with a tight-fitting lid, to compost food scraps. Adding food scraps in an open compost pile or in a compost bin with no lid, is problematic because this attracts rodents and other pests. The compost bins currently provided by the County are designed for composting yard trim, because they are completely open on the top and the bottom and have aerating holes all around the sides. Please keep food scraps out of these bins.

Over the last two-years with the help of resident volunteers, DEP has evaluated two types of compost bins for food scraps composting to ensure that the bins successfully deter rodents and aid in the decomposition of food scraps. The vast majority of participants have been able to compost food scraps in their backyard without experiencing any issues by using these bins and following our recommendations. Download our educational materials about backyard composting of food scraps.

Food Scraps Compost Bin Sale

This year DEP coordinated a bulk discount sale of the successfully evaluated Earth Machine and the HotFrog Dual Chamber Tumbler. By facilitating a bulk discount sale, we provided County residents with the opportunity to purchase these compost bins at a reduced cost. Sign up for the Civic Loop newsletter to learn about any future Food Scraps Compost Bin Sales.

Food Scraps Collectors

Residents may also consider separating their food scraps for recycling and hiring a collector who will collect and deliver the food scraps to a composting facility in the region. Your food scraps will be used to create a great compost material. If you’re interested, here is a list of food scraps recycling collectors providing services in Montgomery County. (Please note that Montgomery County has compiled this listing through various sources and does not present it as a complete directory of all vendors that provide service in Montgomery County, nor offer it as an endorsement of any of the companies listed.)

Dedicated Food Scraps Recycling Collectors:

Waste Management Companies (providing food scraps recycling collections):

Reduce Wasted Food

Through better practices that result in not generating excess food scraps in the first place we reduce the amount of waste that needs to be managed, potentially resulting in reduced costs in terms of collecting food scraps for composting or disposal. Foods generated in excess of the generator’s needs that can be consumed, such as prepared foods, baked goods, fresh produce, canned or boxed foods, etc. can be diverted from disposal and donated to food rescue organizations. Channeling this food to others with unmet needs ensures the highest and best use of this food, while also helping to address food insecurity. Learn more about our "Food Is Too Good to Waste" education campaign.

Food Scraps Recycling Drop-Off Locations Operated by the Recycling and Resource Management Division (RRMD)

Montgomery County has a goal to reduce waste and recycle more, aiming for zero waste. According to Montgomery County’s most recent waste composition study completed in 2023, it’s estimated that single-family and multi-family residences combined disposed of 61,000 tons of food scraps in the trash annually. To increase food scraps recycling and maximize convenient access to County residents, RRMD has created new food scraps recycling drop-off locations strategically located throughout the County. By establishing these additional food scraps recycling options, we hope to reduce the amount of food scraps disposed in the trash and increase recycling of food scraps in the County while making progress toward zero waste. Montgomery County residents can participate in the County operated food scraps recycling drop-off locations at no additional cost.


Bethesda Central Farm Market
7600 Arlington Road
Bethesda, MD 20814


Derwood Market
16501 Redland Road
Rockville, MD 20855


Olney Farmers and Artists Market
2801 Sandy Spring Road
Olney, MD 20832

Silver Spring

FreshFarm Downtown Silver Spring
1 Veterans Plaza
Silver Spring, MD 20910

Other Food Scraps Recycling Drop-Off Locations

Montgomery County has compiled this listing through various sources and does not present it as a complete directory of all vendors that provide service in Montgomery County, nor offer it as an endorsement of any of the companies or organizations listed.


Compost Crew (Subscription Drop-off Service)
Montgomery Farm Women’s Cooperative Market
7155 Wisconsin Avenue
Bethesda, MD 20814


Compost Crew (Subscription Drop-off Service)
True Respite
7301 Calhoun Place #600
Derwood, MD 20855


City of Gaithersburg Public Works
800 Rabbitt Road
Gaithersburg, MD 20878
(City of Gaithersburg residents only)

Casey Community Center
810 South Frederick Avenue
Gaithersburg, MD 20877
(City of Gaithersburg residents only)


Red Wiggler Farm
23400 Ridge Road
Germantown, MD 20876
(members of their CSA - Community Supported Agriculture Program only)


Maintenance Facility
14625 Rothgeb Drive
Rockville, MD 20850
(City of Rockville residents only)

Rockville Senior Center
1150 Carnation Drive
Rockville, MD 20850
(City of Rockville residents only)

Food Scraps Resources