Composting Organics & Food Scraps

Composting Organics & Food Scraps
Composting is a wonderful way to reduce disposal of organic kitchen, garden or yard waste, and it creates a rich soil amendment that’s a natural for gardens. Save time bagging leaves, cut grass and kitchen trimmings by tossing them into a compost bin.


According to the EPA, about 95% of the food we dispose ends up in landfills or combustion facilities. Food that ends up in landfills gets buried under mounds of garbage creating methane gas which is harmful to the environment. When food waste is incinerated, the beneficial nutrients are lost. On the other hand, food waste that is composted creates a nutrient- rich soil amendment. Enriched soil retains moisture, which helps to suppress plant diseases and pests, thus reducing the need for chemical fertilizers.

Arlington County Residential Services Guide


Green “Organics” Cart
Arlington provides weekly curbside collection of yard waste, but not food scraps. Accepted Materials List

Future plans may allow food scraps to be collected in the Green “Organics” Cart — but Arlington isn’t there quite yet.


Paper Yard Waste Bags
If you have more compostables than will fit your organics cart, free paper bags are available for pickup at the following locations during leaf and spring-cleanup seasons. Limit 15 per residence and while supplies last. Do not use for food scraps.

  • Bozman Center (Courthouse Plaza) Information Desk
  • Lee Community Center & Park
  • Solid Waste Bureau
  • Thomas Jefferson Community Center

Do not use plastic bags for yard waste.


Backyard Composting Bins
The County’s Solid Waste Bureau sells the GEOBIN compost bin (Presto Products Company) to residents for the below-retail price of $20 (cash/check/credit card or have it added to an Arlington residential trash utility bill). Available at Earth Products Yard, 4300 29th St. S., Monday-Friday, 7 a.m. – 4 p.m. More information: 703-228-6570 or County Composting Page


Tips on How to Make Compost


Food Scraps Drop-Off at Earth Products Recycling Yard
Food scraps are collected at 4300 29th St. S. in two green organics carts at the yard’s scale house, at the top of the hill. Food scraps can be dropped off Monday through Friday, 5 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Saturdays from 6:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Available to all Arlington County residents.

Food scrap drop-offs for the County are also collected at the Columbia Pike Farmers Market on Sundays.


Compost Crew Valet Service for Your Food Scraps
A group of LV households are organizing to compost virtually all their kitchen waste—including food scraps, meat bones, and other items that are typically not suitable for backyard composting.

They plan to subscribe to Compost Crew, which provides a bin with compostable liners, weekly pickup, and two free bags of compost during the year. Compost Crew. is offering a group rates of $16-$25 a month per household, depending on the number of sign-ups

Contact shelby.schwartz@gmail.com if you are interested.

Compost Crew website.