Resident Food Scrap Drop-Off Program

Review DRAFT – Review DRAFT – 3/13/23 – Review DRAFT – Review DRAFT

Join other local community residents:  collect your kitchen food scraps for composting, instead of adding them to Maryland’s trash.

Who is Doing This?
The Recycling Committee has formed a Resident Food Scrap Drop-Off Subcommittee of residents who have been working for a number of years to introduce a composting option for residents.   Volunteers are available to help interested residents get started in collecting their food scraps and also to monitor the weekly drop off locations.

Why do this now?
Recently, Maryland passed a law mandating additional recycling of food scraps, and our local counties are moving forward with curb-side pickup of food scrap waste for residents in single family homes (see the PGC Composts initiative and the Montgomery Pilot Program).  While our Resident food scrap drop-off program is somewhat different, the benefits are the same:

Reduces landfill methane emissions
Reduces pollution from incinerators
Produces garden-ready compost
Supports sustainable agriculture
Supports local businesses

Isn’t Riderwood Already Doing This?
Riderwood has had an innovative food scrap recycling program for many years!  This program handles kitchen scraps from our residential dining rooms, but does not include food scraps from our individual resident apartments.

How Do I Get Involved?
Food scraps will be dropped off in each of the four neighborhoods once a week (day, times, and locations TBD ).  Green bins will be conveniently located, with a resident monitor to assist and answer any questions .

Food scraps are best kept in your refrigerator or freezer, to eliminate attracting pests.   But a countertop container with a secure lid can also be used.  Each week, collect your food scraps into a single compostable bag, and drop it off at the collection point in your neighborhood.  For transport to the drop-off locations, the small paper bag used for carry-out meals is OK.

Be sure to include only the acceptable items identified below, otherwise your bag will have to go into the trash, and not be part of the food scrap program.  Initially, when you drop off your food scraps, you will be given a new compostable bag.

What Food Waste is Acceptable? What is Not Acceptable?

Here’s what to collect and also what not to include with your food scraps.  Click on the image to view it full screen for printing.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are answers to some of the questions you may have about this program.

1.  Where can I get more compostable bags?

To purchase your own food scrap recycling bags, check out our local grocery retailers (e.g., Giant, Target, MOMs) or go online to Amazon.  Be sure to look for one of the acceptable industry standard seals on the products.

2.  What’s the difference between compostable and biodegradable?

Products labeled as compostable must be tested to meet US industrial composting standards ASTM D6400 and ASTM D6868. These standards require that compostable products biodegrade within 90 days and leave no harmful residue.  All compostable products are biodegradable, but not all biodegradable products are compostable.  Just google “compostable versus biogradable” for more details!

3.  What happens to the food scraps after they are collected?

While Riderwood originally partnered with Bates Trucking to handle the food scraps from the restaurant kitchens, the current contractor is Compost Crew.  Their website is very informative and has a section about their Compost Outposts, describing the latest process that they are using to facilitate regional composting.

4. More questions?  Send an email to

Review DRAFT – Review DRAFT – 03/13/23 – Review DRAFT – Review DRAFT