Fairfax County composting pilot program expands to farmer’s markets


FAIRFAX COUNTY, Va. (WDVM) — Fairfax County residents now have several locations to compost their table scraps.

The Department of Public Works and Environmental Services (DPWES) has partnered with the Fairfax County Park Authority (FCPA) to expand the county’s farmer’s market composting pilot program.

“The pilot that started in November has been very successful. We’ve really been surprised at how much people are bringing to the sites,” said Erica Carter, recycling coordinator for Fairfax County.

The composting pilot launched in late 2020 at the I-66 transfer station and I-95 landfill complex. Since the launch of the pilot, roughly 20 tons of waste have been collected.

Now, the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors wants to make the program more accessible for residents like Rebecca Mordini.

“We’ve been trying to compost for a long time but it’s a little bit hard to do food scraps at home, so I just love that we can bring it here and it goes back to the earth,” said Mordini.

Foods that contain bones or dairy products are typically on the ‘do not compost’ list, but at the four farmer’s markets locations, you can compost (almost) anything.

“Unlike backyard composting where you’re really limited to just vegetables and fruits, we can accept meat and dairy, eggshells and chicken bones,” said Carter.

The compost also accepts certain compostable bags and kitchenware. Residents like Mordini say they hope the program will expand to even more locations.

“I hope to see it at every farmer’s market, everywhere,” said Mordini.

Carter says the idea of expanding is on the table.

“There’s other ways besides farmer’s markets or drop-off sites that we can do this, so we’ll see as we go forward,” said Carter.

Food scraps drop-off is only available during regular market hours. Below is a list of locations and hours for composting locations.

Wednesday | 8 a.m. to noon | April 21 thru December 22
Mount Vernon Farmers Market  
2501 Sherwood Hall Lane
Alexandria, VA, 22306

Thursday | 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. | April 22 thru November 4 
Herndon Farmers Market
765 Lynn St.
Herndon, VA, 20170

Saturday | 8 a.m. to noon | April 10 thru December 18
Burke Farmers Market
5671 Roberts Parkway
Burke, VA, 22015

Sunday | 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. | year around  
Mosaic District Farmers Market (operated by FRESHFARM)
2910 District Ave
Fairfax, VA 22031

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