Falls Church Composts

Curbside Food Waste Pilot Program

We are excited to announce the City's first ever curbside food waste collection service! 

This pilot program consists of weekly pick-ups of your food scraps, meat, dairy, grains, egg shells, napkins, and much more. 

How it Works

Participants get an airtight bin and compostable liners to help keep everything tidy. After collection, the contractor gives the bin a quick cleaning, replaces the compostable liner and takes the food waste to a composting facility where it is turned into a high-quality soil amendment.  Participants are rewarded with free finished compost each spring.

What Food Waste is Collected

Unlike “vegan” compost programs, this service includes an expanded list of food scraps including meats, seafood, dairy, compostable plastics, pizza boxes, wax paper, etc. Visit our contractor's website for a detailed list.


The cost is $6 per month or $66 per year. There is a one-time fee of $10 to cover the setup and bin. This is a steal compared to average price of $30/month in the DC region. To celebrate this innovative program - the first in Virginia - all new participants will receive 6 months free! 

SPECIAL OFFER FOR NEW PARTICIPANTS! Effective August 2018, the next 100 signups will receive a free starter pack! This includes a 3-gallon kitchen caddy and pack of compostable liners designed to make separation of food scraps in the kitchen a lot easier.  Simply signup via the link below and the starter pack will be delivered with your collection bin.

Already a participant (of any City compost program) and think a kitchen caddy/compostable liners would help? Get your free 'starter pack' by visiting our Farmers Market Collection Station! Available while supplies last, City residents only.  With food waste comprising nearly 25% of an average resident's trash cart, the goal is to help the Falls Church community make the transition - and lead the region towards a zero waste future.

Important Dates

The program launched on June 12, 2017.  Bins were delivered in July and collections started Wednesday August 2, 2017.  For all new participants, bins will be delivered on Fridays and collections will start immediately.

Sign up Today!

Sign ups are managed by our contractor, The Compost Crew. Click the button below to sign up! signup sized

Pilot Program Details & Feedback

This pilot program is a fee based service open to any City of Falls Church resident receiving curbside solid waste services.  Participation is voluntary. If you are unsure of eligibility or have any questions at all about composting, email us at recycling@fallschurchva.govcall us at 703-248-5456 (TTY 711). 

Diverting food scraps from the waste stream is relatively new to the DC region. While access has increased through private haulers, costs remain high ($30 per month is common).  Falls Church is leading the way to boost participation, reduce costs - and play an active role in the expansion of regional composting infrastructure.  As this is an ongoing pilot program, feedback is critical to long term success. Connect with us via phone, email, stop by the Farmers Market Collection Station - or simply sign up for the service.  Every participant helps create a zero waste future.

​Why Compost?

Food scraps, spoiled food, food-soiled paper – collectively known as organics or organic waste – comprise around 25% of the waste inside an average Falls Church resident's trash cart.

Instead of throwing away organic waste as trash, separate it for composting so it can enrich our environment, not damage it.

Residents of the City of Falls Church have long been among the top recyclers in Virginia.  And thanks to the early popularity of compost pilot programs, we are the first jurisdiction in the state to offer such a wide variety of composting options.  Give composting a try today and realize we are not that far away from a zero waste future!

Food Waste Drop-Off

Welcome to the City of Falls Church’s 24-hour community compost program, the first program of its kind in the DC region.This unique composting opportunity provides members of the community with a place to drop off food waste and participate in an environmentally-friendly form of waste disposal. 
Community Compost Program

Who Can Use the Bins?

These bins are available to anyone who lives or works in our community. We ask participants to review our compost rules just to make sure everyone using the bin knows what can and can’t be composted. Early success hinges on our accuracy. All bins are unlocked and open to the public for use at any time. 


Participation is free! And we often give away free finished compost to participants at our Farmers Market Collection Station (see below).  The hauling and composting is provided by the City's contractor, Veteran Compost.


The City currently has one community drop-off location. It is located in back of the City Hall and Community Center parking lot (300 Park Ave), in a fenced enclosure next to the tennis courts. Enter the enclosure using the sliding door. 

Food Waste Collection Station at the Farmers Market 

Participants can drop off food waste to the Farmers Market collection station to properly dispose of the waste at no charge. Two gallon reusable composting bins can be purchased for $5 at the market, or residents may use their own composting bins.  Compostable liners are also available for sale.
The food waste will be taken to a local composting facility where it will be turned into a consumer product that can be used as a soil amendment.  The City periodically makes finished compost available to participants at the market collection station.  Please inquire for details!

SPECIAL OFFER TO NEW PARTICIPANTS: Effective August 2018, we will be providing free 'starter packs' - a kitchen caddy and pack of compostable liners - to City residents who pledge to participate in any of the City's compost programs! Available while supplies last, non-City residents may continue to purchase bins or compostable liners.  Email recycling@fallschurchva.gov or call 703-248-5456 with any questions.

Items Allowed in Compost:

  • Dairy, Cheese
  • Meats, Seafood, Bones
  • Compostable Liners, Kitchenware
  • Fruits
  • Vegetables
  • Nuts
  • Coffee Grounds
  • Breads, Cereals, Pasta, and Rice
  • Egg Shells
  • Flowers
  • Paper Towels and Napkins (kitchen only)
  • Uncoated Paper Bags and Plates (food debris okay)
  • Tea Bags and Loose Tea

Compost Workshops

Learn how to compost at home! The City offers two classes to help residents get started - a backyard composting workshop and a build your own composter class, Visit our compost workshops page for current offerings.