Food Scraps Composting Background


During the 2012 legislative session, the County Council passed one of the most environmentally aggressive bills within the last 20 years. CB-87-2012 mandated the establishment of a food scrap composting pilot project by 2014.

In May 2013, the Department of the Environment (DoE) tested food scrap composting utilizing mobile GORE® Cover technology at the County-owned Organics Composting Facility (OCF) in Upper Marlboro. Maryland Environmental Service operates the facility on behalf of the County. The have been multiple expansions of the GORE® system, from three (3) heaps to four (4) heaps and from four (4) heaps to eight (8) heaps, in 2018, a 12-bunker walled system was completed, allowing for the acceptance and processing of over 32,000 tons of food scraps per year. 

The pilot program was funded by an Environmental Protection Agency grant. Collections began in the PepperMill/Carmody Hill and Wilburn areas in December of 2017 and in January 2018 in the Tantallon/Ft. Washington area. In July 2021, the opportunity was expanded to include areas within Upper Marlboro, Suitland, District Heights, Forestville, Beltsville, and Laurel. Learn more about the Food Scrap Composting Pilot Project (PDF).

An average of 5.5 pounds of food scraps per household was collected on a weekly basis. All materials are transported for processing to the OCF by the contracted hauler for the participating areas.

In 2021, the County completed it's Phase 1 expansion of the Curbside Composting program to areas in Suitland, District Heights/Forestville, Upper Marlboro, Beltsville and Laurel. Residents were invited to opt-in, where approximately 1,500 households joined the program. 

In 2022, the DoE offered another opt-in option for the Phase 2 expansion of the curbside program, including all residential households that received County-provided services. Over 20,000 residents chose to participate in this expansion. 


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What are Food Scraps?

About 1.3 billion tons of food are wasted globally each year, around 40% of that comes from restaurants and 10% from Grocery Stores.*

Food scraps are exactly what they sound like: any pre or post-consumed food substance that is discarded.

Nearly 24% of the garbage landfilled in Prince George’s County is food waste that could have been composted.  Sending your food scraps to the Organics Composting Facility (OCF) for composting will help keep valuable materials out of our landfills, reduce harmful greenhouse gases, protect our environment and help Prince George’s County get closer to our zero waste and waste diversion goals.  Businesses that compost will be viewed by customers as environmentally conscious, and you may experience savings in disposal costs, as the composting facility’s fee is less than most landfills.

Watch this video tour of the Organics Composting Facility!

Many businesses in Prince George’s County are already sending their food scraps to the County’s Organics Composting Facility. Instead of tossing your organics in the garbage and having them go to the landfill, where it partially decomposes and releases methane (one of the most potent greenhouse gasses and causes of climate change), they can be 100% composted into an all-organic soil amendment.   

Want to join the successful businesses diverting their food scraps to the composting facility?

  • Evaluate your waste stream to determine the number of food scraps generated daily or weekly
  • Call the OCF at 301-627-6388 to obtain detailed information, take a tour, and establish an account 
  • Ask your current hauler or contact another local hauler for delivery service to the OCF.  Click here  for a list of County licensed haulers

Listing the names of licensed haulers operating in Prince George’s County this does not constitute an endorsement by the County of their products and/or services. If you are a licensed hauler in Prince George’s County and are not listed, please contact the Recycling Section at 301-883-3635 for business and hauling licensing information.

Visit EPA's website for more information on the benefits of reducing waste

 *Business Insider

Prince George’s County Organics Composting Facility

The Prince George’s County Organics Composting Facility located at 6500 Old Crain Highway in Upper Marlboro is one of the largest composting facilities on the East Coast, accepting yard trim and food scraps through its residential curbside collection program, institutions and educational facilities.

The facility produces a nutrient-rich amendment product called Leafgro Gold® that is great for flower gardens, vegetable gardens, perennials, bulbs, planting trees and shrubs. 

Prince George’s County Organics Composting Facility
6550 SE Crain Highway
Upper Marlboro, MD 20774
Monday – Friday 7:00 am to 3:30 pm

Watch this video to learn about the Organics Composting Facility operations!

Learn more about the Organics Composting Facility