Montgomery County Commercial Food Scraps Recycling Partnership Program Reaches Milestone of One Million Pounds of Commercial Food Scraps Recycled

DEP has continued to develop and expand programs designed to increase recycling as the County strives to reduce waste and recycle more, aiming for zero waste. The Commercial Food Scraps Recycling Partnership Program collected the first pound of food scraps on May 28, 2020, during the height of the COVID-19 health crisis which has been a very challenging time for food service businesses.

In March 2021, the program surpassed its first significant milestone of recycling more than 200,000 pounds of food scraps. By November of last year, that number had more than tripled to more than 625,000 pounds of commercial food scraps recycled.

The program won a 2022 National Association of Counties Achievement Award. Recognized under the category of “Civic Education and Public Information,” the program was praised for being unique and innovative.

This program eliminates barriers to recycling food scraps and converts food waste to usable compost. Approximately 40 businesses and organizations have participated in the program, including schools and school facilities, institutional and business cafeterias, coffee shops, caterers, food rescue organizations and shelters.

“Our Commercial Food Scraps Recycling Partnership Program has been a very successful endeavor that we will continue to expand in Montgomery County,” said County Executive Marc Elrich. “I am very appreciative of the outreach of our Department of Environmental Protection and the participation of our business partners. This partnership is key to maximizing waste reduction, adding to our efforts to reuse and recycle to reach the county’s goal of aiming for zero waste by 2035.”

DEP Acting Director and County Climate Change Officer Adriana Hochberg said the program will continue to grow.

“Montgomery County is the first in Maryland and the D.C. Metropolitan area to provide this type of program,” said Acting Director Hochberg. “We continue to move forward by identifying additional partners to join us in reducing food waste at the source by recycling food scraps instead of sending it to disposal facilities.”

Among the program’s goals is to have businesses and organizations partner with DEP to learn how to set up successful food scraps recycling programs. DEP provides education, training, technical support, 35-gallon food scraps recycling collection containers, compostable bags, food scraps recycling collection and processing of the food waste at a composting facility.

DEP also provides partners with data on scraps collected for recycling and guidance on contracting for food scraps recycling collection services so partners can “graduate” from the program. After graduating, the participants continue recycling food scraps on their own by hiring a private food scraps recycling collection company.

“Kenwood Country Club has always been an organization that recycles non-compostable waste,” said Kenwood Manager Bill Worrell, one of the partners that has graduated from the program.  “When Montgomery County offered a one-year, no additional cost, food waste recycling program, we knew we needed to include compostable items in our efforts. We now compost with a private recycling company and are extremely happy. We highly recommend everyone take advantage of the County program. DEP supplies the bins and liners, you place food scraps in the bin and the County picks them up. The program is simple, with no added cost, and you in turn, do your part for the environment.”

In addition to Kenwood Country Club, the other graduates of the program include:

  • Chevy Chase Country Club
  • Manna Food Center
  • Qiagen

The commercial partners currently participating in the program are:

  • Chipotle – Westfield Montgomery Mall
  • Clifton Park Baptist Church
  • Grill Kabob – Westfield Montgomery Mall
  • GSK
  • GSK – Rockville Center for Vaccine Research
  • Howard Hughes Medical Institute
  • John L. Gildner Regional Institute for Children & Adolescents
  • Montgomery College – Rockville Campus
  • Montgomery County Public Schools – Department of Family and Community Partnerships
  • Montgomery County Public Schools – Division of Food and Nutrition Services
  • National Institutes of Health
  • Our Lady of Good Counsel High School
  • Panda Express – Westfield Montgomery Mall
  • Purée Artisan Juice Bar
  • Quartermaine Coffee Roasters
  • Relish Catering LLC
  • Sarku – Westfield Montgomery Mall
  • Seoul Kitchen – Westfield Montgomery Mall
  • Shepherd’s Table
  • Simply Fresh Events Catering
  • Starbucks – Westfield Montgomery Mall
  • The 4 Corners Pub
  • William F. Bolger Center
  • Ya Mon! Island Grill – Westfield Montgomery Mall

For more information about the County’s Commercial Food Scraps Recycling Partnership Program, visit contact Eileen Kao at [email protected]

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Now in its 17th year, the Kensington Day of the Book Festival is a family-friendly street festival featuring 150+ renowned authors, poets, and literary organizations. Enjoy live music on five stages, special guest speakers, military veteran writers and comedians, poetry readings, cookbook demos, children's program, and much more.

Admission is free, and attendees will also be able to explore a marketplace of books and food offerings from local vendors.

Not your average book festival! This festival offers something for everyone!

17th Annual Kensington Day of the Book Festival

Sunday, April 21, 2024, 11am-4pm (held rain or shine!)

Howard Avenue, Kensington, MD 20895

Instagram: @kensingtonbookfestival

Contact: Elisenda Sola-Sole, Festival Director

[email protected]

301-949-9416 (text preferred)

FEST OF SPRING Caribbean Wine Food & Music Festival

Get ready to experience the vibrant colors, tantalizing flavors, and infectious rhythms of the Caribbean at the FEST OF SPRING Caribbean Wine Food & Music Festival! Hosted by RHU LLC, this exciting festival is set to take place on May 18, 2024, at the picturesque 16700 Barnesville Rd in Boyds, MD.

Step into a world where the Caribbean spirit comes alive! From 12:00 PM onwards, immerse yourself in a sensory journey that celebrates the unique culture, cuisine, and music of the Caribbean. Whether you're an African American, a Reggae or Soca music enthusiast, a wine lover, or part of the vibrant Caribbean diaspora, this festival promises to delight and captivate you in every way.

Let the enticing aromas of mouthwatering Caribbean dishes tantalize your taste buds. Feast on traditional delicacies prepared by expert chefs, showcasing the rich and diverse culinary heritage of the Caribbean. Indulge in flavorful jerk chicken, succulent seafood, and delectable plantain dishes that will transport you straight to the islands.

Accompanying the culinary extravaganza is a carefully curated selection of premium wines, ensuring the perfect pairing for your palate. Sip on fine wines from renowned vineyards, each sip a reflection of the Caribbean's vibrant spirit. Discover new flavors, expand your wine knowledge, and savor unforgettable moments with every glass.

As the sun sets, get ready to groove to the infectious rhythms of Caribbean music. Feel the pulsating beats of reggae, soca, dancehall, and calypso, moving your body to the lively melodies. Live performances by talented musicians and performers will keep the energy high, ensuring a night of unforgettable entertainment.

Don't miss this opportunity to embrace the Caribbean spirit and celebrate the arrival of spring in style! Tickets are available on AllEvents, so secure your spot today. Join us at the FEST OF SPRING Caribbean Wine Food & Music Festival, where cultures collide and unforgettable memories are made.



2 NIGHT Camping packages available: RV/CAMPER $200 | TENTS $150 Starting on Friday May 17 @ 5pm | 30 RV SPACES | 30+ TENT SPACES



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