Montgomery County, MD’s Commercial Food Scraps Recycling Partnership Program

2022 NACo Achievement Award Winner

Montgomery County, Md., MD

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About the Program

Category: Civic Education and Public Information (Best in Category)

Year: 2022

Montgomery County, MD has a high waste diversion and recycling rate but has a goal to reduce waste and recycle, even more, aiming for zero waste. Food scraps are the next frontier material to further boost recycling. Montgomery County’s Commercial Food Scraps Recycling Partnership Program is a unique and inventive program, to facilitate and increase the efforts of generators, collectors, and processors to recycle food scraps as demonstrated through measurement and data. The County identifies businesses and organizations to solicit their participation as Partners and assists them to establish programs to separate and recycle their food scraps. The County demonstrates how easy, convenient, and nuisance-free it can be for them with the goal to provide intensive support for a limited duration, ensuring that each Partner has a positive experience, and setting them on a course to sustain their food scraps recycling program long-term on their own. The Program overcomes existing obstacles for businesses. Locally, very few facilities accept food scraps for processing; several facilities were forced to close or eliminate their acceptance of food scraps for various reasons. Additionally, generators had difficulty securing food scraps recycling collection services due to a limited pool of collectors providing these services. Through this unique initiative, we eliminate these barriers and work to strengthen the efforts of generators, collectors, and processors to expand and increase food scraps recycling long-term.

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