Zero Waste DC

Information drawn from Zero Waste DC's new website.


The District is working to make our city the healthiest, greenest, most livable city in the nation. Zero Waste DC enables the DC government to speak with one voice in developing and providing resources that help our residents, business, and visitors move toward zero waste. The government defines zero waste as the diversion of 80 percent or more of waste generated by the city, acknowledging that some materials are not recoverable and will be sent to landfills or waste-to-energy facilities. Achieving zero waste requires the collaboration of residents, businesses, district staff, schools, and community groups.

Starting January 1, 2018, businesses, government, and residents will be required to source, separate, and recycle all materials included on the Mayor’s List of Recyclables and Compostables. (Read the FAQs and two-page Recycling Fact Sheet.)

For residents, the biggest changes are:

  • Plastic bags, wraps, and film of any color, size, or shape are no longer accepted in DC’s curbside single stream recycling bin (the blue cart). Drop them off at the 1855 Wisconsin Avenue Safeway or other participating grocery store or retailer.
  • The list of recyclable items now includes (clean and empty) pizza boxes; paper and plastic plates, cups, cup lids, to-go containers; plastic produce, deli and bakery containers, cups, and trays.

Want to learn more about recycling, composting, and how you can reach your own Zero Waste goal? Sign up here. Check out for specifics on trash, recycling, and disposal of special waste as well as tips and resources for preventing and reducing waste in your home. And follow Zero Waste DC on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Questions? Please email