Want to compost but not in your backyard? Here’s where to drop off organic waste across NoVA

If you’re looking for a New Year’s resolution that has a larger environmental impact, you may want to consider composting at one of these local sites.

cartoon of dad and son composting
© N.Savranska / stock.adobe.com

In recent years, Northern Virginia counties have introduced several regulations in an effort to increase local residents’ impact on the environment. From the newly implemented purple bins for glass recycling to programs centered on water conservation, sustainability reform is constantly popping up throughout NoVA. 

One way to can take part in lowering your carbon footprint on your own in 2020 is through composting—an easy, effective and often misunderstood form of repurposing organic material as fertilizer to help plants grow. 

According to the United States Environmental Agency, food scraps and yard waste currently make up more than 28% of what we throw away, ultimately ending up in landfills and releasing potent greenhouse gas methane into the air. Yet if composted, these organic materials can enrich soul, reduce the need for chemical fertilizers and encourage the production of beneficial bacteria that breaks down organic matter.

For those who don’t want to make a compost garden in their backyard, there are plenty of sites in the region where you can drop off your organic waste and here, we share them all.


Old Town Farmers’ Market
Saturdays, 8 a.m.-noon
Market Square: 301 King St., Alexandria

Del Ray Farmers’ Market
Saturdays, 8 a.m.-noon
Corner of East Oxford Avenue and Mount Vernon Avenue, Alexandria 

Four Mile Run Farmers’ Market
Sundays, 9 a.m.-1 p.m.
4109 Mount Vernon Ave., Alexandria

Arlington County

Earth Products Recycling Yard
Monday-Friday, 5 a.m.-9 p.m.; Saturdays, 6:30 a.m.-6 p.m.
4300 29th St. S., Arlington

Pike Park Farmers Market
Sundays, 9 a.m.-1 p.m.
2820 Columbia Pike, Arlington 

Fairfax County

Composting Center
Open 24 hours daily
Fairfax City Hall: 10455 Armstrong St., Fairfax

City of Falls Church

City Hall and Community Center parking lot
Open 24 hours daily
300 Park Ave., Falls Church

Prince William County

Balls Ford Road Compost Facility (BFDC Facility)
Monday-Saturday, 7:30 a.m.-5 p.m.; Sunday, 8 a.m.-5 p.m.
13000 Balls Ford Road, Manassas

For a full list of everything you can and can’t compost, click here

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