Dear PoPville – Are There Regulations for Composting in DC?

Dear PoPville,

I live in Manor Park, and I looking to build a compost bin on the side of my house or in the back yard. Are there any regulations I need to be aware of? Does PoPville have any tips?

I live in an end unit, and I have more space that the average row house in DC. I appreciate the help!

Last month we spoke about composting in an apartment building. Does anyone know if there are general regulations for composting?

9 Comment

  • The District Department of the environment has info here:

    I followed these recommendations and it seems to be working pretty well. Whatever you do, make your bin rat proof!

  • I doubt there’s any regulations. I live in Dupont and my land lord has a compost bin in our alley. She generally lives strictly by the books. Also, when I first moved in I was annoyed by the rats that were attracted to the composter and tried (and failed) to see if there was a way I could get it out of the alley.

  • i made my own composter out of a garbage can and put in in the back of my yard far enough away from other yards that it shouldn’t bother my neighbors if it’s starts to stink for any reason. so far, no one has come knocking to ask me to get rid of it.

  • I HIGHLY recommend using Fat Worm Composting. It’s an ideal service for those living in apartment buildings to compost. It’s a local business that provides a smell-proof bin for all compostable materials. They clean out the bin once a week and haul it to a farm in Maryland. If you live in a house with a yard, they’ll even give you some of the high quality dirt that’s produced from the compost.

    It’s inexpensive, too – just $25 a month. I’ve been using this service for almost a year and can’t say enough nice things about the owners and the service in general.

  • ah

    There are no specific regulations regarding composting in DC.

    DCRA, however, has sought to apply the general housing code regulations regarding accumulations of trash that harbor rodents to compost bins.

  • or you could join DC Compost Cab

  • Thank you so much for all the suggestions! I appreciate it!

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