Starting the New Year with Service

January 2022


Each new year provides us the opportunity to reflect, recharge, and reconnect. With each new year, we also celebrate the Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service. Observed on the third Monday in January, it is intended to be “a day on, not a day off,” meaning a day dedicated to volunteering in honor of Dr. King’s life and legacy. Dr. King not only had a transformational impact on social justice nationally, he also played a role locally by amplifying community advocacy efforts. You can learn more about Dr. King’s relationship to the District by visiting the local history exhibit on the fourth floor of the recently renovated Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library at 901 G St. NW.

Sustainable DC can connect you to service opportunities with organizations advancing the District’s equity, environmental, and economic goals. In January and beyond, you can visit the volunteer page on the Sustainable DC website to see volunteer events hosted by community organizations. If you would like to be notified of upcoming volunteer opportunities, you can sign up to be a Sustainable DC volunteer on the same page. As a Sustainable DC volunteer, you will receive an email at most every two weeks with volunteer opportunities at organizations that are advancing the goals in the Sustainable DC 2.0 plan.

As we continue to demonstrate resilience in the face of public health and other challenges, dedicating time to service can be a rewarding way to connect with community members and support under-resourced organizations. Start your year off with a renewed sense of purpose by contributing to a sustainability cause you’re passionate about!


Compost Christmas Trees and Holiday Greenery

The Department of Public Works (DPW) will collect Christmas trees and holiday greenery from homes that receive DPW curbside service between January 3 and February 28 to be composted. Trees and greenery can be left at the normal point of collection for trash and recycling, or at the curbside. In the spring, the mulch will be provided to residents at no cost.

Christmas tree

Residents can also drop their Christmas trees and/or holiday greenery at one of four locations:

  • Benning Road Transfer Station (3200 Benning Road NE)
  • Fort Totten Transfer Station (4900 John F. McCormack Drive NE)
  • Bryant Street Sweep Shop (201 Bryant Street NW)
  • South Capitol Street Graffiti Shop (2700 South Capitol Street SE)

To learn more, please visit

Recycle Holiday Lights at Mom’s Organic Market

Throughout the month of January, you can take your holiday lights that are no longer working to Mom’s Organic Market locations for recycling. The lights are broken down through smelting or shredding and the raw materials are recycled into new items such as roofing and construction material, piping, electronics, jewelry, and more. The Mom’s location in the District is in Ivy City at 1501 New York Ave NE. For other locations, and additional recycling information, please visit



Application Period Opened January 10 for the 2022 District Sustainability Awards and Clean Energy DC Award

The District Sustainability Awards highlight businesses, individuals, and organizations that are working towards a more sustainable DC. Awardees’ projects and programs support the Mayor’s Sustainable DC 2.0 Plan, which aims to make the District the nation’s healthiest, greenest, most livable city for all residents; it encompasses governance, equity, built environment, climate, economy, education, energy, food, health, nature, transportation, waste, and water.

For details on how to apply, scoring criteria, and the link to the application form, go to

The application period runs from January 10 through March 11. If you have any questions, please contact Mary Lynn Wilhere at



Employer Partnership Training Grant

Applications are now open for the Employer Partnership Training Grant through the District’s Workforce Investment Council. The Employer Partnership Training Grant will provide 8-12 grants to eligible employers or business organizations to provide training to help ensure they have the talent they require for their businesses to grow and thrive, and ensure DC residents have the skills and credentials to access and progress in in-demand careers. The deadline to apply is Wednesday, January 26. For more information, visit the Workforce Investment Council Funding Opportunities page.


Notice of Request for Applicants - Restoring the District's Natural Areas

The Department of Energy and Environment (DOEE) seeks an eligible entity to restore historically-underserved, publicly-owned parks and natural green spaces in the District by removing trash and invasive species, maintaining trails, and engaging residents with their local parklands beyond volunteer and clean-up opportunities. The deadline for applications submissions is Friday, January 28. For more information, visit the DOEE website.


Food Waste Innovation Grants

The Department of Small and Local Business Development (DSLBD) is proud to announce the Food Waste Innovation Grants for food and beverage businesses like restaurants, cafes, breweries, and food halls. Nonprofits, including commercial corridors like Main Streets and Business Improvement Districts, are also eligible when supporting multiple food businesses. These grants will help food businesses minimize their food waste going to landfill, cut waste costs, and minimize urban rat populations. The deadline to apply is Monday, January 31. For more information, visit the DSLBD website.

Food Waste

Green Building Innovation Assistance

DOEE is seeking eligible entities to propose incorporating innovative green building strategies into their new or existing building projects in the District. DOEE is seeking applications for grant activities that will 1) reduce the environmental impacts of the built environment in the District, and 2) increase industry knowledge and capacity to design, construct, and operate high-performing buildings.

Applicants may propose one or more of the following for their District-based building project(s):

  1. Net-zero energy,
  2. Building electrification,
  3. Renewable energy storage,
  4. Embodied carbon reduction, and/or
  5. Deconstruction and reuse.

DOEE has a total of $175,000 available to fund multiple projects. The deadline for application submission is February 23, 2022 at 11:59pm. DOEE will host a virtual Q&A session on February 9, from 1-2 pm, via WebEx. Check out previous grant projects and visit for more information about this request for applicants.


Department of Energy and Environment – Program Analyst

DOEE has an open position for a Program Analyst in the Urban Sustainability Administration. This position will split time between a new battery product stewardship program and a new donation and reuse program. This will include assisting with the development of regulations; enforcing requirements of regulated battery producers; coordinating closely with non-governmental organizations and District government agencies; providing education and engagement to residents; and assisting with organizing new recycling, donation, and reuse opportunities for residents.

Applications for this position are due by January 27. To learn more about the position or to apply, visit the DC Careers webpage and search for job ID 15519.

Department of Energy and Environment – Program Analyst

DOEE has an open position for a Program Analyst in the Urban Sustainability Administration. This position will help launch the District’s new donation and reuse Program. This will include coordinating closely with non-governmental organizations and District government agencies, providing education and engagement to residents on opportunities for donation and reuse, developing new donation and reuse opportunities (both events and ideally permanent options), and working with emergency preparedness staff to respond to unsolicited donations during emergency situations.

Applications for this position are due by January 27. To learn more about the position or to apply, visit the DC Careers webpage and search for job ID 15529.

Department of Energy and Environment – Program Analyst

DOEE has an open position for a Program Analyst in the Operations Services Administration, Green Economy Branch. This position will serve as a key team member for Solar Works DC by providing overall support to the program and provide support in similar capacities for related workforce projects under Solar For All. They will assist in the oversight of grant management, grantee performance, and program buildout. The Program Analyst will also create and implement data management techniques to improve program tracking, performance metrics, and overall operation and administration.

Applications for this position are due by February 9. To learn more about the position or to apply, visit the DC Careers webpage and search for job ID 15645.


Online Worm Composting Classes

The DPW Home Composting Program is offering two upcoming workshops on vermicomposting (worm composting). The workshops will last approximately 2-3 hours, and will teach you the science of composting, what can be composted at home, how to compost at home, different types of home composting systems, best management practices, and more! Workshops are for District residents only and are first-come, first-serve:

  • Vermicomposting (worm) Workshop: Friday, January 28, 10 a.m.–12 p.m. Register here.
  • Vermicomposting (worm) Workshop: Wednesday, February 23, 5 p.m.–7 p.m. Register here.

eCYCLE Collection Events

By recycling used electronics, individuals can help recover valuable resources and properly manage potentially hazardous materials. eCYCLE DC, through manufacturers’ collection and recycling plans, is bringing District residents more options for recycling their electronics.

The following items are banned from the trash and are collected at the eCYCLE DC collection events: computers and monitors, tablet, e-readers, mice, keyboards, DVD or VCR players, printers, televisions, game consoles, and portable music players. For more information, check out this fact sheet.

  • Saturday, January 29, 10:00 a.m.–2:00 p.m. 2500 Georgia Ave NW (near Banneker Community Center)
  • Saturday, January 29, 10:00 a.m.–2:00 p.m. 4200 Kansas Ave NW (near Petworth Library)
  • Saturday, February 5, 10:00 a.m.–2:00 p.m. 1800 Good Hope Rd. SE (near Anacostia Library)
  • Saturday, February 5, 10:00 a.m.–2:00 p.m. 1555 34th St NW (Near Volta Park Recreation Center)
  • Saturday, February 12, 10:00 a.m.–2:00 p.m. 3851 Newark St NW (near Newark Park)
  • Saturday, February 12, 10:00 a.m.–2:00 p.m. 330 7th St NE (near Northeast Library)
  • Saturday, February 19, 10:00 a.m.–2:00 p.m. 300 Van Buren Street, NW (near Takoma Community Center)
  • Saturday, February 26, 10:00 a.m.–2:00 p.m. 2412 Rand Place NE (near Arboretum Community Center) 

Please visit the eCYCLE DC website to check for any updates closer to the event date.

what we're reading

Racial Covenants, a Relic of the Past, Are Still on the Books Across the Country: This story from NPR reveals that racially restrictive covenants – language indicating property cannot be sold to members of certain races or ethnicities – are still on the books in many areas of the country although they have been ruled illegal. A key ruling about a racially restrictive covenant in the District paved the way for similar covenants to be used across the country, before they were deemed unenforceable and later illegal.

This Organization Wants to Help Churches Build More Affordable and “Just” Housing in the Region: An organization named Just Homes is collaborating with churches to find opportunities to increase the stock of affordable and “just” housing, meaning combining affordability with other aspects that influence quality of life.

City Blossoms' Urban Gardens- Aniya's Story: Hear from Mighty Greens Youth Staff Aniya on how she got involved with a City Blossoms garden and the liberating feeling that comes with growing your own food.




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