Maximizing Food Recovery

October 2022


Photo Credit: Food Rescue US – DC

We just wrapped up Food Recovery Week in the DC metro area, which took place October 16-22. The week was full of in-person and virtual events to help participants understand what they can do as individuals and as part of community efforts to reduce food waste and increase food security. Are you familiar with food recovery initiatives in your neighborhood or ward? Here are some places to start:

  • The brand new Reuse DC website powered by the Department of Energy and Environment (DOEE) includes information about how food businesses can connect to organizations that take food donations and how to volunteer as a food rescuer.
  • The DC Food Recovery Working Group supports food recovery on all levels, from source reduction, to food donations, to composting. The group of representatives from food banks, nonprofits, and other partners meets monthly and encourages the public to join.
  • The DC chapter of Food Rescue US connects businesses with excess food to organizations that need it.

These initiatives and others help us meet the food and waste goals in Mayor Bowser’s Sustainable DC 2.0 Plan, but more work is needed. Check out the DC Food Policy Council to see how local changemakers are driving policy toward a more equitable, healthy, and sustainable food system in the District.


Reuse DC Launched

DOEE is excited to announce the launch of Reuse DC (, the first website of its kind that serves as a District-specific information hub on how to repair, donate, and shop second-hand items ranging from furniture to clothing to other household items. Through, the public will be able to search an online map-based directory,explore how to exchange items with neighbors, learn about the importance of food recovery, find an upcoming Fix-It event, discover grant programs, and more!

Reuse DC celebrates the partnerships between government, businesses, nonprofits, and other stakeholders vital to the District’s commitment to expanding local donation and reuse resources. In addition to the website, DOEE’s newly created Reuse DC team provides funding to organizations innovating and expanding District resources through the Donation and Reuse Award Program, established in 2022 in partnership with the Chesapeake Bay Trust. The application for the 2023 Donation and Reuse Award Program is currently open through December 8, 2022. For more information, please see


Donation and Reuse Grant Award Winners

In 2022, DOEE, in partnership with the Chesapeake Bay Trust, awarded the inaugural Donation and Reuse Awards, which included eight awards totaling $64,000. The program funded a donation and reuse project, services, outreach, and education. The 2022 awardees were:

grant winners

Faunteroy Center Receives Grant for Resilience Hub Project

The FH Faunteroy Community Enrichment Center was awarded a grant through the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Environmental Literacy Program to lead intergenerational efforts to build climate resilience and address complex environmental problems with Ward 7 residents through a model built on self-determination and collaboration with public and private partners. The project's geographic focus is on Ward 7, home to not only the majority of single-family homes in Washington, DC's 100-year floodplain, but also a predominantly Black population that faces increased climate vulnerability due to socio-economic stressors and legacies of systemic racism. A project description is available on the NOAA website and background on the community engagement that gave rise to the resilience hub pilot project is available on the DOEE website.


Transportation Electrification Roadmap Released

The District’s encompassing plan regarding electrification of the transportation sector is now available! The Transportation Electrification Roadmap provides guidance to meeting the three overarching transportation goals of the Clean Energy DC Omnibus Act of 2018, including transitioning fleet vehicles and vehicles registered in DC to be zero-emission vehicles. For additional information, please visit DOEE’s website on electric vehicle resources.


District Awarded Rebates for Clean School Buses


The District’s Office of the State Superintendent of Education was awarded $7.6 million dollars from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to replace existing school buses in the DC Public Schools fleet with clean and zero-emission models to reduce harmful emissions. The funding will be used to buy 25 electric buses and sets the District on the path toward electrifying the school bus fleet, as described in the Transportation Electrification Roadmap. For more information, please visit the Clean School Bus Program website.


Changes to Electric Vehicle Tax Credits Are Here

With the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022, the federal electric vehicle tax credit of up to $7,500 has been adjusted to require that final assembly of the vehicle occur in North America. This requirement applies to vehicles purchased between August 17 and December 31, 2022 and that meet certain parameters such as battery size. Not sure if your vehicle qualifies? Visit the Alternative Fuels Data Center from the U.S. Department of Energy for more information, including specific vehicle makes and models that meet the requirements for the current tax credit.

Starting January 1, 2023, the tax credit will be further adjusted to expand the scope of eligible vehicles and include requirements related to critical minerals and battery components. Interested in additional initiatives to transition the District to zero-emission vehicles? Check out the District’s Transportation Electrification Roadmap.

tax credit

Reminder of Gas-Powered Leaf Ban

With the transition to fall, it’s a good time to remind everyone that as of January 1, 2022, no one may sell or use a gas-powered leaf blower in the District of Columbia, except on Federal land. There are benefits to leaving leaves right where they are, so you may be able to avoid blowing or raking them altogether. If you do notice violations of the gas-powered leaf blower ban, you can submit a complaint through the DC Department of Licensing and Consumer Protection (one of the new agencies that emerged from the former Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs).

gas leaf ban


Three Sustainability Grant Opportunities

DOEE has partnered with the Chesapeake Bay Trust to administer three sustainability grants:

  • The Ditch the Disposables award program aims to reduce foodware waste by financially supporting transitions from disposable to reusable foodware at District restaurants and food-serving entities. Funds can be used for establishing dishwashing capacity and implementing reusable foodware and containers. Applications are due Thursday, December 8, 2022. More information and a link to the application can be found at
  • The Donation and Reuse award program is designed to increase diversion of reusable material from landfills and incinerators, through programs, services, outreach, and education. Applications are due Thursday, December 8, 2022. Learn more at
  • The Urban Agriculture award program offers funding to increase urban agriculture in the District through infrastructure and operations support for District farms, particularly for socially disadvantaged farmers, and through technical assistance to residences for home garden installation and management. Applications open soon and will be due Thursday, December 8, 2022. Learn more at
ditch the disposables

Nourish DC Grants

The Nourish DC Collaborative is excited to announce $500,000 in catalytic grant funding to support DC food businesses increasing access to healthy food and creating quality jobs. Mayor Muriel Bowser’s Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development and the Bainum Family Foundation have generously provided the funding. The grant application opened October 26 and closes November 20. For more information on eligibility, to sign up for an informational session, or to learn more about lending and technical assistance offerings, please visit the Nourish DC website:

nourish dc

Food Waste Innovation Grants

The Department of Small and Local Business Development is now soliciting applications for the Fiscal Year 2023 Food Waste Innovation Grants. These grants will provide support for restaurants, food manufacturers, shared commercial kitchens, and commercial corridors like Main Streets and Business Improvement Districts to minimize their food waste going to landfill and minimize urban rat populations. This will help businesses meet the goals of Sustainable DC 2.0 and the future requirements of the Zero Waste Omnibus Amendment Act while reducing costs in both food purchasing and waste disposal expenses. Applications are due December 22. For more information, please visit

food waste grant

Discounts Ending Soon for Energy Efficient Light Bulbs

Don’t get caught in the dark, switch to light emitting diode (LED) bulbs now before discounts end this year! Switch to cost-effective, long-lasting ENERGY STAR® LEDs bulbs for as low as $0.95. Small changes make a big difference for your wallet and the planet. Visit to find discounted bulbs offered by the DC Sustainable Energy Utility at a retailer near you.



Love and Carrots – Urban Gardener

Love and Carrots works to proliferate gardening knowledge with individuals, families, businesses, and organizations. The organization is looking for a full-time crew member to join its Garden Maintenance team. Tasks will include amending soil; seeding, planting, weeding; and engaging with clients. Interested candidates should email a brief letter of interest and resume to For more information, visit this webpage.

Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority – Chief Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Officer

The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA/Metro) is seeking an exceptional and dynamic senior leader to join its Internal Business Operations department as its Chief Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Officer.The person in this role will lead the development and implementation of proactive workforce and transit DEI initiatives and programs across the full lifecycle of WMATA operations. Interested parties should contact Gregg Moser, Principal at Krauthamer & Associates, via email at to obtain more information or to apply for the position with an attached cover letter and resume. For more information, visit this webpage.


Battery Stewardship Program Rules Open for Comments

District residents will soon have new options to safely and conveniently recycle their batteries. The Zero Waste Omnibus Amendment Act of 2020 requires manufacturers of certain batteries and battery-containing products to implement a battery collection and recycling program. DOEE has proposed regulations to establish and clarify requirements for the program. Through November 14, members of the public can provide comments on the proposed regulations. For more details, please go to click on “View text” for the proposed regulations and instructions on how to submit comments.

Help the Donation and Reuse Program Meet Your Needs

DOEE recently launched a donation and reuse program, as established by the Zero Waste Omnibus Act of 2020. The program aims to reduce waste through reuse and illustrates the District’s commitment to achieving zero waste through source reduction and reuse, which are preferred over other forms of waste diversion such as recycling and composting. Help ensure the program meets your needs by taking this brief survey.

Department of Public Works Seeks Public Input on Upcoming Zero Waste DC Plan

The Department of Public Works (DPW) Office of Waste Diversion has begun developing the Zero Waste DC Plan in pursuit of the Mayor’s Zero Waste goal of diverting 80 percent of the District’s waste away from landfills and incineration by 2032. To help shape the plan, DPW is facilitating a robust public engagement cycle throughout the fall and winter. Community members across the city are invited to voice their concerns, share their ideas, and help build a zero waste future. Engagement opportunities include community meetings, public comment periods, and a public survey.

To learn more about the Zero Waste DC Plan and to access all upcoming engagement opportunities, visit



Walking Tour of RiverSmart Homes Projects

Join DOEE, Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay, and Friends of Anacostia Park on Saturday October 29 from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. for a tour of RiverSmart Homes projects. Learn about rain barrels, shade trees, rain gardens, bayscaping, and permeable pavement. The starting point will be at Pomeroy Road and Bangor Street, bordering Fort Stanton Park. No registration is necessary. For more information, please visit

RiverSmart Homes

Ward 3 Open Streets Event on Wisconsin Avenue NW

The final Open Streets of the year will take place Saturday November 5 from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. on Ward 3’s Wisconsin Avenue, where one mile will be closed to cars and open to people to bike, walk, scoot, and play in a reimagining of public space. Explore all the amenities that Friendship Heights and Tenleytown have to offer, and be sure to participate in a fitness or yoga class in one of the activation zones at no cost! Classes will take place every hour.

For more information, visit this webpage.

Ward 3

Three Part Harmony Farm Fall Festival

Join Three Part Harmony Farm on Saturday November 5 from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. for its 9th annual fall festival! The farm is a small-scale agroecological farm, located on a two-acre parcel at 3104 4th St NE. The farm grows mostly vegetables as well as herbs and cut flowers. Farm managers use sustainable practices, without chemical pesticides or herbicides. The festival day will include music, games, farm tours, and garlic planting. For more information about Three Part Harmony Farm, visit its website.

three part harmony farm

Clothing Drive and Circular Fashion Event

Do you have unwanted textiles you would like to dispose of in a sustainable way? Want to learn what true sustainability is when it comes to fashion?

To mark National Recycling Day, Bitter Grace and SCRAP NYC will host a clothing drive on November 15 from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. at 526 8th St SE, Suite A, where you can learn about circular fashion and drop off clothing items you no longer want or need. Accepted items include clothing, linens, and shoes. The following items will not be accepted: used undergarments, jewelry, bags, rugs, or carpets. Participants are encouraged to drop off accepted items anytime between now and the event. Keep an eye out on Bitter Grace’s Facebook, Instagram, and/or Pinterest for more information closer to the event.

clothing drive

November Fix-It DC Event

Let’s celebrate repair! Come and learn to disassemble and troubleshoot your broken objects at the next Fix-It DC event. Fix-It DC is a program which includes all-ages community events where people bring their broken household items and learn how to assess, disassemble, and repair them instead of sending them to the landfill.

Attend the upcoming Fix-It event at the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library Labs on Wednesday, November 16, 5:30–7:30 p.m. To register, please visit this webpage.


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, October 29, 10:00 a.m.–2:00 p.m. Near 5900 33rd Street NW (Ward 4, Near Lafayette-Pointer Recreation Center)
  • Saturday, October 29, 10:00 a.m.–2:00 p.m. Near 4200 Kansas Ave NW (Ward 4, Near Petworth Neighborhood Library)
  • Saturday, November 5, 10:00 a.m.–2:00 p.m. Near 301 Franklin Street NE (Ward 5, Near Edgewood Recreation Center)
  • Saturday, November 5, 10:00 a.m.–2:00 p.m. Near 1801 Hamlin St NE (Ward 5, Near Woodridge Neighborhood Library)
  • Saturday, November 12, 10:00 a.m.–2:00 p.m. Near 403 7th St SE (Ward 6, Near Southeast Neighborhood Library)
  • Saturday, November 12, 10:00 a.m.–2:00 p.m. Near the corner of D St SE & 3rd St SE (Ward 6, Near Folger Park)

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


The District is fortunate to have organizations and individuals doing outstanding work on sustainability. Each month for the next few months, we will highlight one of the winners of the 2022 District Sustainability Awards. This month we are featuring the Shepherd Park Weed Warriors. The Shepherd Park Weed Warriors started in the fall of 2021 and work to train community members on how to tackle the invasive plants at Shepherd Field. The aim is to restore the hillside to a natural setting that is a supportive wildlife and pollinator habitat.

The organization works with the Department of Parks and Recreation, Shepherd Park Citizens Association, District Department of Transportation Urban Forestry Division, and the Rock Creek Conservancy to create equitable change, engage the broader community, and improve the quality of the natural environment in Ward 4. Congrats to the Shepherd Park Weed Warriors for being a 2022 District Sustainability Award Winner!

To learn more about all the winners, check out this short film.

SDC Winner

How Capital Bikeshare Launched a Mobility Movement: Shared bikes were not always as common in cities as they are now. Learn how DC was a pioneer in this movement.

Fighting Climate Change to Save Our Planet: Hear Dr. Pradeep K. Behera of the University of the District of Columbia discuss the university’s role in addressing climate change as part of a Historically Black College and University session of STEM City USA’s Green Summit.

The Garden Thyme Podcast: Fall Colors: This podcast episode hosted by the University of Maryland Extension focuses on why plants change color and suggestions for fall shrubs, grasses, and flowers.




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