Walltown Food Waste Collection Pilot

The City is developing a pilot program for curbside collection of food waste, and is looking for a small group of residents to help test it out.

We are seeking 100 households in the Walltown community who would like to be part of this 12 week pilot. 

We would love for you to be a part of this unique opportunity to help design this service to divert food waste from the landfill in the city of Durham.

  • Participating residents will collect their food waste at home in a cart provided by the Citycollect food waste at your house
  • The Solid Waste Management Department will pick it up each week (on the day after your trash collection day)food waste collected by Solid Waste Management Department
  • Instead of going to the landfill, the food waste will be transported to the solid waste facility to be compostedfood waste goes to landfill for composting

learn more about the projectLive in the Walltown Area? Join the City's first ever food waste collection pilot!


Why Walltown?  

One of the community goals in Walltown is to improve environmental sustainability, something that aligns very well with composting. Since this is a pilot program, we also wanted to select a region of Durham that was representative of the demographic makeup of our city. 

How do I participate?

If you are interested in participating in the pilot please complete this survey today. No experience is required! Once we have 100 households ready to begin, we will reach out with information to get you started. 

Not a Walltown resident? If you are interested in future pilot programs, you can provide your contact information here and we will notify you when future opportunities occur. 

Why collect food waste?  

Food waste can be as much as 30% by weight of items that get disposed of as garbage. Did you know that food waste is the primary source of methane at landfill sites? Composting diverts food waste from the landfill and reduces greenhouse gas production. Food waste not sent to landfill can be composted to create a valuable soil amendment. The City is already collecting food waste as garbage. The pilot program will instead collect it in a different truck and deliver it to our composting contractor, Atlas Organics instead of it going to disposal in landfill. Composting is the natural process of recycling organic matter, like food scraps, into fertilizer that feeds soil and plants.    

How does the program work?  

Once 100 households sign up, we will start our 12 week pilot program. There is no cost to participate.

  • All participants will receive a food collection cart, along with information about what food and organic materials are acceptable to be included in the cart.
  • Participants will be asked to place their cart at the curb for collection once a week. 
  • We ask that all participants complete two surveys, take part in brief feedback interviews, and share their experiences with us so we can learn what works and what doesn’t directly from program participants. 

Throughout the pilot, our team will work to quickly respond to questions and listen to ideas so that we can make this the best program it can be for the Durham community. Our goal is to learn from Durham residents what works best for them before we expand the collection program beyond 100 households.

Where will my food waste go? 

We are working with our partners Atlas Organics who will receive and process your food waste to turn it into rich compost that can be used in vegetable beds, parks and gardens. Learn more about Atlas Organics.

What happens after the pilot ends?

At the end of the 12 weeks, each participant will be asked to complete a final survey because your feedback is valuable and we want to know your thoughts on what worked, what didn’t work and why. Your input will help determine if this type of program can be offered to more neighborhoods and what types of resources will be needed to make that successfully happen. 

I like what I hear - how do I get started?

Help us design this program to divert food waste from the landfill. Click this survey today to sign up. Remember, no experience is required!

Interested but still have questions?  E-mail us at FoodWasteInfo@durhamnc.gov