ORLANDO, Fla. — The city of Orlando wants your garbage. Specifically, your food waste.

In an effort to reduce sending waste to landfills, the city is now offering three drop-off locations for people to leave their food waste with the city.

The food waste can be dropped off at three Orlando-area farmers markets:

  • SATURDAY, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
    Parramore Farmers Market on West Central Boulevard
  • SUNDAY, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
    Orlando Farmers Market at Lake Eola Park
  • MONDAY, 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
    Audubon Park Community Market on East Winter Park Road

The city will take the food to Harvest Power in south Orange County, where it is sent to an anaerobic digester and converted into electricity for homes and businesses. The move will also reduce the amount of money it costs to take the food waste to the landfill. 

“We want to keep food waste out of the landfills. It’s a sustainability priority to keep landfill growth down, to reduce the waste that we are sending," said LeAnn Siefferman, sustainability project coordinator for the city of Orlando.

Siefferman says Americans waste enough food every day to fill the Rose Bowl Stadium in Pasadena, California.

The city is the first in the southeast U.S. to offer food drop-off locations. 

If you want to participate, the city asks that you collect food scraps in a sealed container, preferably with a biodegradable liner. They suggest refrigerating or freezing the saved scraps to eliminate odors. 

The following items can be accepted at the food waste drop-off sites:

  • Fruit and vegetable scraps
  • Coffee grounds, filters, tea bags
  • Nuts
  • Eggshells
  • Bread, cereals, rice, pasta
  • Meat and poultry scraps
  • Fish and shellfish
  • Dairy products
  • Leftover spoiled food
  • Butter and dressings
  • Compostable bags

Scraps should also be emptied from any glass or plastic containers, because the containers are not compostable.

Fats like oil or grease are not permitted in the food waste drop-off. The city does, however, have a way to recycle cooking oil. Learn more on the city of Orlando website.

The city also has information online about getting a composting container for your home for free.