Farmers’ Market Food Scrap Collection

Sustain Dane aims to make food scrap collection more accessible to Madison community members. This summer we coordinated education, food scrap collection, and food waste hauling to Neighborhood Food Solutions’ nearby urban farm. We anticipate we will continue this program when farmers’ markets resume in 2023.

According to the WI DNR, our landfills consist of 14.5% food that would be traditionally edible, and 6% “food scraps” (like peels). This makes food the largest component of our waste stream. Bringing your food scraps to market collection sites is one way to positively impact the environment. The land and soil, community members and agricultural system as a whole can benefit from the nutrient recycling and food waste reduction of food scraps collection and composting. Check out The City of Madison’s Plan. Use. Create. Scrap. resources about how together we can end food waste.

Total lbs. food waste diverted from landfill

Amount of Food Waste Collected at Each Market Date in Lbs.

Date South Madison Farmers’ Market Eastside Farmers’ Market Combined


91 76 167
6/21/2022 106 161 266
6/28/2022 88 104 191
7/5/2022 153 171 324
7/12/2022 281 215 496
7/19/2022 255 226 482
7/26/2022 289 301 589
8/1/2022 276 264 540
8/9/2022 286 320 606
8/16/2022 305 297 602
8/23/2022 276 373 649
8/30/2022 370 531 901
9/6/2022 331 396 727


250 407 658


181 438 618


345 366 711


200 452 653


195 324 518


231 317 548


225 294 519
2022 Total 4733 6033 10766

How do I participate?  

Bring your food scraps to Sustain Dane’s farmers’ market table on Tuesdays during the market season at the South Madison or Eastside market. The program is free and open to the public for all households in Madison. 

South Madison Farmers’ Market  

    • 2:00 P.M. to 6:00 P.M 
    • 1602 South Park Street on the grounds of the Madison Labor Temple  
    • Website –
    • If inclement weather, check the South Madison Farmers’ Market social media updates here to see if market is canceled.
    • Parking available on Wingra Drive for food scraps drop off and shopping at market.

Eastside Farmers’ Market  

    • 4:00 P.M. to 7:00 P.M. 
    • 202 S Ingersoll St, Madison, WI 53703 at McPike Park 
    • Website –
    • Market will be open rain or shine. See Eastside Farmers’ Market social media updates here.

  • Volunteer:

      • Help us make this program possible!
      • Volunteers will help with set up, staffing the table, and clean up for all or a portion of the market.
      • Preference for volunteers to help with at least 6 markets
      • More information and sign up to volunteer here. We will resume accepting volunteer positions in the spring.
      • Volunteer training: Virtual training dates available as needed.

What food can or cannot be composted? 

We can accept the following materials: 

    • Raw Fruits 
    • Raw Vegetables 
    • Coffee Grounds 
    • Loose Tea 
    • Grains & Rice 
    • Eggshells 
    • Gourds 

    We cannot accept the following: 

      • Meat
      • Dairy 
      • Produce Stickers & Twist Ties 
      • “Compostable” Bags 
      • “Compostable” Tableware (Forks, Plates, Cups, etc.) 
      • Paper Products

      Please note that other composting programs may have different guidelines. We encourage you to review which foods can be composted with us before visiting the market. We will not be able to accept your food waste if it contains contamination of items that we cannot accept.

      We appreciate your understanding and look forward to seeing you!


      Please contact Valora Gutierrez, Sustain Dane’s Efficiency Navigator & Outreach Specialist, at or 608–285-2454.

      Farm Information

      All food scraps will be taken to Neighborhood Food Solutions (NFS) Farm which supports formerly incarcerated individuals in urban agriculture and teens in entrepreneurial and agricultural training. NFS provides farming opportunities for community members who may not normally have the access and resources to learn about and participate in farming. With this partnership, food scraps collected at the farmers markets will help to rebuild and create healthy soil at the farm to continue growing produce.


      This project is made possible through funding from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)  Natural Resources Defense Council, and the Dane County Department of Waste & Renewables (2022 Organics Management Grant). Our partners include The City of Madison, Neighborhood Food Solutions (NFS) farm, and Farm2Facts.