JBG SMITH’s North End Retail Composting Program


JBG SMITH set a goal to hit a waste diversion rate of 60% by 2030. Recognizing that the weight of organic material is a significant portion of the landfill waste stream, the sustainability team started a composting pilot program to divert organic waste from landfills at their North End Retail property in Washington, D.C. This space consists of ground floor retail space, including full-service restaurants, coffee shops, floral shops, salons, and more.

The new composting project required adding five additional bins (65-gallon toters) to the loading dock for the collection of compost from individual retailers. Composting signage was posted near the bins to encourage participation from tenants. To gain buy-in from senior leadership for this project, the sustainability team presented the business case as well as the qualitative benefits of a composting program, such as composting being an amenity JBG is offering for retailers who want to manage waste streams in a proactive way. The retail tenants were also excited to participate in this program based on their own ESG goals.

The project implementation cost is approximately $5,400 per year. Since starting the program in August 2020, 10,263 pounds of waste have been diverted from landfill at North End Retail. For calendar year 2021, the property generated just over 25% of JBG SMITH’s portfolio-wide composting, underscoring the value of deploying compost programs in high-traffic retail settings. The program has helped JBG SMITH educate all involved stakeholders about alternatives to traditional waste hauling and will help JBG SMITH target additional assets in the future.

In an effort to meet their waste reduction goals, JBG SMITH recently joined the Better Buildings Waste Reduction Network.