May 7, 2024

30 tons of waste (more than 60,000 pounds) has been diverted in the first month

PHILADELPHIAReading Terminal Market, Philadelphia’s historic public Market and a 501(c)(3) non-profit, is partnering with Mother Compost, a local, woman-owned compost materials pick-up service, for a five-month pilot program that includes 10 market merchants. In the first day of the program, two tons of compost was collected. That has grown to more than 30 tons since April 1 thanks to efforts from the Market’s housekeeping team and assistant general manager. The goal of this partnership is to reduce food waste, support sustainable practices, and strategically address the waste management process at the Market.

“Part of our mission as a provider of fresh, affordable food involves playing a role in ensuring sustainability practices are put in place wherever possible. We are excited to embark on this journey in partnership with Mother Compost and have already seen a major impact in just the first month,” said Annie Allman, CEO and General Manager, Reading Terminal Market Corporation. “Gwenn and her team have made this process easy and accessible for the Market and our small, family-owned businesses. We saw major interest from the first group of participating merchants and look forward to growing this program to include even more once the pilot is complete.”

The composting process begins with merchants collecting materials including fruits and vegetables, meats and seafood, bread and eggs, unwaxed paperware, and more. They are provided containers to house at their stores which are swapped out as needed and emptied into 64-gallon compost bins in the Reading Terminal Market trash room. Mother Compost collects the materials every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday and delivers them to Linvilla Orchard where they are processed by Kitchen Harvest and repurposed.

“We were thrilled to collaborate on this pilot program with Reading Terminal Market, not only for the potential to divert food excess but also for the chance to partner with such an iconic Philadelphia institution. We hope this pilot will highlight the significant decrease in trash that can be achieved by adding organics recycling (composting) to a waste management strategy.”
Reading Terminal Market is currently Mother Compost’s largest composting partner. In addition to this pilot program, Reading Terminal diverts food waste by partnering with organizations including Sharing Excess and Too Good To Go.

To learn more about Reading Terminal Market, please visit For more information about Mother Compost, visit



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