Prompted by their eco-friendly local organizations, the villages of Dobbs Ferry, Irvington, Tarrytown and Sleepy Hollow are now engaged in programs offering drop-off points to which residents can bring their collected food scraps. From those locations, the food scraps are carted to an upstate composting facility. They are reprocessed there into nutrient-rich compost.
The Town of Greenburgh took the early initiative in January 2018, by partnering with the Greenburgh Nature Center to set up a residential food scrap recycling program, the largest in Westchester County. The town established a drop-off site for all town residents at the Anthony F. Veteran Park in Hartsdale.
Town Supervisor Paul Feiner called it “a first step that could reduce the amount of garbage that we get rid of.” He now has plans for a second, much bigger step. The town is expecting a $250,000 grant from the state to purchase two trucks so Greenburgh could begin curbside pick-up of food scraps throughout the town beginning in 2020. “There is a good chance we will be able to pick up curbside next year,” Feiner said. “It would provide an opportunity for the town to work cooperatively with the villages. We have to work out an agreement with the villages to see if they like the concept.”
The Tarrytown Environmental Advisory Council (TEAC) was successful late last year in having its village establish a food scrap drop-off project. Village Administrator Richard Slingerland described it as “a good thing for our community to help reduce greenhouse gas.” The village set up a drop-off location with multiple containers adjacent to Pierson Park between its Recreation Center and the Senior Center. “We are happy to see over half a ton of food scraps being dropped off each week at the village’s current collection point,” TEAC co-chairs Rachel Tieger and Dean Gallea reported last month. Seven dumpsters there each hold about 200 pounds of scraps, the discarded trimmings, leftover and spoiled or expired food, Gallea related.
Food scrap collection kits are being sold by the village to make the procedure more convenient for residents. Each includes a small countertop bin, a roll of 25 compostable bags and a larger, lockable outdoor transporter bin in which to store the collected scraps and bring them to the collection point. The kits are available at their cost, $23, at Village Hall, the Recreation Center and at Warner Library. Only compostable bags are suitable for the scrap deposits, and additional rolls of those bags are available at the Recreation Center for $2.
Encouraged by its Environmental Advisory Council (SHEAC), Sleepy Hollow has partnered with Tarrytown, signing an Inter-Municipal Agreement at the end of March, to participate with that village’s existing Food Scrap Drop-Off Program. The two villages will share the cost of a one-year contract with Suburban Carting to collect the scraps from the Tarrytown location and take them to the composting facility, according to SHEAC’s Co-Chair, Clair Davis. Drop-off kits are also available at Sleepy Hollow Village Hall.
“Community reaction thus far has been very favorable among those who are aware of the program, and greater participation is anticipated as the word gets out more widely,” Davis said. She added that Sleepy Hollow’s participation is being promoted with posters and flyers which are also being translated into Spanish to reach the village’s Hispanic population. “It is important to note that the new program will accept many more items than are usable in a backyard plot,” Davis said.