Orangetown is taking the next step in recycling and hopes its residents, and the rest of Rockland County, follow. The town launched a pilot program collecting food waste, the largest component in the municipal waste stream. An estimated 920 pounds of food scraps were collected last month for the program at the town’s Highway Department facility.

Orangetown is working with the Rockland Green waste management agency on the initiative, which advocates say will help the environment by reducing waste and greenhouse gases, while also saving money. The program, which was inspired by a similar effort in Westchester, comes as a state law went into effect this year encouraging the recycling of food waste.

Supervisors from other Rockland towns envision growing the program to the rest of the county in the future, with the possibility of someday adding regular residential collections. But officials say they need residents to buy into the pilot program. While the town and Rockland Green will provide the disposable, biodegradable bags required in the process for free, it will be the residents’ responsibility to separate the food waste from their other garbage and recyclables, and drive the bagged waste to the Highway Department facility off Route 303 in Orangeburg.

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Author: Steve Lieberman, Rockland/Westchester Journal News,
Image: John Meore, The Journal News