quick online survey: https://forms.gle/DuU4K2e5zpoi89BL6
The Town of Greenburgh will hold a discussion during the May 16th work session to go over community responses to this survey exploring how our community might increase food scrap recycling and decrease the load on pricey garbage production.
The Town is considering a trial transition to one-day a week garbage collection with the second day substituted for curbside food scrap pickup. An alternative approach to this could include increasing public food scrap waste bin sites around town. Or, having a transition period: continuing two day a week garbage pickup and offering curbside pickup of food scraps.
The idea is that if you start separating out your food waste, you will find that your regular trash output is greatly reduced by as much as 25% if not higher. Once people start composting, they create much less trash, and bring the town closer to the .6 lbs/person/day statewide goal of trash generation. Another benefit: when recycling, reusing, and composting efficiently, your “trash” is reduced to mostly dry and lightweight waste which can be collected in your home in a brown paper bag, reducing the need for further plastic bag waste that gets incinerated, producing toxic ash.
According to Connecticut’s Department of Energy & Environment’s website, “if you compost on a continual basis, the volume of garbage you generate can be reduced by as much as 25%” but some residents practicing this here find the actual figure to be much higher.
“From my personal experience, the percent is much higher,” says Dobbs Ferry Zero Waste Committee co-chair Holly Malekian. “Once the smelly, soggy stuff that normally compels you to take your trash out is part of your food scrap bin – and you are recycling everything possible – it’s astonishing how little garbage you have to put at your curb. Seriously, for me, a single person (who cooks at home most of the time), I barely have enough to put out once every three weeks!”
Both Westchester County and New York State have articulated goals and resource commitments to getting food out of the “waste stream” in the coming decade as part of their Climate Action Plans and the NYS Climate Leadership & Community Protection Act (CLCPA). The Town, interested in always being at the forefront of such sustainable and waste reduction actions, would also like to ramp up its food scrap collection. Currently, there have been food scrap disposal bins available for the last few years at Town Hall and AF Veteran Park, which currently fill up faster than we anticipated. What we repeatedly hear however is that if food scraps were picked up curbside many more people might consider food scrap recycling.
The EPA estimates that more food reaches landfills than any other single material in our everyday trash, constituting 24 percent of municipal solid waste.
Our hope is once you start separating your food waste and seeing how much less waste you produce in your regular trash, you likely won’t miss the twice-a-week regular collection schedule. But we’d like to start by hearing from you.
Residents, weigh in: How do you feel about changing your weekly garbage pickup schedule, to one regular garbage pickup and one for just food scraps? Would you prefer more public bins? Would you like to buy an at-home food scrap kit? Share your thoughts with us in this quick online survey: https://forms.gle/DuU4K2e5zpoi89BL6
The Board and Public Works department will review comments and investigate what the village of Scarsdale does with their food scrap program, and how the county might assist through their Residential Food Scraps Transportation & Disposal program, which provides County subsidies to ensure that municipalities can collect and dispose of food scraps separately from garbage without extra cost to the taxpayer.