The White Plains Examiner

It’s a Beautiful Day to Celebrate Earth Week

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White Plains Mayor Tom Roach officially kicks off Earth Week with a press conference on Earth Day, Monday, April 22.
White Plains Mayor Tom Roach officially kicks off Earth Week with a press conference on Earth Day, Monday, April 22.

Mayor Tom Roach has long been a promoter of sustainability when it comes to living green in the City of White Plains. On Monday, April 22, Earth Day, Roach along with several city commissioners, councilwomen, students, Jill Iannetta, who planned the Earth Week events, and Soles4Souls CEO Buddy Teaster kicked off White Plains’ participation in a shoe recycling program and daily educational and fun events for residents and visitors to learn about living cooperatively with our environment.

Following a Sunday morning of Earth stewardship when residents came together to clean up some of the city’s public parks, Monday turned our attention to the ground where our feet meet the Earth. As part of White Plains Earth Week celebration the city has committed to collecting 20,000 used shoes that will be donated to Soles4Souls for distribution to locations in Haiti, Guatemala or Africa where poverty makes it impossible for some people to be able to clothe themselves properly. The organization has also provided footwear for people after natural disasters.

Teaster noted that White Plains was the first whole city to ever commit to a Soles4Souls program and he was grateful for the coming donation and surprised to see all the sustainable programs already in place in White Plains.

Teaster further quoted statistics that over 700 million pairs of shoes are thrown out every year in the United States that could be recycled to the over 300 million children worldwide who lack footwear.

Jill Iannetta, Director of Special Projects for the Mayor’s Office with Soles4Souls CEO Buddy Teaster.
Jill Iannetta, Director of Special Projects for the Mayor’s Office with Soles4Souls CEO Buddy Teaster.


Teaster told the children in the audience they were lucky to be able to go to school because in some parts of the world if a child does not have shoes to wear, they cannot go to school.

A poem written and read by children for the event highlighted that recycling is one thing everyone can do.

Mayor Roach announced that electric vehicle charging stations were coming to the city, the Jack Harrington Greenway would be extended and the open space at the corner of Mamaroneck and Bryant Avenues across from Rose Cleaners would become passive park land. He also said the city’s bike lanes would be extended.

Councilwoman Milagros Lecuona invited residents to visit the city’s TILI (take it or leave it) Shed at the Gedney Recycling Yard, which is open on Saturday mornings. Anyone wishing to recycle an appliance or other household items can drop them off at no charge and pick something up they find useful at no charge as well.

Public Works Commissioner Bud Nicoletti explained that White Plains has 13,600 street and park trees (not including the trees on the 300 acres of water shed property owned by the city).

During each of the three major storms experienced by the city last year, 500 trees were lost each time. Con Edison is giving the city a grant of $1,000 for tree replacement and a dogwood will be planted at the new entrance to the Jack Harrington Greenway.

White Plains Earth Week events will culminate in the Sustain White Plains celebration and outdoor fair that will take place on Mamaroneck Avenue between Martine Avenue and Main Street on Saturday, April 27 from noon to 4 p.m. Activities will include creating music with recycled materials, a fashion show featuring clothes made from recycled materials and performances by Bash the Trash and Mark Rust.

The Earth Week Shoe Drive to benefit Soles4Souls will accept gently worn shoes at the following locations: Ebersole Ice Rink (Delfino Park, 110 Lake St.) Friday, April 26 at 4 to 8 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday, April 27 and 28 at 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Calvary Baptist Church (188 Orawaupum St.), City Hall (255 Main St.), Don Coqui (105-7 Mamaroneck Ave.), First Baptist Church (456 North St.), Good Counsel Academy (52 North Broadway), Memorial United Methodist Church (250 Bryant Ave.), Our Lady of Sorrows (888 Mamaroneck Ave.), Ridgeway Alliance (465 Ridgeway), Stop and Shop (both locations), The Westchester Mall (Brighton, Clark’s Easy Spirit, Nine West, The North Face), White Plains Public Library (100 Martine Ave.), White Plains Presbyterian Church (39 North Broadway), White Plains Youth Bureau (11 Amherst Place), and White Plains Gedney Yard Recycling Facility TILI Shed (87 Gedney Way).

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