Pleasantville Readies Food-Scrap Recycling Initiative for Fall
By Ed Perratore
Pleasantville will soon be the latest local municipality to launch a recycling program for compostable food scraps.
“One of the things that’s very exciting about it – from my perspective, as someone who composts at home – is that you can compost many more things when you’re participating in a municipal program,” said Trustee Nicole Asquith. “This includes not only fruit and vegetable scraps but also meat, dairy, basically any kind of leftover food.”
To take part in the voluntary program, expected to launch this October, residents collect food scraps and other kitchen refuse in compostable or paper bags, which they can tote to the drop-off location at the end of Village Road (adjacent to the DPW facility) at the site of Zwilling J. A. Henckels’ U.S. headquarters on Saturday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
The village last year collected roughly 2,275 tons of trash. Jeffrey Econom, Pleasantville’s superintendent of public works, estimates that 10 to 15 percent of this could be food scraps. If every residential household participated in the program, as much as 341 tons of trash could be kept out of landfills annually, he said.
As with other municipalities, Pleasantville’s initiative is modeled after one the Village of Scarsdale began in January 2017 after much research. Scarsdale had signed up 600 households, roughly 10 percent of the village’s population, less than five months after launch.
The Town of New Castle started its program on May 29, and Mount Kisco is undergoing similar trials to gauge residents’ interest.
Pleasantville has spent $5,685 on the first 300 food-scrap recycling starter kits, which are available for sale to residents interested in participating. For $20, payable by check only, the kit includes a countertop pail, which takes a compostable liner and stays in the kitchen, and a storage and transport bin that residents empty at the drop-off site. The DPW will sell compostable bags for $2 for each roll of 25.
While the kits and liners add to the convenience, residents are not required to use them. Either way, the village isn’t benefiting financially, said Kim Hunter, one of many volunteers with PleasantvilleRecycles, who expects the village to roughly break even.
Acceptable food scraps include fruits, vegetables, meat, fish, dairy, rice, pasta and cooked food. Napkins, paper towels, wax paper and cut flowers can also be recycled through this program.
What cannot be deposited in the drop-off bins is plastic of any kind, including bags, packaging and wrappers. Baby and hand wipes and pet waste are also prohibited.
“If it’s not compostable, it’s not allowed,” Hunter said.
PleasantvilleRecycles will be helping to spread the word about the food-scrap recycling program in the coming months at the Saturday farmers market on Memorial Plaza and at other sites. In the meantime, the village will tend to other details, such as comparing bids from interested haulers.
Hunter said that more information will be added on the PleasantvilleRecycles website, www.pleasantvillerecycles.org. For further information or if any resident has questions or would like to volunteer, e-mail the committee at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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