The Town of Greenburgh will begin Jan. 17 the largest municipal food scrap recycling program in Westchester County.

The new program is the culmination of a pilot program, spearheaded by the Greenburgh Nature Center in Edgemont, which began in 2015.

Anthony F. Veteran Park will be Greenburgh’s drop-off site and be open every day from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Although all 135,000 residents in Greenburgh will have access to the site, Rachel Carpitella, the nature center’s sustainability education coordinator, said the program is completely voluntary.

The Greenburgh program will accept all food scraps including meat, bones, dairy, fish, fruit, vegetables, bread, pasta, cooked food and leftover food.

From the park, the scraps will be taken to the Ulster County Resource Recovery Agency in Kingston, New York, where they will be recycled into nutrient-rich compost.

Greenburgh is the latest, and largest, municipality in the county to implement its own food scrap recycling program, joining the likes of Scarsdale, Larchmont-Mamaroneck and Bedford.

According to Anne Jaffe Holmes, the GNC’s director of education, the nature center began to get calls from residents after Scarsdale implemented its food scrap recycling initiative in January 2017.

Although the nature center began planning in 2015 to do its own program, it had to delay progress with the program because GNC personnel began helping the county with plans to develop a countywide food scrap program.

This past summer, the nature center returned its focus to a program for Greenburgh and, in the fall, began efforts to educate Greenburgh residents on proper food scrap recycling methods.

For example, in September, the GNC held a workshop at the Greenville Elementary School’s back-to-school barbecue, where it provided information and fliers about the new program.

The nature center plans to hold more workshops as the program continues into the year. At these workshops, residents will be able to buy food scrap recycling starter kits.

Each kit, which costs $20, will include a countertop pail and compostable liners in which residents can place their food scraps. The kit will also have a larger bin in which residents can place the food scraps once the countertop pail is full.

Residents can then carry that bin to Anthony F. Veteran Park and deposit the food scraps into the large bins on-site.

The $20 for the kit can be paid by check and made out to the town of Greenburgh.

For now, the park is the only drop-off location for Greenburgh residents. However, according to Carpitella, the program will be a rollout process over the next year.

As the nature center decides which location will be the second drop-off point, it will continue to hold the aforementioned workshops. Then nature center officials will look to install a second drop-off point for 2019.

Carpitella told The Inquirer Greenburgh Town Hall is one of the locations under consideration to be a drop-off location.

The town board also helped the nature center secure a Climate Smart Communities Grant from the Department of Energy Conservation in the amount of $30,000. This grant, said Carpitella, will be used for the 2018-20 food scrap recycling program.

The GNC will host a Greenburgh’s Food Scrap Recycling Opening Event! Saturday, Jan. 20 at Anthony F. Veteran’s park from 11 a.m. to noon.

The event will include demonstrations on proper food scrap recycling and there will be starter kits available for purchase.

If residents are interested in learning more about the program or providing feedback, they may contact Carpitella at rcarpitella@greenburghnaturecenter.org or 813-1251.

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