Earth Matters: Orangetown Food Waste Program


by Teresa Kenny, Supervisor of the City of Orangetown

Orangetown is the first town in Rockland County to offer residents a food waste collection program.

How it works

Residents collect and drop off their food scraps in city-provided bags, then transfer them to the Orangetown Highways Department drop-off site. Waste must be in the bags provided (free of charge) by the City. No plastic bag (even biodegradable or compostable) or bulk waste should be placed in the bins at the drop-off point.

Bread, ground coffee, meat, bones, fish, pasta, fruit, fries and bread are just a few of the items that can be collected and recycled. In my household, ground coffee, eggshells, and banana peels quickly fill a small bag, and there’s a noticeable reduction in the amount of trash coming off the sidewalk.

Waste must be kept in bags provided by Orangetown (free of charge). No plastic bag (even biodegradable or compostable) or bulk waste should be placed in the bins at the drop-off point. Although the Town has a kit with bins to purchase, residents are free to use any container they wish to use.

For more information on this program, see the Frequently Asked Questions page for Orangetown food waste recycling.

Why composting is important

Food scraps are a major component of the waste sent to landfills, which then rots and produces methane, which is much worse than carbon dioxide for heating the planet. Recycling leftover food captures nutrients and energy and returns them to the environment by composting them in rich, fertile soil.

I understand this is a great demand for many residents. But as someone who has been doing this for several weeks now and who understands the benefits of my efforts, I think this is something we should all be supporting.

The scrap team

Shortly after being elected City Supervisor two years ago, I was introduced to Rockland Composting members Marcy Denker and Vicki Schwaid at an Orangetown Environmental Committee meeting. Seeing an opportunity, these two passionate composters introduced me to a program that had been operating in Westchester County for several years.

I quickly agreed that this was something Rockland County needed. With the help and support of Rockland Green President Howard T. Phillips, Jr., Executive Director Gerard M. Damiani and Allison Kardon on my team, we have been working over the next 18 months to make this program a reality. Orangetown is serving as a pilot program for this project. Future plans include adding satellite drop-off points or, better yet, providing curbside pickup.

Orangetown is getting greener every day!

Please join me in trying out this program and spreading the word to fellow Orangetown residents. The ultimate goal is to expand this program to the rest of Rockland County, however, the success of the Orangetown Pilor Project is needed to demonstrate that residents will support composting and are willing to make the effort to improve our planet.

Teresa Kenny is the Supervisor for the City of Orangetown, New York.

Read Earth Matters every Wednesday on Nyack News And Views, or sign up for Earth Matters mailing list.


Comments are closed.