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Waste (Recycling, Reduction, & Organic Waste)
Want to incorporate sustainable practices into your daily life?
Whether you are looking to shop green, eat local, or waste less, this page has a ton of useful information!
How can I be more sustainable in my purchases?
The first step to living a more sustainable lifestyle is education. Increased awareness about what goes into a produce – energy usage, chemicals, etc. – allows you, as the customer, to make an informed decision. FCWC has put together some helpful links for making this decision.
Consumer products rated for sustainability
Businesses that took on the Westchester Green Business Challenge
I want to know more about food sustainability.
A big local push in Westchester County has been to increase food sustainability practices. One of the most important things you can do when trying to be sustainable about food is to go local. There are many examples of these efforts - some of which are even member organizations of FCWC.
Buy local produce
Westchester County has many local farms, many of which practice sustainable methods of farming. One main benefit to purchasing local produce is the reduction of distance that those items need to be transported. Reduced distance means less fuel used to get those items to you! Also, visit one of many farmers markets available in our region.
Buy in season
The benefits of buying in season harken back to the benefits of buying local. When you buy produce seasonally, you can feel confident that your produce isn't being imported from far places like South America.
Grow your own
If you really want to shrink the farm to table distance, you can even grow your own produce! Below is some helpful information to get started on that path.
Provided by Hilltop Hanover Farm, here is a link to information like: planning your garden (carrot growing guide & celery and celeriac growing guide)
How do you know what is recyclable?
The common recyclables are paper, plastic, and glass; but when considering other items it is helpful to know what can be recycled and what cannot. Below is a collection of resources for determining what items can be recycled, and where to bring them.
Westchester County's Household Hazardous Waste Drop-off Site
Your guide to green living
Pleasantville Recycles has a, "A-Z" recycling guide.
The Recyclopedia is an A-to-Z index of residential items and instructions on proper recycling, repurposing, and responsible disposal.
"Eliminating the idea of waste"
TerraCycle is a move to take waste products (mostly packaging) and turn them into goods.
Where should I begin if I want to start composting?
Composting is a great way to take control of your waste. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, food and yard waste make up 20 to 30% of what American households throw away. This organic material as actually an incredibly valuable resource! By composting your home's food scraps, you will not only reduce the tonnage you throw away, but you will also be creating nutrient packed soil for plants.
EPA - Composting at Home
A guide to the benefits of composting, and how to do it.
Composting guide for composting household waste.
Greenburgh Nature Center
Greenburgh Nature Center has been very active in spreading the word about composting. They hold demonstrations of how to compost at home, as well as are a great resource for any questions you might have.
Sheldrake Environmental Center
Sheldrake Environmental Center has also been very active in compost education. Sheldrake sells an outdoor composting unit called an "Earth Machine," in addition to offering a Master Composter & Recycler Training Program.
How can I address yard waste sustainably?
In the Fall, leaves become of concern for homeowners and municipalities. Instead of bagging your leaves it is much more sustainable to mulch them!
"Shredding your leaves where they are on the lawn, using shredded leaves as a winter mulch on landscape beds, collecting shredded leaves into compost piles, or simply leaving your leaves under the trees in wooded areas are all examples of using Mother Nature's own time-tested method of turning old leaves into new soil." - Love Em' and Leave Em' Project
The The Love Em' and Leave Em' initiative is a project to inspire residents and businesses of Westchester County to stop bagging their leaves. A better option for the environment, the LELE initiative website offers useful information about the benefits of leaf mulching, as well as training and on-site consultations.
I want to reduce my waste overall. What steps should I take?
Cutting down on your waste is a huge step in "greening" your life. If you are interested in what you can do, but aren't sure of where to begin, try visiting wehatetowaste.com.
A site that brings together interesting information, tips, and creative solutions to daily waste. WeHateToWaste has a wide focus. Ranging from sharing items to repairing and repurposing.
If you are looking to cut down on your carbon footprint, try participating in a rideshare program like 511nyrideshare.org
Did you know that each high quality reuseable bag has the potential to eliminate an average of 1,000 plastic bags over its lifetime?
Have any tips of your own?
FCWC is looking to grow this section of our website and we need your help. Email us at to share.
Waste (Recycling, Reduction, Organic Waste)