GREENBURGH, N.Y. (WCBS 880) — Is food scrap recycling a real thing?

In this week’s Stories From Main Street, Sean Adams took us to the Town of Greenburgh in Westchester County – the latest town to get involved in the environmental movement aimed at helping us manage our garbage.

Orange peel, and old oatmeal with bits of toast make great compost. Food scrap recycling has come to Greenburgh as the town follows the lead of Scarsdale – which was the first Westchester County community to admit such a program.

Food Scrap Recycling In Greenburgh

(Credit: WCBS 880)

“So all of your food scraps just go right into your kitchen countertop pail,” said Rachel Carpitella, sustainable project leader at the Greenburgh Nature Center. “That’s including all of your fruits, vegetables, meat, dairy, bones, cooked food, salad with dressing on it – some of those things, you couldn’t put in a backyard composter. But you can put them in the kitchen countertop pail.”

Kirsten Kleinman picked up a green food scrap pail.

Food Scrap Recycling In Greenburgh

(Credit: WCBS 880)

“Putting my money where my mouth is, so to speak – I’m an AP environmental science teacher,” Kleinman said.

She said she wants to practice what she preaches in class.

“It makes it easy, because I’m not in my backyard shoveling compost and tilling it and turning it,” Kleinman said. “This way, I can just take everything that I’m cooking with – all of my food scraps at once – put it in one simple bin, and drop it off once a week.”

One eighth grader named Jacob said food recycling goes hand-in-hand with other green initiatives.

“Solar energy, wind energy, water energy – just alternatives to burning fossil fuels,” he said.

His mother said the voluntary process will be an adjustment.

“I think it takes time,” she said, “It’s a process, just like everything else, and I think the older we are, the harder it is to make that kind of change,” she said. “The young kids have no problem.”

Once a week, residents empty the pails into a dumpster at Anthony F. Veteran Park. With the program, an estimated 20 to 30 percent less trash will go to the incinerator.

Food Scrap Recycling In Greenburgh

(Credit: WCBS 880)

Instead, it will become compost at a facility in Ulster County.

Carpitella hopes it catches on in more towns.

“That will be more incentive for someone – an entity, a business – to start a compost facility in Westchester,” she said.

The Natural Resources Defense Council estimates that 40 percent of the food in the U.S. goes uneaten and ends up in the garbage.

Hear Adams’ extended story on food scrap recycling in Greenburgh at the top of this post and find more Stories From Main Street by clicking here.

Watch & Listen LIVE