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From the Mayor: Seeking Input on Textile Recycling PDF Print Email

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By Mary C. Marvin, Mayor, Village of Bronxville

May 15, 2019:  I recently attended a Westchester County municipal officials presentation on decreasing a whole section of potentially recyclable waste by capturing the textile market. Most communities are doing a good job on the paper/plastic/bottle recycling, but presently, 85% of all the textiles we use are discarded as trash, and the number is growing.

According to the EPA, trash removal costs the US economy a staggering $384 billion yearly, and the cost of managing trash has risen 2.4 times the rate of inflation for decades now. The result is an ever-increasing cost to municipal budgets, diverting funds from parks, recreation, infrastructure repairs, etc.

At the village level, we spend one-half million dollars yearly on trash removal. This is only operating expenses and does not even factor in the costs of trucks, ancillary equipment, and vehicle repair. I can only imagine how we could improve the village if we just reduced costs in the 10 to 20% range.

The company Waste Zero, founded in 1991, saw a need to fill the gap re: textile recycling. A certified B corporation, they have partnered with more than 800 municipalities in reducing waste and saving money, serving over 4.5 million households weekly, including many in nearby central Connecticut.

To earn a B corporation certification, Waste Zero underwent investigation of its environmental impact, impact on the communities in which it operates, its governance, and its treatment of its work force.

The mechanics of the program are thus: 

  • Residents first receive pink recycling bags in the mail, which are to be placed out for collection on the normal recycling day next to the paper/can recycling bins. Bags are collected on that same day and replacement bags are placed in or tied on to the residents’ recycling bins.

Based on a mapped route, the only village involvement would be a button pressed by our recycling staff as they pass by a pink bag. Waste Zero’s truck, via GPS, would receive the transmission.

  • The benefits are first and foremost the recycling of used textiles such as sheets, frayed towels, and rags that all end up in the garbage stream.

  • There is no cost to a municipality and in addition to saving on municipal costs, a community receives $20 per ton for textiles collected.

  • While the primary focus is on textiles, the program will also accept small household items that can fit into the size of the pink bag. These include purses, drapes, tools, dishes, mirrors, toys, shoes, and pots and pans.

  • If a bag should get missed, the company can be notified and guarantee same-day pickup.

Of course, as in anything, there are potential downsides:

  • The program claims the impact on charitable drop-off programs is minimal. Documented behavior suggests people who donate to charities do so because they believe in the charity and/or appreciate the tax deduction. The program primarily is for those who normally don’t recycle textiles or find many of their goods too used to donate. The goal is to get these residents in the habit of adding textiles to their recycling stream.

  • There is no receipt given for tax deductions.

  • Concern over the possible interval between village recycling pickup and textile pickup, i.e., bags left on streets for hours.

I would love residents’ thoughts on this initiative and would appreciate an email reaction at  CLOAKING .

The village, in conjunction with our Green Committee, has been looking into a variety of energy-saving initiatives including a ban on plastic bags, food composting, and the use of solar panels. As to a plastic bag ban, we knew both the state and the county were ready to enact legislation, so we tabled it locally knowing the principle of pre-emption would dictate whose law would prevail.

The county is also actively pursuing a county-wide food compost program with a central composting location available to all participating county communities. This would so beneficially negate the need for our village to find a composting site in our densely populated village.

Many communities also have very open-ended solar panel regulations. But again, given our lot sizes and density, we must be cautious that the benefit to one home does not prove to be a detriment to a resident within feet of the installation.

We continue to be one of the top three Westchester communities, along with Bedford and Scarsdale, in recycling of papers and cans, bottles, and plastics, but there are so many more avenues of reclamation we must pursue. 

Editor's note: As a public service, MyhometownBronxville publishes articles from local institutions, officeholders, and individuals. MyhometownBronxville does not fact-check statements therein, and any opinions expressed therein do not necessarily reflect the thinking of its staff.

 
Take-Back Day is Coming: Donate Clothes and Furniture, Shred Documents, Toss Out Old Cell Phones, and More PDF Print Email

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By Mary Liz Mulligan, Chair, Bronxville Green Committee

May 15, 2019:  The Bronxville Green Committee’s semi-annual take-back day is not far off. It is on June 8 from 10:00 am to 1:00 pm at Palumbo Place. Please enter on Pondfield Road at the police department driveway.

We have a new collection category, which is a good thing for many reasons. We will be collecting clean, usable clothing (no shoes or purses, please) for the Vietnam Vets of America. I have been donating to this organization for years and they are very appreciative.

The timing is perfect to let you know of this new collection since we are all in swap-out mode for the heavy warm clothes to summer fare. Spring is here ... although it doesn’t seem like it.

We will have a total of five collection categories:

County Mobile Shredder. The truck will be with us to shred your sensitive paper documents. There is a limit of two cartons/shopping bags per car. No walk-ups, please, for safety and fairness reasons. There is always a lineup of cars for the shredder; walk-ups are put into harm’s way because of all the vehicle traffic on Palumbo during the event. The truck capacity is five tons, and once it is reached, the paper collection is ceased. We have often been able to continue collecting right to the final bell, but several times, it fills before 1:00 pm, so please try not to wait until 12:30 to head over because you may be disappointed. There is only one shredder truck for the entire county, and we have it scheduled for Bronxville two times a year. For your planning purposes, the next visit will be November 2.

Furniture Sharehouse. Furniture Sharehouse accepts used but still functional furniture for needy families in Westchester County. Please check here for guidelines and restrictions. This organization has helped thousands of our needy families.

E-Waste. E-waste includes computer monitors, keyboards, VCRs, printers, fax machines, cell phones, and more.

Animal Shelter. Clean towels and sheets are accepted for animal shelters; no dog beds, please.

Vietnam Vets of America. Clean, usable clothing (no shoes or purses, please). 

If you have any questions, please email Mary Liz Mulligan at CLOAKING  

Please check out the Bronxville Green Committee page on the Village of Bronxville website.

You can also access the Bronxville Giving Garden page on the site and become involved by digging and planting, weeding, harvesting, and delivering the freshest veggies to our needy neighbors.

Photo courtesy Green Committee


Editor's note: As a public service, MyhometownBronxville publishes articles from local institutions, officeholders, and individuals. MyhometownBronxville does not fact-check statements therein, and any opinions expressed therein do not necessarily reflect the thinking of its staff.

 
Bronxville Police Blotter: April 30 to May 4, 2019 PDF Print Email

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By Bronxville Police Department

May 15, 2019: The following entries are from the Bronxville police blotter.  

April 30, 2019, 2:20 pm, Pondfield Road: Officers responded to a call of a hit-and-run of a parked vehicle. Officers were able to use village surveillance cameras to identify the offending vehicle and contacted the owner. An accident report was completed.

May 2, 2019, 8:29 am, Midland Avenue: A 31-year-old man of Mount Vernon was charged with the misdemeanor suspended registration after an onboard license plate reader indicated to the officer that the registration to the 2003 Acura MDX he was operating was suspended because of an insurance lapse. The vehicle was impounded. The man was processed on scene and released pending his next court appearance.

May 3, 2019, 5:42 pm, Milburn Street: A resident reported a loud noise coming from an apartment above her. Officers responded and did not find any conditions that required police attention.

May 3, 2019, 8:31 pm, Tanglewylde Avenue: A homeowner reported a large group of youths causing a noise disturbance. Officers responded and interviewed a 16-year-old male who was in a physical altercation with another unknown male who fled the scene. The 16-year-old did not require medical attention; his parents were notified and responded to pick him up. The incident is being investigated.

May 4, 2019, 9:48 am, Police Headquarters: After an investigation by detectives, a 24-year-old man of Yonkers was charged with petit larceny for stealing items from a parked vehicle on April 23 at around 4:30 am. The man was processed and released on $50 bail pending his next court appearance.  

May 4, 2019, Valley Road: Officers responded to a report of a loud party at a residence and a large group of youths fled the scene on foot. Numerous beer cans were strewn about the property. The incident is being investigated by youth officers.

 
From the Mayor: Message from National Day of Prayer--Connect with Each Other PDF Print Email

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By Mary C. Marvin, Mayor, Village of Bronxville

May 8, 2019:  Last Thursday, on the National Day of Prayer, I attended a breakfast organized by Pastor Waterstone of the Reformed Church and attended by every Protestant church in the area as well as Rabbi Barzelai from Sinai Free Synagogue.

It was one of the most inspiring events I have attended in recent memory. Rev. Michael Bird of Christ Church gave the keynote and spoke so eloquently of the need to heal national division and connect with each other in the “pursuit of happiness.” I found his message personally transformative. He cited a recent lecture he attended that referenced the same subject in “The Origins and Consequences of Affective Polarization on the United States,” written by a consortium of Ivy League and Stanford University professors and published by the Dartmouth Press.

After reading the treatise, I was both saddened and heartened by the findings.

We are increasingly told we live in a divided nation. Sadly, this was reinforced by the data collected in this study.

Some of the most salient findings include: 

  • Currently, ordinary Americans increasingly dislike and distrust those from the other political party, finding members hypocritical and closed-minded.

  • A political party has been an increasingly powerful identity acquired at an earlier age and data show rarely changed over life, notwithstanding significant shifts in personal circumstances.

  • Americans have become increasingly averse to the prospect of their children marrying someone from the other party. As reference, in 1960, 4 to 5% of parents polled cared about this association vs 33% for Democrats and 50% for Republican parents in 2010. These numbers are far beyond anything exhibited in England.

As a result, families are now politically more homogenous, with 80% of couples and 75% of their children polled sharing the same political affiliation.

Even in dating, people believe those who share their political persuasions are perceived as more attractive. As an example of the increased importance of political affiliation, eharmony documented that prior to the 2016 election, dating profiles typically did not report political affiliations – only 24.6% of women and 16.5% of males considered it a pertinent factor. After the 2016 election, the numbers increased to 68% of women and 47% of men.

The preference for political congruity even extends to platonic friendships. According to a Pew Research poll, currently, 64% of Democrats and 55% of Republicans say “just a few” or “no” close friends are from the other political party.

Consumer behavior has also been documented as to its relationship to political affiliation.

When party control of Congress switches, consumer behavior changes along party lines in anticipation of changes in the economy.  After the Democrats took Congress in 2006, “strong” Democrats showed a 12.8% increase in holiday spending and a 30.5% increase in vacation spending relative to “strong” Republicans.

The spillover is quite extensive. It has been documented that mutual fund managers are more likely to invest in companies managed by co-partisans.

Unlike feelings about race, gender, and other social divides, which are subject to social norms and reprobation, there are no corresponding pressures to temper political disapproval.

Not surprisingly, the proliferation of one-viewpoint news outlets is blamed for a share of the increasingly polarized environment as exposure to partisan news stories makes those with extreme attitudes more extreme per the research. And sadly, negative campaign ads have a very strong effect on affect polarization.

So how do we fix all of the above?

Actually, it has been documented that most Americans are much more centrist than the press portrays. The average member of both political parties is actually a middle-aged white non-Evangelical Christian.

The current stereotypes of party memberships are simply wrong. As example, 11% of those registered as Democrat belong to a labor union. When queried, Americans of both parties thought that 39% of Democrats were union members. Likewise, only 2.2% of registered Republicans earn more than $250,000 per year, while the average citizen thought 38% of all registered Republicans earned at least that much.

Not surprisingly, misconceptions about party composition increase partisan animus. In essence, individuals dislike the other party in part because they inaccurately perceive it to be quite different from themselves. When the stereotypes are corrected and people realize the other party is more similar to them, the animus lessened.

The answer appears to be to heighten our commonality and share what unites us – most important, that we are all Americans first and jointly care about the future of our country.


Editor's note: As a public service, MyhometownBronxville publishes articles from local institutions, officeholders, and individuals. MyhometownBronxville does not fact-check statements therein, and any opinions expressed therein do not necessarily reflect the thinking of its staff.



 
Events this Week in Bronxville: May 1 to May 8, 2019 PDF Print Email

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By Staff


May 1, 2019: Below are events that will take place in and around Bronxville from Wednesday, May 1, to Wednesday, May 8, 2019. For the Village of Bronxville calendar, click here. For events at the Bronxville Public Library, click here. For the Bronxville school district calendar, click here.

Thursday, May 2, 7:00 pm, Discussion of Women's Soccer at Bronxville Library. Bronxville’s Gemma Clarke, the author of a new book, Soccerwomen: The Icons, Rebels, Stars, and Trailblazers Who Transformed the Beautiful Game, will be in conversation with Andrea Montalbano, the author of Soccer Sisters and also a soccer star in high school and co-captain of the women’s soccer team at Harvard. For more information, go to www.bronxvillelibrary.org email CLOAKING , or 914-337-7680, ext. 34.

Friday, May 3, 6:00 pm, Counseling Center Annual Benefit Honoring Roseanne Welshimer. Guests will have the chance to enjoy cocktails and hors d’oeuvres while participating in a raffle as well as in silent and live auctions. To purchase tickets, contact Sue Perry at 914-793-3388, ext. 101, or click here

Sunday, May 5, 4:00 pm, Village Historian Ray Geselbracht to Speak about Bronxville and WWI at Bronxville Library. Village historian Raymond Geselbracht will give a public lection titled “Bronxville’s World War I—Service at Home and Abroad During the Great War, 1914-1918” using photographs and documents from the Bronxville History Center. For more information, go to www.bronxvillelibrary.org email CLOAKING , or 914-337-7680, ext. 34.  

Photo by A. Warner

Editor's note:  As a public service, MyhometownBronxville publishes notices about meetings of village government, the Bronxville Board of Education, and the board of trustees of the Bronxville Public Library. MyhometownBronxville does not independently research other events but will, at its discretion, consider including a notice of an event that will occur in Bronxville if information about the event is received by MyhometownBronxville (Sarah Thornton Clifford at sethorntoncliff@aol.com) by noon on the Sunday before the subsequent Wednesday publication. These notices must not be advertisements; please send any requests for advertisements to Sarah Thornton Clifford at   CLOAKING .

 
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