By Mary Liz Mulligan, Chair, Bronxville Green Committee
Dec. 13, 2017: While reflecting on 2017 and all that went on, I realized that the Bronxville Green Committee had a banner year.
Here are some of our committee’s accomplishments:
Bigbelly Solar-Powered Compactor: The village purchased two Bigbelly solar-powered compactors to add to its existing Bigbellies following a successful trial in the business district. The new high-density Bigbelly units have foot pedals for hands-free operation and communicate wirelessly to DPW when a bag change is needed. Bigbelly compactors compact the litter and recyclables at the point of collection to reduce pick-up runs and the number of plastic bags sent to the landfill by 80%. Bronxville has demonstrated its commitment to saving the environment by investing in this amazing technology, which will reduce C02 emissions from garbage trucks and send fewer bags to landfills. You may now see these all over New York City.
Award from County Executive Rob Astorino: “Congratulations! On behalf of County Executive Rob Astorino, I am writing to let you know that the county will be acknowledging your municipality with an Earth Day Award for achieving a municipal curbside recycling rate of 30% or above in 2016 (recyclables include paper, cardboard, glass, plastic, and metals). Municipal awardees are as follows:
Town of North Salem (34%), Village of Bronxville (32%), Town of Lewisboro (32%), City of Rye (31%), Town of Bedford (31%), Town of Yorktown (30%).”
Take-Back Days: Our two special recycling "take-back day" events were started about 5 years ago. In the spring, the county shredder collected three tons of paper and this fall, five tons. That’s a lot of paper! The "filled" alarm bell went off at the stroke of one o’clock, when the event ended, and as the last car pulled away. Seems that we’ve "got this down to a science."
The Furniture Sharehouse, a not-for-profit organization that provides those in need with basic household furnishings, left with a totally filled box truck, which will help many needy families in Westchester furnish their homes. Three trips were made to the Yonkers Animal Shelter with 2 SUVs loaded to the top with collected towels and blankets. There were also two overflowing DPW trucks with collected electronic waste.
At our next take-back day, we will have a new collection group with us called Let’s Play It Forward, a 501(c)(3) Westchester-based organization started by high school kids that collects used sports equipment. The equipment goes to kids in need all over the world. To date, they have sent out almost 50,000 pieces of equipment.
Our next take-back day will be May 19, 2018, so start gathering!
Bronxville Giving Garden: It took us a year, but we got it completed! Everything grown in the garden is donated to needy neighbors. I hope everyone has had time to visit the garden on village hall property at the corner of Pondfield Road and Gramatan Avenue. Thanks to the generous donations of the Bronxville Rotary Club and the assignment of the insurance money from the Girl Scout Cabin by the Village of Bronxville, we were able to purchase all the needed supplies to build 19 plant beds and also order very nice fencing.
We are so fortunate to have our Farmer Dave Phillips in charge of all growing aspects. Dave is not only a farmer, he is also a builder – he constructed all of the beds with a few of his friends. Dave has his day job, which is mostly at night; he plays bass for The Book of Mormon. When his hands were totally covered with poison ivy this summer, I was pretty concerned! Also, resident Nicki Piercy created a fantastic working website pro bono. Make sure to check this working site and join our email list, which has volunteer opportunities for all ages: www.bronxvillegivinggarden.org.
BGC member Gretchen Pingel has several informative articles that are posted on the site. The Bronxville DPW was a huge help, always with a smile. Needless to say, without Mayor Mary Marvin, the committee’s liaison and village administrator, Jim Palmer, and the support of the trustees, this would be only a dream.
Over 200 pounds of organic produce were donated to a Mount Vernon soup kitchen this season. Next year, we will have a larger yield since we will get an earlier start; we learned a few lessons this growing season. We hope to have educational sessions and special events, and we want all we do to encompass neighbors of all ages.
A new project we will be investigating is organic waste collection.
The credit for all that you just read goes to our small but mighty group of volunteer committee members: Paula Asturias, Jess Atrio, Ellen Edwards, Pam Lippe, Judith McNatt, Wendy Murphy, Dave Phillips, Gretchen Pingel, Judith Schwartzstein, Gene & Mary Westmoreland, and Mayor Mary Marvin.
If you would like to join us, please call village hall at 914-337-6500 and leave your contact info, and I will get in touch.
Pictured here: Bronxville Green Committee volunteers Wendy Murphy and Gene Westmoreland
Photo by Mary Liz Mulligan, Chair, Bronxville Green Committee