Search Results for: zero waste challenge

Join The Zero Waste Challenge

About the Program

Households identified low-waste lifestyle changes they wanted like to make and then tracked the amount of recycling, trash and food waste generated in their homes to see if they could reduce their waste over a 6 week period – from October 14 – November 25. The Challenge kicked off with training, demos and materials provided on October 13 at the Trash Bash.

Thank you to all our participants and we will to do the challenge again one day!


Sometimes in our busy lives it is hard to figure out how to make a difference. With the Bedford 2020 Zero Waste Challenge participants get tips, resources and advice to make it easy and fun for the whole family! Participants will reduce their household waste and the data collected will be used to help Bedford 2020 work to improve waste reduction efforts in the Town of Bedford and beyond.

What participants receive

  • Training, demos, tips and info at the first ever Trash Bash
    at Bedford Hills Memorial Park on Saturday, October 13 from 10am-1pm
  • Supplies and educational materials and tools including:
    • a scale,
    • trash and compost bags,
    • a kids’ citizen science pack,
    • a zero-waste and goal setting guide
  • Ongoing personal assistance and support throughout the Challenge

Expectation of participants

  • Attend the introductory Trash Bash event
  • Help us spread the word about reducing waste with the rest of the community: share tips, questions and photos with us during the 6 weeks
  • Make best attempt to adopt some of the actions suggested to reduce household waste
  • Track and report the recycling, trash and food waste that the household generates weekly – for 6 weeks – on a Google Drive spreadsheet (shared only with Bedford 2020). We will keep your individual data confidential.

Sign up to participate!

Interested, or want to learn more? Sign up below and we will be in touch!

Zero Waste Challenge

We look forward to reducing waste with you and will be in touch soon. If you would like to contact us before then, please email Ellen Calves at Bedford 2020 or call 914-620-2411. Thanks!

Waste And Recycling Task Force


Waste and Recycling

singlestream-300 Single Stream Recycling
Co-mingling, only more so. Check out the benefits Single Stream Recycling in Bedford and see how easy it can be!
Food Waste Solutions

We have enlisted a food waste committee to work on ways to reduce food waste in our community – when we buy, cook, eat, share, and dispose of (recycle) food. Join our volunteer team.

Community Compost and Curbside Pilot
Residents of the Town of Bedford now have the option of dropping off organic waste at the Town Recycling Center. Learn more and sign up here. Also learn more about the Curbside Compost pilot coming summer 2020!
Get the Dirt on Composting Get The Dirt On Compost
Learn about at-home composting styles and see leaf mulching demonstrated at local homes, farms and schools.
Take it or Leave it Shed
Open Saturdays 10am-1pm at the Bedford Hills Train Station lot. A place to bring or find unwanted, gently used household items for reuse. Learn more about what to bring/find there. AND REPAIR CAFE coming soon!
recyclopedia-300 The Recyclopedia!
What gets recycled, where, how, and by whom. All the information you need in one convenient place.
Reusable Bag Initiative
Join community members in this effort to encourage the use of reusable bags. Learn about the Town of Bedford ordinance going into effect April 1, 2019.
leaves-300 Leave Leaves Alone
Leaves are a part of your lawn’s ecosystem. Removing it hurts your trees! Mulch them to compost all winter.
Zero Waste Challenge

This fall, challenge yourselves to take your waste reduction efforts to the next level. Sign up today!


The immediate goal of the Waste/Recycling Task Force is to assist the Town in developing methods and procedures to promote increased waste/materials reduction and recycling while reducing the amount of waste generated from both residents and businesses in the Town. It is recognized that there are significant energy and environmental benefits as well as cost savings available, and that the Town can facilitate this goal by coordinating efforts in this direction.

The process will include the following steps:

  • Assemble information about the current situation, including neighboring towns
  • Gather state and regional planning and technical information
  • Provide preliminary suggestions for recycling goals
  • Coordinate receipt of information from stakeholders, including residents, haulers, businesses and Town officials
  • Assist in development of Town policy and goals
  • Develop a Town Waste/Recycling Plan, with stages for implementation
kuniholm Peter F. Kuniholm PE (Chair)
Solid Waste/Recycling Consultant
Email Peter

Lauren Lauren Brois
Assistant Director, Energize NY Residential Programs
colleluori Dan Collelouri
Supervisor, Solid Waste/Recycling, City of Stamford, CT
cutler Neil Cutler
Waste Reduction Consultant, Synergis
Filippine Hoogland
Bedford/Mount Kisco Reusable Bag Initiative, TIOLI Shed Coordinator
Ursula LaMotte Ursula LaMotte
Former Legislator, Westchester County
CJ Mitchell C.J. Mitchell
Member, Leave Leaves Alone
Fiona Mitchell Fiona Mitchell
Master Gardener, Master Composter, Founder of Leave Leaves Alone
needham Leslie Needham
Landscape Designer, Master Gardener, Master Composter
Anita Stockbridge
Bedford Garden Club
Veronique Pittman Veronique Pittman
Green Schools Alliance, Leadership Council of Blue Sky Funders Forum, Yale Center for Environmental Law & Policy
Betsy Weir Betsy Weir
Betsy Weir Lora Zaretzky-Goldberg

Trash Bash

Join us for a waste and recycling festival!

Saturday, October 13, 2018

10am – 1pm

Bedford Hills Memorial Park Pavillion

Food – Music – Fun – Prizes

There will be games, demos and info around the themes of reducing waste:

  • Single Stream Recycling

  • Composting

  • Reusable Bags

  • Plastics

  • Food Waste

  • Zero Waste Parties

  • Recycling Relay Races, Spin the Wheel of Trash, Bash the Trash and more!

  • and materials and info for households who want to participate in the Zero Waste Challenge from October 14 – November 25.

Free! and fun for the entire family!

Bedford 2020 at Gallarus Art Space

Add your leaf to the tree installed at Gallarus. All ages welcome to make climate resolutions!

Resolve to do more. 

The week of July 23, stop by Gallarus in Katonah and participate in a unique community art project to inspire environmental action. 
If you don’t have any ideas, we have some climate resolution ideas for you:

Join Community Compost

Eat less meat


Recycle more

Stop using pesticides

Plant pollinator friendly plants

Use reusable bags

Buy local food

Use a reusable water bottle

Cut my car use

Shorten my showers

Stop idling

Eliminate styrofoam

Buy from thrift stores

Turn off the lights

Get solar panels

Take and Leave at TIOLI

Go straw free

Bike to work once a week

Activate others

Join the Zero Waste Challenge

Contact politicians on environmental issues

Volunteer on environmental action

Donate to Bedford 2020

Come by tell us your ideas as well!



Get The Dirt On Composting

Get the Dirt on Composting

Because a Rind is a Terrible Thing to Waste!

Prepared for Bedford 2020 by
Waste & Recycling Task Force members
Fiona Mitchell and Leslie Needham




On average, Americans produce 4.5 pounds of trash every day. At least two-thirds of that is organic waste, including food scraps, such as potato peels and apple cores.

Add to this organic yard waste — leaves, weeds, grass clippings — and we have thousands of pounds of organic waste being trucked to landfills and waste disposal facilities every day.

In a landfill, organic waste decomposes anaerobically (without oxygen) emitting a high volume of methane. Methane is a greenhouse gas and a primary contributor to climate change.

A far preferable way to dispose of organic waste is on-site composting, which can be done on even the smallest of properties. Hundreds of Bedford homeowners compost at home and Bedford2020 wants to help others learn how. Below is information about composting at home or visit the Town of Bedford Community Compost program to drop organics off at the Town of Bedford Recycling Center.

What is compost?

Compost is a dark, crumbly, porous, soil-like material. In nature, compost simply “happens” as plant materials break down and form humus, the rich, organic component of soil.

Why use compost?

Adding compost to garden soil will improve its structure and drainage ability by creating spaces for roots, water, and air. Compost also slowly releases and unlocks the nutrients that plants need to grow.

Why make compost at home?

At-home composting reduces the need to cart leaves and other organic matter off site. When you make your own compost, you don’t have to buy chemical fertilizers or mulch to feed your own lawn, shrubs flowers, and vegetables.

How do I use it?

The list is endless! Compost can be: mixed directly into your soil, applied as a thick layer of mulch in your vegetable and flower gardens, added as a top dressing on your lawn, added as an amendment to potting soil, and even soaked in a bucket to “boost” water for your indoor or outdoor plants.

Composting Basics

Add your household and yard “Greens” to your “Browns.”

Compost will happen naturally; however, there are some things that you can do to help the process. First of all take note of the “green” to “brown” ratio of your pile.

Browns are dry, carbon-rich plant materials with no life in them—autumn leaves, straw, woodchips, twigs, shredded newspaper. (Confusingly, used coffee grounds are nitrogen rich and therefore are considered “green.”)

Greens are fresh, moist, nitrogen-rich plant materials that still have some life in them— fresh leaves, prunings, grass clippings and food waste such as vegetable and fruit scraps, coffee grounds.

The optimal brown (carbon) to green (nitrogen) ratio is 30 to 1 for an active compost pile. While composters aim for that perfect ratio, the composting process will still happen if you don’t have it—just not so efficiently.

Keep the entire pile damp, but not soggy.

Moist piles provide ideal conditions for the organisms that do the work of turning your plant materials into finished compost. Dried-out piles take longer to break down.

Mix your materials.

Mixing the pile allows air to be incorporated, distributes excess water, and speeds the process by providing the most contact between browns and greens. Compacted or soggy piles can produce unpleasant odors.

Chop everything into smaller pieces.

Break up your browns and greens to create more surfaces for the organisms to work on. Your pile will compost faster and be easier to mix together.

When is it ready?

Finished compost is a rich, dark material that looks like soil and has an earthy smell.

Smelly compost?

If your compost begins to smell, mix in some browns. It’s that simple.

Different Ways to Compost

Pile it up!

You can simply leave your browns and greens in a pile, four foot square is a good minimum size to hold in the heat and moisture that make compost organisms thrive. The pile doesn’t have to be contained in any way, although wire fencing will keep it tidier.

A three-bin compost system is another way to go. Bin #1 has fresh waste, bin #2 has compost that is “cooking,” and bin #3 has finished compost that can be used on the garden. When bin #3 is emptied, move everything along to start the system over again, while aerating the compost in the process.

Bins and things

There are many different compost bins available. Check them out at Mill River Supply on Adams St. in Bedford Hills or most hardware stores. Online suppliers, such as Gardeners Supply Company or Gardeners Edge are also good resources.

Compost containers and drums are good for small-scale composting of kitchen waste. Make sure any compost container has holes in the sides so that air can circulate into the bin. Note that kitchen waste is highly “green” nitrogen material, so it’s wise to keep a pile of leaves or other “browns” on hand to periodically add to the bin.

Upright bins: If you are continually adding organic waste to your compost bin don’t keep stirring it up. Let the old stuff decompose at the bottom while the newly added waste settles on top. You can stir the top 10 inches or so to ensure that it is evenly distributed but don’t go any deeper than that.

Tumblers: These can be fun, especially for teaching kids about composting, but don’t continue to add food scraps while older scraps compost. Fill the bin over a defined period and then let that whole batch compost before emptying it and starting a new cycle. The double side-by-side tumblers allow you to fill one bin while the other “cooks.”

Vermicomposting or “worm box” composting

Vermicomposting is something that is done inside rather than outside. It is a great way to manage organic kitchen waste disposal.  Vermicomposting uses the red wiggler worm (which is usually purchased) rather than the standard garden earthworm. The worm box is set up with worms, shredded paper and a regular supply of green kitchen waste (no meats, fats, oils). The compost produced by a worm bin is actually worm castings, which are a fabulous garden amendment.

Leaf mulching

In Bedford, when fall comes, it seems as if we have too many leaves but  leaves make fantastic compost and mulch which save money and improve our plants.

Here are some great ways to take advantage of fall leaves and avoid the work and taxpayer expense of getting them to the sidewalk for the town to collect:

  • Leaves can be piled whole and left to break down into compost.
  • Leaves can be added to a compost bin as the “browns” component.
  • Leaves can be mulched into small pieces with a mulcher mower or a leaf shredder and used as a protective mulch on flower and vegetable beds.
  • Leaves can be mulched right into lawns, providing nourishment to the lawn and improving soil structure for better drainage.

Guide to Compostable Materials

Check out this Green Mountain guide to what can and can not be composted and why.  What is really compostable?  Products to buy and use and more.

For more information about composting visit Veg Out! (an initiative of Bedford 2020), and for more about the many benefits of leaf mulching visit Leave Leaves Alone or Love ’Em and Leave ’Em.

Click here for tips to reduce food waste and sign up for our Zero Waste Challenge!

Bronx Green-Up. The New York Botanical Society.
Cornell Waste Management Institute.
Worms Eat My Garbage. Mary Appelhof.

Finalists Exhibit Leadership and Persistence for Change

Make conscious cafeteria choices; skip the straw; pack zero waste lunches, use reusable water bottles….

These and other green behaviors were the focus of the 30 students who made up the final teams in Bedford 2020’s fourth annual Greenlight Award contest sponsored by Curtis Instruments.

Each year, Bedford 2020 provides a framework and workshops for all participants in the program, and after the finalists are chosen at round one, they receive funding and support to carry out their projects. At the final event, the finalists present their results and are celebrated for their efforts.

A panel of judges challenges the students with follow up questions and scores each project. The highest scoring group is awarded $500 and the coveted Greenlight Award, and the runner up receives a $250 cash prize.

On April 8, six teams from five high schools inspired the crowd at the final event in the Hayloft at Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture with their presentations about what they did to the change behavior of at least 20 people at least 20 times to benefit the environment. The teams showcased their projects, highlighting the problem they addressed, the behavior they changed, the strategies and tactics they used, and the results they tracked.

And now for the winners…

Change the World One Meal at a Time

Peter Nicholas, a 9th grader at Rye Country Day School, tied for first place with “Change The World One Meal at a Time.”

Problem/Solution/Behavior Change

Peter set out to tackle the problem of pollution and wasted resources associated with factory farming. The solution, to get people to reduce their meat consumption, led him to get his peers and teachers to choose plant based meals one or more days per week.


Peter used a variety of behavior change strategies. He held a contest, offered incentives, and used posters and social media to raise awareness, educate, and promote the contest to get students and teachers to choose plant-based meals instead of meals with meat.


Peter worked closely with the cafeteria staff at RCDS to find out how much meat was served each week, recording data and tracking trends. He also had people fill out “veggie slips” to track how many people swapped meat based meals for plant based meals. Peter reported that at least 53 people swapped meat for veggies at least 20 times. In fact, he reported that 2843 meals were swapped, and meat served in the cafeteria was reduced by 376 lbs in the first 12 days of the contest.

Conscious Cafeteria

Horace Greeley High School 10th graders, Lori Saxena, Caroline Lerner, Caroline Gershman, Alexandra Fitzgerald, Reilly Carter and Anna Hallac, also tied for first place with Conscious Cafeteria.

Problem/Solution/Behavior Change

The students sought to address the problem that food is responsible for “about 17% of global carbon emissions.” Their solution was to raise the consciousness of community members about food choice and to encourage people to change their behavior and buy local food whenever possible.


The Conscious Cafeteria team created hydroponic structures to grow their own lettuce, engaging over 70 students in the project. They mounted an active social media, poster campagin, and community outreach campaign to raise awareness and to obtain pledges from community members.


300 people pledged to buy more local food. Based on a survey distributed at school, 70% of respondents reported they have been thinking more carefully about where their food is coming from, and 75% respondents would like to help maintain the hydroponics structure. The team also reperted that the sale of local food is up in the cafeteria and by serving hydroponic lettuce, 2.56 tonnes of CO2 will be saved per week.

Reusable Water Bottle Campaign

The Reusable Water Bottle Campaign by the Harvey School Environmental Club, Ella Weinstein, Naomi Listokin, Ryan Marder and Andrew Leibowitz, received the runner up designation.

Problem/Solution/Behavior Change

The students sought to address plastic pollution by reducing the number of plastic water bottles sold at their school. Their behavior change campaign sought to have students to re-fill water bottles instead.


Their strategy involved education through presentations, social media, and posters along with making the desired behavior change easier and more desirable by raising money and convincing their school to replace two old water fountains with new, water-filtering, bottle refilling stations. The team also held a design contest and sold water bottles with the winning logo on them to encourage communtiy participation.


The team used an app called Plant Nanny that a focus group of 22 students used to record every time they filled up their water bottle. The group showed they repeated their behavior at least 20 times. Once the first water bottle refilling station was installed, nearly 350 bottles were refilled in only two weeks. With the installation of the second station, the team reported that reusable water bottle use is continuing to increase.

Honorable Mentions

Worm Warriors

Fox Lane High School’s Worm Warrior team engaged 21 classrooms of elementary school students in vermicomposting at Mount Kisco Elementary School.

Participants included Sophia Trejo, Nataly Naranjo, Ariana Jade Ford, Daisy Cruz, Lesli Rodriguez, Vanessa Lopez, AMy Guerra, Heber Perez, Renzo Romero, and Eric Sagastume.

The team educated the students in both English and Spanish about the importance of compost and how to feed and maintain their classroom bins. The rich compost created by their worms will not be sent to the landfill or incinerator, but will be used in the Mount Kisco Elementary School garden this spring.

Skip the Straw

To address the problem of plastic pollution, Skip the Straw focused on reducing the use of plastic straws through the use of incentives, social media, and general awareness tactics at Fox Lane High School. Participants, all freshmen, included Marjory Lopez, Alva Crisostomo, Karen Carchipulla, Melany Giron, Mireyli Morales, Rudy Perez, Josh Ortiz, and Melany Hernandez.

Zero Waste Lunches

This Mamaroneck High School freshman, Anna McDonald, educated over 650 students in 6 different assemblies she held at Chatsworth Avenue Elementary School about plastic waste and composting. She worked with her school district to help bring school-wide composting to the school and recruited students to help with compliance in the cafeteria.

Holding a Zero Waste Lunch Day, Anna showed how packing zero waste lunches combined with composing and recycling can lead to a resulting mere 12% of trash!

Congratulations to All Finalists!

According to Bedford 2020 Board Member Jim Wood who was in the audience at the event, “Those who presented clearly learned so much in the process – how to stand on their own two feet and not only present, but also to respond to the questions raised by the judges in an awe inspiring location. Not only that, they had to coordinate and work together on their projects, challenge their superiors as well as their peers, undertake research, create materials, etc. Bravo to all, and to Curtis for their sponsorship!”

By the finals, each team implemented their projects and proved they catalyzed behavior change through their leadership, creativity, and determination. They have all learned so much since the first Incubator Workshop and have all done a great service to their community. We thank them! This group deserves a lot of praise and we know they will be formidable leaders for our future.

We are extremely proud of all the participants and look forward to engaging even more students next year.

Click here for more information about the Greenlight Award.

Judges and Finalists of the 2018-2019 Greenlight Award ProgramPhotos by Sherry Wolf

Greenlight Award Finals Judges Geoffrey Morris of Town Vibe Media, Dani Glaser of Green Business Challenge and Jeff Tannenbaum of Titan Grove, PaceNation, and S-Power

Change the World One Meal at a Time led a passionate campaign to get people to switch from meat based to plant based eating at Rye Country Day School

Conscious Cafeteria built a hydroponic growing system and moved their community to make more sustainable and local food choices

Conscious Cafeteria’s hydroponic lettuce

The Harvey School Environmental Club worked to change the culture of disposable plastic water bottle use at their school with the Reusable Water Bottle Campaign

The Fox Lane Worm Warriors brought worm composting to twenty-one classrooms at Mount Kisco Elementary School

Fox Lane freshmen taught people in their school about plastic pollution and encouraged them to Skip the Straw

Zero Waste Lunches taught over 650 students at Chatsworth Elementary School about plastic pollution and helped dramatically reduce waste in their school cafeteria.

EarthShot 2030 Expo Exhibitor Info

We are thrilled you will participate at EarthShot 2030 on April 19, 2020 at Fox Lane High School.

Our goal is to create a compelling Expo area that advances climate solutions and actions that participants can take now to reduce their carbon footprint.

The Expo will be open throughout the daylong event from 10:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. There will be 60 booths and we anticipate more than 800 attendees. 

Booth Fees:

You should have already received an invoice. If you have not already paid, please mail a check to Bedford 2020, to PO Box 812, Bedford Hills, NY 10507. 

Booth Attendees:

Expo tables must be attended by at least one person at all times during the event, from 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Please let us know names and emails of who is working you booth by April 6th. 

If Expo booth attendees would like to purchase lunch or attend the sessions, please have them pre-register for the event:

  • Expo Only (no need to register online)
  • Expo/Lunch (register online– includes $15 fee for Ladle of Love lunch)
  • Full Access (register online – $30 fee to attend workshops/speakers throughout the day and Ladle of Love Lunch).

Everyone attending the event must print and sign this liability waiver and then scan and email it back to us . If you prefer to mail it, send to Bedford 2020 at PO Box 812, Bedford HIlls, NY 10507, or bring it when you come to set up for the Expo.

If you are selling food or beverage items, please email us a Certificate of Liability Insurance naming Bedford Central School District as an additional insured.

Payment and registration must be made no later than April 1. We will start accepting waitlisted applicants if payments for reserved spots have not been received by then.

Set Up

Booth setup will be on Saturday, April 18th from 12:00 p.m. to 4:00 pm. We will have volunteers to help carry items from your car, hang signs, etc. Both doors to FLHS will be open for set up.

When you arrive we will check you in for the Expo, give you your ticket for lunch (if purchased), make sure you signed a liability waiver, and show you your table location. 

If you are unable to set up on Saturday, please let us know and arrive by 9:15 a.m. on Sunday, April 19th to check in and set up by 10:00 a.m. South doors will lock at 7:45 a.m. so that event attendees will check in through the North entrance.

Exhibitors are requested not to close their booths until 3:30 p.m. on Sunday.


  • Expo tables are 8 feet by 3 feet and will be covered with a tablecloth to match your climate action area.
  • Each table will have 2 chairs unless more are requested
  • Participants with small displays may be asked to share tables.
  • Special equipment, such as easels, must be supplied by exhibitors.

If you need electricity, please bring 1-2 extension cords (and perhaps duct tape in case need covering).

If you need to access a website, please email us the website(s) you need cleared by April 1.

Zero Waste Event
EarthShot 2030 is a “Zero Waste Event.” Please do not bring in non-recyclable or non-compostable waste, and be mindful to dispose of items in the proper bins. Bins will be labeled and volunteers will be around to help if you have questions.


We appreciate your being a part of this movement to tackle the biggest challenge of our time!

Please be sure to spread the word about EarthShot 2030!