Single Stream is Happening!

The following article was written by Peter Kuniholm, the Chair of Bedford 2020’s Waste & Recycling Task Force. It appeared online at the Bedford Patch website, and in print in the Bedford Record-Review.

“Events over the past few weeks have left many Bedford residents wondering “what is happening with recycling?” Well, SINGLE STREAM IS HAPPENING!”singlestream

“During the past several months, after reviewing 2012 data from our haulers showing quite low recycling rates, the Town has been considering options to improve our waste and recycling program, including best methods to achieve the most cost effective and efficient ways to increase recycling, reduce costs and assure consistent quality of excellent service town-wide. And at the April 17 public information meeting Supervisor Roberts stated that the Town and private haulers had agreed on a set of “Objectives” to improve the program, increase recycling and work together toward these goals.

“Having examined the existing waste and recycling program for over a year, the Bedford 2020 Waste and Recycling Task Force concluded that several areas of the existing hauler programs could be improved including findings that: recycling rates were low, costs were higher than neighboring towns, collection routes were not efficient and new single stream collection for recyclables would be easier and could result in significant improvements. Moreover, the adoption of Pay-As-You-Throw options could result in lower costs for residents with less waste, and that opportunities for revenue sharing from recyclables sales may be available.

“After considerable study and examination of successful neighboring town programs the Task Force recommended a series of improvements that would enable us to increase recycling and provide lower costs for those residents who recycle more and have less waste. The Town recognized that a new program would need significant public education and involvement, as it further explored the best options. Information was distributed, public input sought and planned information meetings were scheduled to address issues and get feedback on tentative plans.

“After initiating this process, and hearing from residents with their thoughts and ideas, the Town reached out to our two major residential haulers for discussion of Town objectives and their willingness and ability to work with us toward these goals. These discussions were able to clearly identify the Town’s objectives and address the haulers ability to “partner” with us to improve the program. Subsequently, the haulers submitted written commitments to work with the Town toward achieving our objectives including: making the change to single stream recycling; offering Pay-As-You-Throw options to customers; providing more suitable collections trucks; revising routes for more efficiency; offering recyclables revenue sharing and insuring proper recyclables processing and accounting data so we can track the program toward our goal of 40% recycling by 2020. This is also a goal that the haulers agreed is readily achievable.

“Subsequently, after receiving agreement from the haulers to work with us for the benefit of the Town and residents, the Town announced this agreement at the public meeting on April 17. We wish to thank everyone who has expressed interest in this important program and who participated in the process of commenting and helping us reach what we hope will be a win-win result for everyone. It’s a great start.

“We anticipate that coordinating efforts for education and outreach to residents will be ongoing and we look forward to working closely with our private haulers and all residents. The Town and Task Force believe that the proposed program changes will be a significant benefit to our Town and all residents. Residents, the haulers and Town officials have all been instrumental in bringing our program to a new level.

“LETS MAKE IT HAPPEN! Don’t hesitate to call us or your hauler if you have questions.”

A Rind is a Terrible Thing To Waste

On average, Americans produce 4.5 lbs of trash every day. At least two thirds of that is organic waste, including food scraps, such as 
potato peels and apple cores.compost12363

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 Bedford 2020 wants to help others learn how.

Head over to Veg Out! to read all about it and get composting today.

Farm to Table. Now, What About Farm to Institution?

On Tuesday, May 14, 2013, Green Schools Coalition of Westchester, Bedford 2020 Coalition and Northern Westchester Hospital hosted the Northern Westchester Farm to Institution Forum.Hospital Local Food Event

The Northern Westchester Local Food Project is an outgrowth of the Bedford 2020 Coalition – a local grassroots organization formed to implement Bedford’s Climate Action Plan through activities such as local food procurement. The Coalition’s food and agriculture task force was assembled to promote local foods and local farms.

The Northern Westchester Local Food Project has been facilitated by Sustainable Food Systems, LLC and is successfully achieving its mission to: Build an economically viable, high-quality, locally-sourced food system for institutional buyers. This system is designed to be reliable, resilient, responsive, and replicable.At the Forum, food service providers and a local food distributor will share case studies on overcoming challenges and how they have successfully brought local food to institutions.

The people who came to this first-of-its-kind forum left asking, “Can I afford NOT to buy local?”

A recently released American Farmland Trust report confirms the Northern Westchester Local Food Project is cutting-edge, and has been focusing on the right issues to ensure the project becomes an early success story. The report is called Scaling Up: Strategies for Expanding Sales of Local Food to Public and Private Institutions in New York.

Follow this space for more developments during Summer 2013!

July 13th: Farm to Museum

Join us July 13th at the Katonah Museum of Art for a special “Farm -to-Museum” event!Goat Cheese

Buy locally-grown produce, fresh-cut flowers, farm-fresh eggs and goat cheese, and delicious baked goods at this special party.  Learn about the protection of our community’s precious natural resources and meet some of our area’s best purveyors.

Bedford 2020 will be there, along with folks from Stone Barns, and the afternoon will feature lively French music from Les Tappan Zigues.  Magnifique!