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Sustainable North Castle
North Castle Zero Waste Day
Zero Waste Day Reduces Curbside Pickup and Saves Money

May 3, 2016
Diane Chickering of Suburban Carting has attended North Castle's Zero Waste Day with her crew since its inception in 2007. On Saturday April 30, hundreds of vehicles drove through the area behind North Castle’s Town Hall to drop off items to recycle and discard. Dozens of volunteers

directed drivers to navigate to different areas for drop-off. People who seemed to have collected their items all year, came in with car loads. “They are happy and thankful to recycle,” said Chickering.

The bulk items, scrap metal, and e-waste were collected in dumpsters. Chickering said they try to defer some of the household items for reuse, and send people with reusable items to the Furniture Sharehouse and the Adopt-A-Dog (which has facilities on Cox Avenue and the Northern Westchester Community Center in Katonah) pit stops.

"When people pull up with their cars full, we encourage them to reuse and recycle first,” she said. For example, small working televisions were directed to Furniture Sharehouse, and old linens and blankets are useful for sheltered dogs by Adopt-A-Dog.

North Castle Zero Waste Day
Furniture Sharehouse
The non-profit organization Furniture Sharehouse, also at North Castle’s Zero Waste Day since its inception, provides free furniture to economically disadvantaged Westchester families and individuals. Their new and bigger truck (made possible by a grant funded by Impact100 Westchester) was quickly loaded and filled with reusable furniture.

If you missed Zero Waste Day or have additional donations, Furniture Warehouse will accept furniture in good condition at their facility at the Westchester County Airport. Check the donation online guidelines at said Kate Bialo, founder and Executive Director of Furniture Sharehouse. They are open Wednesday and Thursday mornings, and the third Saturday of every month. The following pieces are needed in moderate size: small sofas, loveseats, small kitchen tables and chairs, dressers, end tables, coffee tables, and beds (only stain free). King size beds, and bookshelves are not accepted at this time). The procedure for the pick-up of three or more items can be arranged for a $50 donation to help defray the trucking costs. They usually book one to two weeks ahead of time.

Gently used clothing can be dropped off at the Northern Westchester Community Center.  As well, Treasures Gift Shop in Armonk’s St. Stephen's Church receives items when they are open on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays between the hours of 10:00 am to 2:00 p.m.

Dozens of bicycles were dropped off with Danny Cycles. They will be refurbished and given to kids who want and need them.

For those who missed Zero Waste Day, there will be a drop-off area behind Town Hall for e-waste and scrap metal on the first Saturday of every month (unless that falls on a holiday, in which case it will be the second Saturday of the month). North Castle Recycling is also interested in collecting textiles and fabrics for the first Saturday drop-offs. All of these collection efforts keeps waste out of the landfills.

Scrap metal brought to Zero Waste Day and dropped off on the first Saturday of every month is brought to a metal facility and the Town receives a rebate for these disposals by weight. This is far better than placing scrap metal on the curbside where it is collected by a garbage truck and brought to landfills.

At Zero Waste Day "we're seeing a lot of metal fences, pots, treadmills, and filing cabinets,“ said Chickering. When donated, these items that are taken out of the weekly curbside pick-up and lessen the town's total trash weight. The cost to remove North Castle’s waste is determined by weight. Therefore, when the scrap metal, electronic waste, and bikes are recycled, the cost to dispose of the town’s garbage is less.  

Once again, in 2015, North Castle was among the top-five towns in Westchester County in recycling numbers due to a combination of the two-year-old town-wide single stream recycling program, the monthly recycling e-waste collection, and the Zero Waste Day, said Chickering.

The local boy scouts troop strung plastic bags as a decorative display to bring attention to the attempt to eliminate plastic bag usage. "The bags are not helpful for anything more than art," said Beth Pollack, Co-chair, who along with Linda Trummer-Napolitano of the North Castle Recycling Committee, oversees Zero Waste Day. “This display underscores the Recycling Committee's drive to educate people to use reusable shopping bags when they shop,“ added Pollack. It’s best to keep the reusable bags in your car so the next time you have to run out to shop for groceries, it’s there.

For a minimum donation to North Castle Recycling, donors received a reusable shopping bag. "We're trying to get the town to reduce their plastic use and to reuse these type of bags,” said Malorie Lipstein who spearheaded the town-wide Cleanup Day on Sunday when groups of volunteers collected trash from the town's roadside. Lipstein encouraged everyone to use reusable bags since there are so many plastic bags which end up on the side of the road.

Zero Waste Day
In single-stream recycling, plastic bags of any kind should not be included in the single stream recycling because they clog the sorting machinery. Therefore “bring your own bag campaign” addresses the recent removal of plastic bags out of single-stream recycling. “But it takes time for people to get used to the new recycling methods,” said Chickering.

Governor Cuomo has recently signed amendments to New York State's Plastic Bag Reduction, Reuse and Recycling Act (Act) that has been in effect since January 1, 2009. The law includes film plastics which are defined as “uncontaminated non-rigid film plastic packaging products composed of plastic resins, which includes newspaper bags, dry cleaning bags and shrink-wrap." This amendment went into effect on March 1, 2015.

Under this law, all stores that use plastic bags are required to sell reusable bags. They must also establish an “at-store” plastic bag recycling program to ensure the plastic bags and film plastic are recycled.  

The plastic bags, by law, must go in plastic bag recycling receptacles in dedicated areas. For example, in CVS Pharmacys has a receptacle behind the checkout counter because people were using the containers for regular garbage when it was placed out front. Key Foods in Bedford Village and Stop N' Shop in North White Plains also provide a receptacle. But as DeCicco's Family Market provides paper bags for shoppers, they do not have a receptacle to recycle plastic bags. However, since they still use plastic bags for fresh produce, they should have a receptacle to collect them.

At Zero Waste Day, the shredders of two trucks were constantly working and were filled to the brim. Pollack said she uses a shredder at home to shred her monthly collection of papers and then puts the bundles of shredded paper out for single-stream recycling in a clear plastic bag which may be used for single-stream recycling refuse.

North Castle Recycling Committee has created a “re-cyclopedia” as a reference for the proper ways to dispose of most products. Please refer to the page on the Town’s website to cut down on curbside waste and to implement the best way to recycle, reuse and dispose.

Everything You Need to Know about Trash Removal

January 3, 2016
North Castle has adopted single-stream recycling. It’s a more efficient and simple way to dispose of waste according to Suburban Carting, the contracted vendor that provides trash removal services for North Castle.

Although specific rules must be followed, once you get the hang of it, it’s easy. All mixed paper--including junk mail and office paper; waxed containers; packaged boxes for cereal, pasta, toothpaste; gift and show boxes; glass; aluminum foil; pizza boxes, and plastics numbered 1 thru 7--must be recycled.

There is no longer the need to separate glass, aluminum and plastics from cardboard and paper, since stream recycling allows for glass, aluminum, plastics, cardboard, and paper to be thrown away together. All recyclable items should be cleaned and placed directly in a clearly marked recycling bin. The tape and styrofoam on corrugated cardboard boxes must be removed. Recycling stickers and blue bins are available at North Castle’s Town Clerk’s office for $10.

Uncoded plastics such as hangers, plastic utensils, plastic toys, styrofoam, pottery, china and glassware are not to be recycled. Also, single-use plastic bags and packing are not to be recycled. Use recycling plastic bags for shredded paper.

Beth Pollack, co-chair of North Castle’s Recycling Committee said, “Materials Reclamation Facility, where North Castle’s recycling gets delivered, cannot take plastic bags. They muck up the works.” There are other facilities that can process plastic bags, said Pollack. Plastic bag collection containers are located outside DeCicco & Sons, CVS Pharmacy and Target.

All non-recyclable waste must be in sturdy plastic bags and placed in watertight receptacles. All waste and recycling containers must be in good condition.

Waste and recycling containers cannot be left on the street, but must be placed within four feet of the curb. Containers shall not be placed at the curb earlier than 4:00 p.m. on the day prior to pickup, and no later than 7:00 a.m. on pickup day. The trash containers must be removed no later than 12 hours after collection.

Backdoor service is available for a fee. In inclement weather, it’s at the discretion of the driver if he can navigate your driveway safely for backdoor pickup. If the driveway is inaccessible, it’s recommended to put your trash containers at the curb.  

Household paint cans must be dried and hardened before collection. Harden paint by mixing with kitty litter or another absorbent pellet material. After paint is hardened, place can and lid separately at curbside.

For large items, residents should call Suburban Carting at 914-698-4300 for pickup at curbside. These items should not be placed at the curbside earlier than three days prior to pickup day. Everything must be cut to a size no wider than three feet, including carpeting. There is no bulk pickup during holiday weeks.

The following items are not accepted for curbside bulk and large item pickup: electronic waste; used oil; bricks; fencing; batteries; masonry; windows; stone; lumber; tires; tree stumps; logs,; trees/leaves/grass; chemicals; propane tanks; and construction debris of any kind.

Electronic waste and scrap metal should be delivered behind Town Hall at 15 Bedford Road from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m on the first Saturday of each month. If the first Saturday falls on a holiday, the drop-off date is usually the following Saturday, but check the town website at or call the Town Clerk’s office at 273-3321 to be sure of the rescheduled date.

Zero Waste Day this year will be held on April 30 behind Town Hall, 15 Bedford Road, Armonk. The annual drop-off collection includes electronic waste and scrap metal; bicycles; furniture; pet supplies; seasonal clothing; paper shredding; and used cooking and motor oil.

Residents can now safely dispose of prescription medications 24 hours a day, seven days a week at the North Castle Drug Collection Unit which has been installed in the lobby of the Police Department located in Town Hall. The collection unit is similar to a U.S. mailbox. Acceptable items are: prescription medications; patches and ointments; over-the-counter (OTC) medications; vitamins; medication samples; and medication for pets. Non-acceptable items are: hydrogen peroxide; inhalers; aerosol cans; needles; and OTC ointments, lotions, and liquids.

Hazardous waste can be dropped off at Westchester County’s Household Material Recovery Facility at 15 Woods Road, Valhalla. The facility is open by appointment on Tuesdays, Thursdays  and Saturdays from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. They accept household hazardous waste including: automotive fluids; flammable liquids; metal; jewelry; furniture polish; wood preservatives; pesticides; insecticides; herbicides; pool chemicals; e-waste; mercury thermometers; and expired pharmaceuticals. Call 914-813-5425 for an appointment.

Volunteers Clean Up Byram Lake

July 7, 2015
On Saturday, June 27 approximately 30 volunteers scoured the misty shores of the Byram Lake Reservoir Watershed in an effort to restore the lake to its natural pristine beauty.

Three Nestle Waters North America (NWNA) volunteers joined others from local communities, notably members of the Byram Lake Committee and North Castle Town Board.

Mount Kisco Trustee and Byram Lake Committee Member, Peter Grunthal played an instrumental role in the organization and execution of the effort. In addition to participating in the event, he offered to have the litter carted away free of charge by Mount Kisco municipal services.  

Byram Lake Committee Member, James Gmelin also participated and helped to facilitate the effort in the weeks leading up to the event.  

North Castle Town Board Member, Barbara DiGiacinto lent a helping hand and could be seen all along Byram Lake Road clearing litter and debris. She expressed the need for additional clean-up efforts in the future, both in the fall and around Earth Day.

Volunteers removed countless bags of litter and debris from the area immediately surrounding the lake.  Cardboard packaging, wicker chairs, old televisions, wrappers, cigarette butts, beverage containers, plastic bags, and even rugs were cleared from the shore of the lake.

NWNA sponsored the endeavor, supplying water and gloves for the volunteers. NWNA actively supports the Healthy Waterways Initiative, a national effort to remove trash from water bodies including the Santa Ana River Watershed, the Anacostia River in Washington, D.C. and the Hillsborough River in Florida. In each of these watersheds, NWNA has partnered with 501(c)(3) non-profit organizations which work to protect and preserve their respective water body.

“We are working with these groups to better understand how to make a waterway trash free because the best kind of cleanup is the one that doesn’t have to occur,” said Debora Fillis-Ryba, Sr. Manager of Sustainability.

Addressing the issue of litter and debris around lakes and other water bodies cannot be accomplished solely through cleanup efforts. In the United States, only 38 percent of polyethylene terephthalate (PET) plastic water bottles are properly disposed of, according to the National Association for PET Container Resources (NAPCOR).  Three years ago in Europe, PET recycling rates reached 52%. NWNA has set a goal of achieving a 60% recycling rate for PET plastic bottles in the U.S.

Town Wide Clean Up Day  

April 20, 2015
North Castle Clean Up Day is from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. on Sunday April 26. The goal is to remove all trash, bottles, cans and papers along our roadsides.

Feel free to clean areas that bother you most, or arrive at Town Hall at 9:00 a.m. on Sunday to join a group. Sign-up sheets will be available at Town Hall on Sunday. You can also sign up via email at

Safety vests and bags will be available on April 26 inside the front door of North Castle’s Town Hall on Bedford Road. Trash and recycle bags are also available through Friday from 7:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. at North Castle’s Highway Department at the Town Hall Annex behind Town Hall at 17 Bedford Road. Bags will also be available the weekend of April 25-26 at North Castle Town Hall, North White Plains Community Center at 10 Clove Road, and Banksville Fire Department at 33 Bedford Banksville Road.

Volunteers are encouraged to start early because traffic increases in the afternoon. It is recommended to wear boots, long pants, and bring yard work gloves. Working in pairs or groups is preferable to help manage both the trash and the recycling bags.

It's amazing some of the things you find, says coordinator Elise Hunter. She asks that volunteers take photos and send them to her at

Please, when finished collecting the trash, leave the bags at the side of the road. The Highway Department will collect them on Monday.

Numbers in Zero Waste Day

April 6, 2015
It’s that time of year again to recycle items that may be put to good use at North Castle’s 11th Zero Waste Day. The purpose of the yearly collection is to divert tons of trash from landfills and distribute donated items for reuse.

When: Saturday April 25, 2015

Time: 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Where: North Castle Town Hall at 15 Bedford Road, Armonk

Started in 2009, the event changed from a biannual to an annual collection in 2013.

North Castle’s population of 11,841 people has been generous in the past with their donations. It’s that time again to clean out the garage and the basement, and dispose of unwanted things that can be reused and recycled.

Everyone in town is encouraged to make donations: the 2,186 people from North White Plains and Quarry Heights, Armonk’s 4,777 residents, and the 4,896 people from the Eastern District and Banksville.

In 2014, 780 filled cars drove through the Zero Waste Day loop behind North Castle’s Town Hall. Multi-stations are situated for dozens of volunteers to help unload items.

Suburban Carting and American Alternative Energy Scrap Metals collect bulk items and scrap metal. There were 7,580 pounds of scrap metal collected in dumpsters in 2014.

Once again, e-waste will be collected at Zero Waste Day by Suburban Carting and the Town of North Castle. E-waste  items -- which can no longer be collected at curbside-- include computers, TVs, printers, faxes, VCRs and DVD players. In 2014, 25,637 pounds of e-waste were collected in skids filled with old computers and electronics which were wrapped and were to be stripped down and separated into pieces for recycling.

Last year, Enviro Waste Oil Recovery collected 100 gallons of motor fuel, 25 gallons of antifreeze and 4 oil filters. American Alternative Energy collected 30 gallons of used cooking oil. The collection of used cooking oil is reused as biodiesel, an alternative form of fuel used in cars and boilers. Please see for more information.

Clean or gently worn clothing, shoes and linens are delivered to the Community Center of Northern Westchester. In 2014, 1,787 pounds of clothing were donated.

This year, used adult and children’s bicycles, in good working condition, will be collected by Danny’s Cycles. Bike parts and tools will be collected as well. 69 bikes were donated in 2014

Paper Shredding by USA SHRED will allow a maximum of 4 boxes (box size not to exceed 10” x 12” x 15”) of personal papers per household. No metal clasps and binder clips are permitted, staples and paper clips do not need to be removed. 9,980 pounds of paper was collected and shredded in 2014.

Household furniture will be collected by Furniture Sharehouse, which has hauled off truckloads filled with furniture at every North Castle Zero Waste Day. They collect clean and good condition sofas (no sleepers), metal frames and mattresses (no king size, no stains), dressers, chairs, tables, lamps and clean area rugs (no larger than 10' x 12'), as well as artwork. The non-profit organization works with 40 social services in Westchester County; furniture is then given to those who are economically disadvantaged. In 2014, Furniture Sharehouse served hundreds of clients and distributed thousands of pieces of furniture. They received 248 items from 51 cars in Armonk.

Supplies for dogs and cats, such as wire crates, blankets, towels, canned food, collars, toys and leashes are collected and used by Adopt-A-Dog at 23 Cox Avenue, Armonk. They have been at every town Zero Waste Day. The non-profit organization has served the tri-state area, providing adoption of rescue dogs and cats for over 3 decades. The truckloads of items are greatly appreciated by the rescue facility, which is ready to replenish its supplies since they just did a thorough clean-up. They are open 7 days a week and welcome visitors by appointment. Call: (914) 273-1674.

Zero Waste Day is sponsored by North Castle’s Recycling Committee and the Town of North Castle. The committee is made up 10 dedicated volunteers who “develop and promote innovative and effective recycling” methods. “I am always impressed at how many Town employees volunteer their time and effort on behalf of this endeavor,” says Beth Pollack, Co -Chair of the Recycling Committee along with Linda Trummer-Napolitano.

For more information visit northcastleny.

Waste Free Wednesdays at Wampus School
By Louise T. Gantress

February 25, 2014
In 2008 the Westchester County Board of Legislators passed a law mandating collection of plastic bags at stores using them. Customers were to return bags for reuse. However, recycling never happened because sanitary requirements precluded reuse of bags due to potential contamination. To many the result defeated the purpose of the legislation.      
Last year, parents at Wampus Elementary School were inspired by Earth Day to inaugurate “ban the plastic bag” lunch week. In order to maintain momentum again this year, every Wednesday is a “plastic bag free day”. Allison Miller, the PTSA parent heading up this effort, gives several reasons to stop using plastic bags and instead use a reusable one:

1. Plastic bags can last 2,500 years in a landfill
2. Single use is wasteful
3. Plastic bags are typically manufactured from petroleum and energy is used to make them
4. Discarded plastic bags end up not only in landfills, but often in rivers and lakes, even oceans
5. Wildlife mistake the bags for food and die, as documented in the remains of birds, ocean mammals and fish, turtles, and camels
6. Paper is not better, as trees are destroyed and chemicals, such as mercury, are used to make pulp into paper
The North Castle Recycling and Sustainability Committee sponsors a Bring Your Own Bag (BYOB) program to stimulate use of reusable bags. A merchants are concerned with a total ban, and the Committee has been working with shopkeepers in a cooperative spirit to reduce the use of plastic bags, says  Linda Trummer-Napolitano, one of the co-chairs of the Committee. For example, a wine store in North White Plains uses reusable bags for sales.
The Byram Hills School District and the North Castle Committee of Recycling and Sustainability are cooperating to compost. Participating schools are Coman Hill Elementary, Wampus and Crittenden Middle School. Material is collected and taken to the Greenburgh Nature Center. The schools serve lunch on corn starch trays and provide sugar utensils. These are organic and may be composted.

New Single Stream Recycling System Begins January 2            

December 30, 2013
The new single stream recycling method is an easier way to recycle. There is no longer any need to separate your recyclable materials. Collect and put out all recyclables together in one large container weekly. That's paper, cardboard, aluminum, plastic and glass--all together. The size of the container is restricted to no larger than 45 gallons. Corrugated cardboard and newspapers can still be separated and left at the curbside. The new system creates less trash, while increasing the rate of recycled materials. The all-in-one-cart helps divert tons of trash from landfills. 

A few changes have been made to North Castle's weekly street and zone pick-up schedule. Please check the recycling calendar on

Recycling is a state law for all New York residents and businesses. North Castle's new single stream recycling begins January 2. One bin, put it all in, every week. For additional information, call the collector, Suburban Carting, at (914) 698-4300.  

Brian Kaminer Urges Armonk Residents to Retrofit Their Homes
By Natalie Pudalov

Using the logo “Save money. Be more comfortable. Eliminate Energy Waste.”, Energize North Castle has developed a systematic way to assess homes for energy use, as well as execute energy improvements.

The first step in re-energizing your home is to apply for a free, comprehensive home-energy assessment and understand where the energy in a house enters and exits. Next, you can choose a state-certified energy contractor in the area by using the Energize North Castle website; there are recommendations on the website of a special group of home performance contractors who perform work in Northern Westchester and meet the standards established by Energize New York. Brian Kaminer, co-chair of Sustainable North Castle and an Armonk resident who energized his home through Home Energy Performance New York State, explains that the list of contractors on the website instills confidence in homeowners when they’re ready to have contractors evaluate their homes.

Finally, energy coaches Norm, Jen or Dick Kornbluth plan to meet with homeowners to discuss the recommendations from the certified contractor. Using health, safety, comfort and cost as vital benchmarks, energy coaches collaborate with homeowners to prioritize home improvements. In fact, Ron Tobias, a member of Sustainable North Castle, prepared for his second assessment after his energy coach explained the importance of a more thorough insulation assessment.

The next phase of Energize North Castle includes performing the energy improvements. After selecting the improvements with the help of a contractor and an energy coach, you can apply for low-interest financing. Finally, after installment, the contractors reassess the house to assure that standards have been met and that the safety and comfort of the homeowner can be maintained.

Brian Kaminer, owner of a 5,000-square-foot colonial, was surprised to learn just how high the amount of air escaping his home was after he received the results of the home energy assessment; in fact, the amount of cool air and hot air escaping his home during the summer and winter, respectively, meant that there was basically a 5’ x 5’ hole in his wall. Unwilling to let his money escape along with the air, Mr. Kaminer decided to retrofit his home back in 2008. By investing in air sealing and insulation; a new boiler; appliances; fluorescent lights; and solar electric and hot water, Mr. Kaminer was considering about a $50,000 risk, excluding tax credits and rebates. He said it was “intimidating to think about,” but that most importantly, he wanted to “feel comfortable.” Mr. Kaminer had been willing to invest in projects with a duration period of seven years, a relatively long-term, sustainable goal.

Emphasizing the value in retrofitting one’s home, Mr. Kaminer emphasized, “Everyone in Armonk should look into this.” Although he understands why it can be difficult for homeowners to endure a seven-year payback time frame, he stresses that retrofitting is in fact “an investment -- not a cost.” And incorporating energy improvements does not raise property taxes, but rather “adds value to one’s house.”

With the knowledge and expertise of a certified contractor and an energy coach, Energize North Castle ensures that homeowners invest in smart and economical improvements. Further information about Energise North Castle will be available on demand throughout the Westchester Library System.

North Castle and Westchester Recycling Opportunities

April 18, 2013
North Castle's Zero Waste day is Saturday April 20, rain or shine. It is the opportunity for residents to drop off of a variety of items for recycling behind the Town Hall from 9:00 a.m to 3:00 p.m. The items accepted will include e-waste, motor oil, cooking oil and antifreeze, paper shredding, scrap metal, household furniture, spring and summer clothing and linens, bicycles, and dog and cat supplies. Volunteers will assist with unloading the items from your car.

This week Westchester County will also collect and recycle hazardous and toxic materials. The County's collection will include items that will not be collected at North Castle's Zero Waste Day. These are tires, batteries, cleaning solutions, pesticides, propane tanks and other hazardous or toxic materials. The County facility is located at 15 Woods Road (at the Grasslands Reservation) in Valhalla. The Household Materials Recovery Facility (H-MRF) operates three days a week by appointment-only and is a place to responsibly discard hard-to-dispose household product, says County Legislator Michael Smith.  

The facility is open to all county residents -– although people in the seven communities that are not part of the county’s Refuse Disposal District (Bedford, Lewisboro, New Castle, North Castle, North Salem, Pound Ridge, Somers) pay a small fee (for example, 75 cents per pound for most items). Westchester residents can go to to make an appointment; or call the Westchester Recycling HelpLine at (914) 813-5425.

Zero Waste Week at Coman Hill, Wampus and HCC Schools
By Charity Lunder

February 23, 2013
Lunch in the cafeteria will be greener and less wasteful this week. Allison Miller, Chair of the PTSA Sustainability Committee, has spearheaded Zero Waste Week for February 25 to March 1, the week of return from winter break. Students are discouraged from bringing one-use items such as paper bags, plastic, foil, prepackaged snacks and water bottles. Instead the students are urged to bring lunch boxes with reusable containers and cutlery, and a thermos instead of water bottles. As Miller says, it is an effort to resurrect the less wasteful customs of 50 years ago. Just the use of a thermos instead of purchasing bottled water would save 180 bottles a  year and $135 annually.

The aim is to reinforce sustainability practices which are already embedded in the school curriculum. Though the district has made pushes toward better recycling and composting in the past, the lesson is sometimes lost over time. The Sustainability Committee proposes to make these lessons stick with more emphasis and peer encouragement, with particular focus on the younger ages, who will carry these practices through the school system as they grow.

The district already asks students to separate their cafeteria waste into compost, recycling and trash. The compost saves on the amount of trash that has to be carted away daily from the cafeteria, while returning it to the earth rather than to a landfill. The Sustainability Committee aims to decrease the amount of trash, for example, every school say, Coman Hill School produces 30 bags of cafeteria refuse. The committee is aiming to decrease the collection to only six bags a day with the adoption of sustainable habits that should reduce the amount of trash that will allow for fewer pickups and save the district money.

The Byram Hills PTSA offers helpful hints for a waste free lunch week; use a reusable water bottle and sandwich container, a steel fork or spoon, lunch box and lastly, send a cloth napkin. Any other suggestions?

One Man’s Trash is Another Man’s Treasure
By Alison Simon and Luke Simon

April 24, 2012
Saturday’s Zero Waste Day was a record breaking day

in terms of community participation and the amount of refuse and reusable materials collected. The biannual event, coordinated by North Castle’s Recycling Committee, attracted  hundreds of people from North Castle and neighboring towns in a communal effort to properly dispose of household debris.  The mission Committee’s mission “is to develop and promote innovative and effective recycling and waste management practices throughout the town.”

Event Co Chairs Deborah Cerar and April Paresi and many Recycling Committee volunteers coordinated the collection of electronic waste, scrap metal, used motor oil, cooking oil and antifreeze, bulk trash, and bulk paper for shredding, as well as old bicycles, clothing and furniture for people and animals in need.  Much of what was disposed can be reused and, most important, according to  David Africk, a Recycling Committee member, “kept out of landfills.”

743 cars with residents wishing to dispose of their old junk drove though the loop behind North Castle’s Town Hall and were directed to the proper places to dispose of their goods. Volunteers worked diligently to keep the flow of cars moving from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.. Participants could not only rid their homes of unwanted junk in an environmentally responsible manner, they were also given the chance to help others in need and get a tax deductible receipt for their efforts.  

The Suburban Carting Company, a private company contracted for waste removal by the Town of North Castle,  collected five 30-yard-wide dumpster’s worth of bulk items and scrap metal. Diane Chickering, Suburban Carting’s Recycling Coordinator, said the scrap metal is sold by weight for reuse. This keeps the material out of landfills.  

WeRecycle, a private electronic waste recycling company, collected 31 skids full of old computers, TVs and other electronics to be stripped down into separate parts for recycling. Laws such as New York State’s Electronic Equipment Reuse and Recycling Act are forcing manufacturers and retailers to be responsible for the waste generated by the electronics they sell. The financial cost of providing recycling options for these products will eventually force manufacturers to reduce the amount of waste generated by their products.

Zero Waste Day also provided residents with an opportunity to donate unwanted household items to organizations that will put the items to good use. The community Center of Northern Westchester collected 2,817 pounds of gently used clothing for people in need,,  and The Furniture Sharehouse, Westchester’s Furniture Bank, collected used furniture.  Chris Eifler, a member of Furniture Sharehouse’s Board of Directors, said that collecting the furniture “gets it out of the waste stream, gives people a taxable receipt, and gives furniture to people who need it.” Furniture Sharehouse works with 40 social services agencies in the county to provide furniture to those who need it.

Representatives from Adopt-A-Dog,, collected several truck loads of old blankets, pet-carriers and toys for use by the dogs and cats rescued by their shelter on Cox Avenue, and said “Zero Waste Day is wonderful for the shelter because everything's done on donations.” And Recycle-A-Bicycle collected 60 old bikes to repair or rebuild at their repair shops and then redistribute at “bike bonanzas” throughout New York City,  

Enviro Waste Oil Recovery and American Alternative Energy collected used motor oil and antifreeze to recycle, and collected used cooking oil to reuse as biodiesel, an alternative form of fuel used in cars and boilers,  Finally, USA Shred was on site and collected over 8,000 pounds of paper to be shredded for reuse,

North Castle Recycles
By Amanda Boyle

August 15, 2011
North Castle is taking measures to stay green with the recycling advice of Recyclopedia. Have you ever wavered between the recycling bin and the trash bin, not knowing which one to deposit your waste into? That's where Recyclopedia comes in available on the Town of North Castle's website: Search an item and a page will come up instructing how to reuse, recycle or dispose of whatever you have.
Searching "glass" describes what to do for "Bottles, glass", "Eyeglasses", "Fiberglass insulation" and "Glass, windows" among others. You can also search by letter. Under "A" there is "Aerosol cans", "Air conditioners" and "Aluminum, cans", just to being with.

In the B category, there's how to recycle a Brita water filter The Recyclopedia says that Brita water filters can be comingled with the recyclables, or they can be brought to Whole Foods, where there is a drop-off box designated for recycling Brita water filters. The Recyclopedia continues to explain that to be properly recycled, the filter must be dried for at least three days and then placed in a plastic grocery bag (the bag will be recycled as well). They even tell you that the nearest Whole Foods are in White Plains and Greenwich. And then, the Recyclopedia says that the water filter can also be mailed in, and gives the directions for that option.
The site is also easy to use on a smart phone; reached by searching "North Castle Recyclopedia" on Google.

The Recyclopedia is a new feature, so if you find something to be confusing or difficult about the site, or can't find an item, there's a button on the left column to "Share your tips and ideas with us."

Electronic Waste and Scrap Metal Drop-Off

Electronic waste such as computers, televisions, VCRs, DVD players, cellphones, typewriters, radios, and other similar electronic items will no longer be picked up at homeowners' curbside. Residents can drop these items off behind the North Castle Highway Department at 15 Bedford Road in Armonk. An attendant will assist with removing the items from your vehicle if needed. Scrap metal materials will also be collected. Scarp metal include appliances, filing cabinets, basketball hoops and other similar items made of metal. The drop-off site will be open to the public on the first Saturday of every month from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Rain or Shine.

E-Waste Recycling
Updated February 21, 2012

As of January 1, 2012, New York State legislators have passed an Electronic Equipment Recycling and Reuse law banning waste haulers from collecting electronic waste.  Suburban Carting will no longer pick up any electronics at curbside. "We will not pick up electronic waste," said Recycling Coordinator for Suburban Carting Diane Chickering. "Instead, we will leave a sticker on the e-waste and leave it at curbside."

Beginning March 3, 2012, town board liaison to the Recycling Committee, Councilman Diane Roth, said the Town of North Castle will have an electronic waste collection site located at the Town Hall complex near the Highway Department. A container will be available at the same location where the Zero Waste Days are held. There will be someone at the collection site on the frist Saturday of every month form 9a.m. to 1p.m.

The New York State legislation dictates that consumers and companies with fewer than 50 full-time employees may drop off computers, televisions, and small electronic equipment at the collection site at no cost. The following is a partial list of acceptable electronic equipment: computers, keyboards, mice or similar pinging devices, printers [restricted to those used with computers under 100 lbs.], televisions, VCRs, digital video records, DVD players, and video game consoles.

At the collection site electronic waste will be wrapped and temporarily stored. According to, industry experts report that recycling electronic waste protects humans and the environment by keeping toxins such as lead, mercury and cadmium from contaminating the air, water and soil.

From the collection site, the materials will be transported to an electronic waste consolidation facility that organizes and consolidates the e-waste before transporting it to a recycling facility. The recycling facility then dismantles the materials and prepares them for use in new products. E-waste does not include the case or shell of the covered electronic equipment from which the components or wiring circuitry have been removed.

"The cost to the town is $160 a month to pay a trained person to man the collection of the e-waste," said Roth.

The recycling facility will also accept light iron, metal, or steel. Scrap metal may also be dropped off at the same time and location as the e-waste. Now North Castle residents will have the option to make a difference by not placing metal items on the curbside which will end up in a landfill, says Chickering.

"The town makes money on the scrap metal, which will be picked up by a hauler. Scrap metal is paid for by weight. This should offset the minimal cost of running the recycling facility," explained Roth.

In December 2010, NYS Rechargeable Battery Recycling Act was signed into legislation. Rechargable batteries contain toxic metals when improperly disposed of can be released into the environment. Under the new law, retailers that sell rechargeable batteries are required to accept up to ten batteries per day, per person. Consumers are to not to dispose rechargable batteries in the trash. Common non-rechargeable, alkaline batteries can be disposed of in the garbage.