The following blog post was written by PleasantvilleRecycles.org members Sharon AvRutick, Christin Ogryzlo and Helen Meurer.
While plastics, glass, and cans have long been recycled at the (PMF), volunteers will be keeping food waste out of the trash this year as well. Now, food scraps and leftovers—and many paper products such as plates, napkins, towels, and bags—will all be collected and composted.
“Each year, we aim to get better at what we do,” says Pleasantville Mayor Peter Scherer. “The folks at PleasantvilleRecycles lead the way this year, with better, more complete recycling at the Pleasantville Music Festival—and a new composting program that brings this effort to a new level.”
When PleasantvilleRecycles.org suggested a composting initiative, PMF Co-Executive Directors Sol Skolnick and Rich Sarfaty immediately embraced the idea.
“We are very happy to have the chance to make our festival even greener,” says Sarfaty. “Because of PleasantvilleRecycles’ unwavering dedication and volunteering spirit, we can repurpose more materials and leave the festival grounds even cleaner than before.”
What’s more, keeping compostable material out of the waste stream will reduce the festival’s garbage hauling costs. Suburban Carting will take all the material to a facility in Connecticut where it will be turned into compost for residential and commercial use.
This project is made possible by a grant from Community Catalyst Fund, a project of Clean Air-Cool Planet—and at no cost to the Village of Pleasantville.
“Our goal is zero waste, which means that all unwanted items should be directed into recycling streams,” explains PleasantvilleRecycles.org member Helen Meurer. “To make this happen, we needed more recycling containers, better signage, and we also needed to add food composting to the options. We were thrilled to secure the grant money to make this possible.”
“An effort like this requires people power,” Meurer continues. “We are very fortunate that the Pleasantville Department of Public Works recognizes the importance of zero waste. We have a dedicated group of recyclers who will help the festival attendees at each of the zero waste stations, and the DPW will remove the food waste as the bins fill up.”
In addition to making the composting project possible, the grant money allowed the DPW to purchase new recycling containers and lids, which will improve plastics, glass, and can recycling at the PMF. The new bins will also be used for events such as the weekly farmers market, the Ragamuffin Parade, and Pleasantville Day.
PleasantvilleRecycles.org spreads the word about recycling news and opportunities through its website, newsletter and Facebook page. The committee has also run collections for cell phones, batteries, bicycles, sports equipment, and more. Visit PleasantvilleRecycles.org to sign up for the newsletter and to learn more.