DEF Hosts Multiple Compost Giveaway Events During the First Half of 2024 

This spring, the Westchester County Department of Environmental Facilities (DEF) hosted five compost giveaways at various locations throughout Westchester County, to bring awareness to food scrap recycling and promote CompostED, the County’s small-scale compost and education site. Across all five events, 988 compost bags were distributed to 490 residents equalling approximately 4,940 gallons of compost. These free events welcomed residents from across the County at Croton Point Park, Sprain Ridge Park and at DEF’s Household Material Recovery Facility (HMRF) in Valhalla.

Westchester County Executive George Latimer said: “Of course, the first choice is to donate excess food to help the food insecure. For food that cannot be donated, residents can help reduce the waste stream and improve the environment by participating in a voluntary food waste drop-off program. The County collects food scraps from drop-off sites and transports it to a compost facility located in northern Westchester. The compost we give away at the public events is made using expired perishable food scraps collected from local food pantries. The compost giveaway events allow us to promote the many benefits of food waste recycling.”

DEF First Deputy Commissioner Louis Vetrone said: “Food scraps makes up 21% of the County’s residential waste stream. Diverting food scraps from the waste stream for composting is a key component of the County’s waste reduction program. These giveaway events are an excellent opportunity to publicize the food waste recycling opportunities available to Westchester residents.”

Composting turns food scraps into a valuable resource and helps provide nutrients to the soil, prevents erosion, and promotes water retention. DEF collects food scraps from voluntary drop-off sites located at twenty-four municipalities throughout Westchester. Residents can compost at home or contact their local municipality to see if they participate in the County’s Residential Food Scrap Transportation and Disposal Program (RFSTAD). In 2023, participating municipalities recycled 1,104 tons of food scraps, a 7% increase from 2022. The increased recycling of food scraps helped contribute to Westchester County’s overall recycling rate of 52% Contact your local municipality to see if there is a food scrap drop-off location near you.

With summer here, CompostED tours are picking back up. To schedule a tour, contact DEF at , or call the Recycling HelpLine at (914)813-5425.