The Westchester County Youth Bureau’s Youth Empowerment Council for Change (YECC) will host a youth led virtual event on Friday, April 16 from 4p.m. to 5p.m. via Webex.

YECC have partnered with various County departments to encourage their peers and residents on strategies to reduce food waste in their homes. Spearheaded and coordinated by YECC co-president Caitlyn Carpenter, a High School Student from Mamaroneck, YECC is working to educate others on environmental issues and sustainability efforts. Panelists will include Westchester County’s Director of Energy Conservation and Sustainability Peter McCartt, Solid Waste Division, Environmental Management Operations Director Melissa Rotini, Esq, Solid Waste Division, Program Administrator Sean O’Rourke.

County Executive George Latimer stated: “We all must do our part to protect our environment, which is why it is both exciting and impressive to watch youth display leadership and interest in the County’s sustainability efforts. Their voice is welcomed as we must educate children, youth, and adults on the goal of saving the planet.”

Carpenter said: "As a young person, it is important to me that we are taking all the steps necessary to create a better, more sustainable future - reducing our food waste is a crucial part of that. Westchester is truly leading the way in food scrap recycling and I, along with the rest of my peers involved in the Youth Bureau's Youth Empowerment Council for Change, are excited to help Westchester families take advantage of all the county has to offer. There is no better time to start moving towards a more livable, less wasteful, tomorrow than right now."   

McCartt said: “Food scrap recycling has been a priority of County Executive Latimer from day one and we are proud of the actions and progress that we have made over the last three years. Starting with our comprehensive support of Feeding Westchester and making sure that viable food makes its way to people that need it before it enters into our waste stream and then continuing through our home composting and Environmental Facilities programs. The wonderful residents of Westchester are volunteering their time and efforts and we have strongly promoted that momentum forward.”

Youth Bureau Executive Director Dr. DaMia Harris-Madden said: “Young people continue to lead the way with the salient issues that affect us all, environmental stewardship and sustainability, being just one area. I am proud of the YECC and their contributions.

The webinar is free and open to the public; however registration is required by April 14. Please email to register. The link will be sent April 16.

The Youth Bureau’s YECC is open to all Westchester County middle school and high school students. Supervised by the Youth Bureau staff, it is a youth-led council working on initiatives that are important to its members. During the past year, the YECC has hosted virtual events, including a youth-led virtual interview workshop, a discussion of the impact of Covid-19 and unrest on youth, and the social and emotional needs of youth during the pandemic. For more information about the Youth Bureau and the YECC, please visit