people cutting ribbon outside new compost facility


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Westchester County residents now have a location to learn how to best divert food scraps from the waste stream as County Executive George Latimer officially cut the ribbon on the County’s new Compost & Education Center. The facility delivers on a promise from January 2020 when Latimer announced the release of Westchester County’s Food Waste Study and outlined the County’s plan to address food waste and food scrap recycling. One of the key components of the plan, the construction and operation of a County Compost and Education Center, has come to fruition.

County Executive Latimer stated: “As we celebrate Earth Day with the opening of the CompostEd facility, we continue to fulfill our commitment to divert food waste from the County’s waste stream. The first and best option is always to get excess food to those in need.  When food rescue is not possible, County residents now have options to divert food scraps from the waste stream.”

At CompostEd, Department of Environmental Facilities (DEF) staff will operate a small-scale aerated static pile compost system. DEF is planning to partner with local municipal farmer’s markets to collect food scraps for composting. The City of White Plains farmer’s market has already agreed to participate. CompostEd will also act as a demonstration site for local municipalities on the composting process, and offer educational programs for residents, municipal officials, and students. Residential programming will include classes on backyard composting.

Latimer continued: “Last year, we launched the Residential Food Scrap Transportation and Disposal program to provide our municipalities the opportunity to host voluntary food recycling programs for the same cost as disposing of the scraps as garbage.  Now, CompostEd will demonstrate to municipalities how to operate their own compost yard, and educate our residents on how they can compost at home.”

DEF Commissioner Vincent Kopicki said: “Food scrap composting may seem overwhelming, but it is a small step to improve our environment. Tours of our Material Recycling Facility in Yonkers have become a very popular field trip for young students. We look forward to welcoming older students and adults alike to CompostED to learn about composting and the benefits of better soil.”

County Director of Energy and Sustainability Peter McCartt said: “Each day, County government is looking for ways to increase our sustainable operation capabilities while encouraging residents to do the same on their own. This ribbon cutting is a culmination of a lot of hard work and I am so proud to celebrate Earth Day at this site.”

Deputy Commissioner of Environmental Facilities Louis Vetrone added: “CompostEd will allow us to provide in-person composting education classes with hands-on demonstrations. It will also serve as a model for municipalities and private entities, demonstrating the benefits of onsite composting. DEF is thrilled to be able to offer these services to the Westchester community.”

On this Earth Day, the County also highlights many of its other environmental initiatives including:

Vehicle Electrification
Westchester is committed to bringing its motorized fleet into the 21st century and drastically reducing its transportation related emissions. Already, the County has deployed a number of publicly available charging hubs across Westchester and converted large portions of its fleets to low-emissions and electric vehicles; nearly half of the County’s Bee-Line buses are now hybrid-electric.

Planting Westchester
Sustainable gardening plays an important role in the restoration of natural systems, management of the climate crisis, and combating food insecurity. Planting Westchester, a new hub for the County’s thriving community of gardeners, will serve as a key resource by providing a list of best practices and facilitating dialogue on reforestation, native plants, community gardening and soil health.

Food Scrap Management
Latimer has made managing food scraps a priority for his administration, launching several innovative programs to make Westchester a sustainable consumption leader. The County’s food recovery program saves over 10 million pounds of food annually for distribution to economically disadvantaged residents, while Residential Food Scrap Transportation and Disposal (RFSTAD) Program helps make sure that food scraps are composted rather than sent to the landfill.

Solar Energy
Westchester County is investing in solar energy to protect the environment for future generations and deliver lower taxes for the residents. In order to help achieve the ambitious goal of zero net emissions, Westchester County has launched a comprehensive solar campaign that will install panels at major sites such as the Bee-Line Bus Depots, parking lots, County Airport, and various office buildings while partnering with municipalities to provide solar energy for local government operations.

Read more about what the County is doing on the newly updated Energy, Conservation and Sustainability.