By Mary Marvin, Mayor of Bronxville
Oct. 5, 2022: The Village is so very proud of reaching bronze status in record time and becoming a Climate Smart Community in New York State thanks to the work of our Green Committee, Trustee Knapp and Assistant Village Administrator Shallo, and we are on to our next goal of silver status, increasing our environmental friendliness both on the municipal and residential levels.
In that vein, we ask you to consider one of our newest programs which frankly hasn’t taken off at a pace that we had hoped mimicking our neighbors in Scarsdale, Bedford and Mamaroneck who have taken on food composting with gusto. In contrast, Bronxville recycles cans, papers, etc. at a rate of 64% putting us up there yearly with Bedford and Scarsdale vying for first place in the County. We also compost over 75 tons of yard waste on a yearly basis putting us right near the top in per capita generation. We hope to mirror this success with our food scrap program as well.
Food composting is one of the most environmentally friendly habits we can adopt. By not composting our food, the waste goes directly into landfills. Not only are landfills miles and miles away and as waste needs transport, increasing carbon emissions and wasting precious fuel. Also, when decomposing, the food waste releases greenhouse gas emissions in the form of methane, which is much more potent than carbon dioxide. Over 20 years, methane traps 84 times more heat than carbon dioxide, contributing significantly to the warming of the planet.
Currently food scraps are the largest component of Village “trash”, but they can be seen in another light as the source of useful compost when their nutrients and energy return to the environment, resulting in cleaner soil, water and air. When you purchase a bag of potting soil, you are actually purchasing compost which maximizes plant growth, prevents soil erosion and eliminates the need for fertilizer and pesticide use. Instead of purchasing, it is very easy to manufacture our own.
I think we have been remiss at Village Hall by not championing the cause by way of explaining frankly just how easy it is to compost. Village Hall provides the kits that contain everything you need: a countertop pail, a transfer bin, roll of compostable liners and an instructional guide.
Using this simple equipment, many residents in the Village are already collecting all their food waste generating approximately 1.8 tons of scraps per month including the following items which all qualify: fruits and vegetables, meats and poultry even with bones, fish and shellfish including the shells, dairy products, bread, pasta and rice, chips and snacks, nuts and seeds, leftovers, spoiled and expired food even if it has been cooked, chopsticks, popsicle sticks, wine corks and cut flowers. The only items not accepted are plastic bags and plastic packaging, baby and hand wipes and pet waste.
Once you own a kit, which can be purchased at Village Hall for $25 by stopping by the second floor during business hours, you can then come by once a week to our drop off site on Palumbo Place behind Village Hall to deposit your waste in rodent proof containers.
Our Village staffers take the material to a composting facility where within a few months, the scraps are turned into compost, which is returned to us as valuable, organically rich soil to share with residents. This keeps the natural cycle going as we can grow more healthy fruits and vegetables as fruits and vegetables and leftovers are the most commonly wasted food items. Individual action at the family household level is remarkably effective as the first line to stop the cycle of waste.
One of the positives of the past two years of living in a pandemic world is that we have learned of the fragility of the global supply chains. Our food waste, which as a nation, ranks near the highest in the world per person, starts right where you would expect, at the grocery store. Studies have proven that we are buying too much, cooking too much and not storing fruit and vegetables properly. We are all guilty of the impulse buying in bulk because the item ends up cheaper per unit but if we truly don’t need a bag of lemons rather need just two, it is not only kinder to our wallet but has a clear nexus to the quality of our environment.
All of this is set in the backdrop, which is still hard for me to grasp, that we live in what most studies say is the third richest county in the country, and yet one in six of our neighbors has a level of food insufficiency. I harken back to the enormous generosity of Villagers when we recently conducted a food collection drive in partnership with our Congressman.
By leaving things at the grocery store or cooking smaller portions, we are also contributing to the food needs of our neighbors. We hope as the program catches on in the Village to emulate our neighbors in Scarsdale who have such a critical mass of Villagers’ partaking that their DPW now does curbside pickup.
Please consider joining this program and keeping the Village at the forefront of environment stewardship.
Bronxville is a quaint village (one square mile) located just 16 miles north of midtown Manhattan (roughly 30 minutes on the train) and has a population of approximately 6,500. It is known as a premier community with an excellent public school (K-12) and easy access to Manhattan. Bronxville offers many amenities including an attractive business district, a hospital (Lawrence Hospital), public paddle and tennis courts, fine dining at local restaurants, two private country clubs and a community library.
While the earliest settlers of Bronxville date back to the first half of the 18th century, the history of the modern suburb of Bronxville began in 1890 when William Van Duzer Lawrence purchased a farm and commissioned the architect, William A. Bates, to design a planned community of houses for well-known artists and professionals that became a thriving art colony. This community, now called Lawrence Park, is listed on the National register of Historic Places and many of the homes still have artists’ studios. A neighborhood association within Lawrence Park called “The Hilltop Association” keeps this heritage alive with art shows and other events for neighbors.
Bronxville offers many charming neighborhoods as well as a variety of living options for residents including single family homes, town houses, cooperatives and condominiums. One of the chief benefits of living in “the village” is that your children can attend the Bronxville School.
The Bronxville postal zone (10708, known as “Bronxville PO”) includes the village of Bronxville as well as the Chester Heights section of Eastchester, parts of Tuckahoe and the Lawrence Park West, Cedar Knolls, Armour Villa and Longvale sections of Yonkers. Many of these areas have their own distinct character. For instance, the Armour Villa section has many historic homes and even has its own newsletter called “The Villa Voice” which reports on neighborhood news.
Village of Bronxville Administrative Offices
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Bronxville Police Department
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Bronxville Parking Violations
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Bronxville Fire Deparment