Posted on

PMHS alum’s Regrowth Project cleans local parks and beaches, recycles plastics, spreads environmental message

By Alex Esteverena
Staff Writer, Pelham Examiner

Former PMHS student Sam Farrell has created a fun, safe and profitable way to help the environment with his new company, the Regrowth Project (RGP).

Growing up in Pelham, Farrell noticed that communities in Westchester lacked access to an adequate composting system. As he brainstormed solutions, he recognized that relying on donations as a non-profit organization would be ineffective. After graduating from Penn State amidst the Covid-19 pandemic in late spring of 2020, Farrell finally had the time to take initiative on his dream and the idea for RGP was brought to life as a new company.

Farrell’s work began by simply going out to local spots like Shore Road and Orchard Beach with some of his friends every day to collect waste and fill plastic bags. In order to track his progress, Farrell posts daily videos on RGP’s Instagram page of the outings and participants. As of Jan. 18, they successfully filled and removed 587 large bags of trash from locations across Westchester and lower Connecticut.

As the project has continued to grow, more people hoping to help keep the environment clean have reached out to Farrell, who recently joined the board of the Environmental Coalition of the Pelhams (EcoPel).

“I go out every day, so I’m always interested in working with anyone who wants to help the cause,” he said.

RGP primarily profits by selling high density polyethylene, or HDPE, products. The polymer is found in most bottle caps and other common recyclable materials, and it can be melted down and reused to produce a variety of products. Along with HDPE, Farrell sells hats and T-shirts featuring RGP’s unique branding.

Gavin Kleinberger, a current student at PMHS, recently worked with Farrell on the Regrowth Project. He learned about RGP through his older brothers, who had contributed to the project several times, and decided he wanted to pitch in and remove waste from his town.

Reflecting on his experience with Farrell, Kleinberger said, “The amount of garbage at Orchard Beach was disgusting, and it seemed like the pickups were needed. Working with Sam was fun, too, he made it interesting and enjoyable.”

In October 2020, Farrell broadened the horizons of the company with the release of his first episode of “The Regrowth Podcast.” Almost every week, a different guest will join Farrell to discuss various aspects of the environment, ranging from birds and plants to diseases and more. The podcast, which streams on Spotify and Apple Podcasts, shows Farrell’s company in a whole new light.

Farrell’s long-term goal for the Regrowth Project is to find a way to put all the trash it collects to good use. He hopes to grow the brand to other regions, but his main objective is simply to help keep the environment clean.

About the Writer

Alex Esteverena is a sophomore at Pelham Memorial High School. He plays basketball and baseball with the school and club teams. In his free time he listens to music and hangs out with his friends. He speaks Spanish at home and is very excited to write for the Pelham Examiner.