Our goal at EcoPel is that before any Pelhamite throws something in their garbage, they pause for a moment to consider whether the item could be reused or recycled in some way.
Read on to learn more about garbage and recycling in Pelham and resources for reducing the waste you produce. Any time you have an item you’re not sure what to do with, consult this page.
In Pelham, our household and business waste that is not recycled is transported to Peekskill, to an energy-from-waste facility.
After the garbage you put out on the curb each week is collected, it is transferred to larger, sealed tractor-trailers and transported to Peekskill. About 2,250 tons of solid waste arrive at the facility daily Monday through Friday. It is burned at 2,200 degrees Fahrenheit and the facility is authorized to use up to 55 million gallons of water per day from the Husdon River to cool the exhaust – 200,000 gallons per day of steam. (Source 1 and 2)
In addition to the incredible amount of resources used to process our garbage, there is a huge amount of garbage created during the production of the stuff that we throw in the garbage: “The waste coming out of our houses is just the tip of the iceberg. For every one garbage can of waste you put out on the curb, 70 garbage cans of waste were made upstream just to make the junk in that one garbage can you put out on the curb.” –The Story of Stuff
All this garbage transportation and processing is costing Pelham. Each of us individually has the power to make an impact on this cost.
What can you do?
Join EcoPel in learning about alternatives to adding to our garbage stream. Let’s begin by learning ways we can each contribute. You can browse our resources and ideas below for ways you can implement reduce, reuse, recycle before you resort to throwing stuff away. Or you can use the search box at the top of the sidebar to quickly find a specific type of waste.
Resources for reducing your waste
Books can be donated to the Town of Pelham Public Library at 530 Colonial Ave, Pelham, NY 10803. (914) 738-1234
For books that aren’t in donation condition, you can cut off the binding and recycle the pages. (Book bindings cannot be placed in the recycling for curbside pickup.)
As of January 1, 2015 Electronic waste may not be collected or disposed of as garbage, as required by the NYS Electronic Equipment Recycling and Reuse Act.
Donating used electronics for reuse extends the lives of valuable products and maximizes the energy and resources that went into making the products. By donating your used electronics, you allow schools, nonprofit organizations, and lower-income families to obtain electronics that they otherwise could not afford. Residents can check out the Environmental Protection Agency’s donation and recycling Web site or the Goodwill to learn how to donate used computer equipment, televisions and other electronics. You may also be able to sell newer working electronics and cell phones. When purchasing new equipment, schools or businesses may wish to negotiate removal and recycling of old equipment with vendors.
Goodwill locations accept all electronics, working and non-working, including those covered under the NYS Electronic Equipment and Recycling and Reuse Act, less than ten years old, from any individual or business in New York. Items are accepted at any location in the county, as listed below, and they qualify for a tax deduction as a charitable donation. Please note that special arrangements must be made if electronic equipment exceeds ten units (or what can fit into the back of a small van). Stores have to plan to accommodate larger donations, which can be coordinated by contacting Goodwill’s Donation Department at (718) 777-6320 or firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also visit Goodwill’s Web site to find a location near you. (Source)
Learn more about how to recycle at westchestergov.com
Most automotive fluids – antifreeze, brake fluid, gasoline (not motor oil)
Metal, jewelry and furniture polish
Pesticides, insecticides, herbicides
Photo and swimming pool chemicals
Kerosene and other flammable liquids
Wood preservatives and stains
Other items including:
Car tires (up to four per household)
Confidential documents for shredding (up to 4 file boxes per visit)*
Propane and helium tanks*
Mercury thermometers, thermostats
Electronic waste (e.g., computers and peripherals, tv’s, cell phones, etc.)*
Fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs and tube-shaped fluorescent bulbs)*
Freon-containing appliances (e.g., air conditioners, refrigerators and dehumidifiers)*
Batteries – auto, rechargeable & button cell (Alkaline and carbon-zinc batteries can be safely discarded with the household trash.)*
Expired or unused medications (Can only be delivered, by appointment, on certain days. Visit www.westchestergov.com/medicationdisposal to view the reservation calendar, which includes designated med take-back days, and book an appointment or call the Recycling HelpLine at (914) 813-5425)
Though Westchester County recycles plastics #1 through #7 with curbside pickup, you cannot recycle plastic grocery and carryout bags and plastic film (such as dry cleaning bags) with your curbside recycling.
You can recycle plastic bags at the back of DeCicco’s. Look for the large garbage can with a slit cut into the lid. It is near the bay door to the left of the bottle recycling machines.
Plastic Bags Accepted for Recycling
Apart from the plastic carry out bags covered by the law, most stores will also accept the following clean and dry materials (check with your store for details):
Plastic retail bags with string ties and rigid plastic handles removed
Plastic newspaper bags
Plastic dry-cleaning bags
Plastic produce bags with all food residue removed
Plastic bread bags with all food residue removed
Plastic cereal bags with all food residue removed
Plastic frozen food bags with all food residue removed
Plastic wrap from paper products (paper towels, etc)
Plastic stretch/shrink wrap with all food residue removed
Plastic zipper-type bags with plastic closing mechanism removed
Plastics accepted with your curbside recycling pickup include all plastics coded with any number 1 through 7, commonly used for food, beverages, detergents, household cleaners and shampoo. Include coded pails and buckets, as well as coded flower pots and trays rinsed free of soil or other products.
How: All plastics must be rinsed clean and free of food waste and other products. Plastic caps on jars and bottles are acceptable. Place plastics loose in the bin with glass and metal containers.
Not Accepted Curbside
Plastic bags, all plastic film (e.g. dry cleaning bags and packaging materials), vinyl
Unmarked or non-coded plastics (e.g. toys, clothing hangers, tableware and utensils)
Large rigid plastics (e.g. toys and furniture)
Plastic foam (e.g. hot beverage cups, trays and packaging materials)
Recycle with a scrap metal recycling company such as Pascap Co. Inc. 4250 Boston Rd., Bronx, NY 10475 (888) 809-9437
From the Pascap website:
Pascap strives to have a positive impact on our environment and since we’ve been around since 1929, we were a “green” company before most people knew what that was. Scrap recycling helps reduce greenhouse gas emissions and saves energy and natural resources. In fact, scrap recycling keeps millions of tons of materials away from landfills every year. And recycled scrap helps keep our air and water cleaner by removing potentially hazardous materials and keeping them out of our landfills. So bring your scrap to Pascap, make some extra money, and help the environment! Call us at 888-809-9437 about our pick- up service or bring your metal scrap to the yard yourself
Drop off your usable and unusable clothing, towels, sheets, bedding, leather goods, stuffed animals, and even shoes.
A textile recycle bin is at the Community Church of Pelham located on the corner of Washington and Highbrook Avenues by the train station. The bin is in the parking lot against the chain link fence, positioned behind a tree.
Donated items will be sorted and the unusable items will be shredded for fiber and repurposed.