February 8, 2013

Making garbage easier

We took a trip across the border into Greenwich, Conn., the other night. As we were helping the host to clean up, we were told to dump all the garbage into one trash can. That included food scraps, paper products, even empty glass bottles. No muss, no fuss, no recycling cans to trip over — and all done in an eco-friendly way.

The home was served by single-stream recycling, a form of waste disposal that allows residents to place all of their recyclables, including paper, metals and plastic, in one container for collection.

Right now, Bedford’s pickup and recycling process is hit-or-miss at best. “The bad news is that our recycling percentage is not good,” said Peter Kuniholm of Bedford 2020’s recycling committee. “It’s around 15 percent, which is really quite low.”

In fact, that number is terrible.

Many homeowners don’t bother to recycle; and why should they? There is no “monitoring” of what they put in the trash and, in fact, with opaque trash bags it’s just not possible for the garbage police to see what’s inside. For those of us who do recycle, we’re sometimes left wondering why we spend the money shopping for clear garbage bags, separating garbage or rinsing out bottles, when we’re not even sure that it matters.

Those who avail themselves of the recycling center on Adams Street in Bedford Hills or the highway department in Pound Ridge can be more confident that their materials are getting recycled. For consumers, it is at best a matter of faith that their recyclables will be transported to a legitimate recycling facility by haulers. “They pick it up and they throw it in the truck,” said board member David Gabrielson at a recent study session. “I think the question is, ‘What’s happening to that stuff?”

Single-stream recycling has been creeping into the local vocabulary for the past couple of years. At the Katonah-Lewisboro School District, the district’s sustainability committee was told in 2010 that newly devised equipment allows for cans, glass and plastic to be put into one large compactor and separated at the recycling facility. This week district trustee Janet Harckham of Katonah said that while all four elementary schools are composting food waste, single stream recycling remains “in the idea phase,” though still in the works.

More recently, members of Bedford 2020 suggested that the town government should require any garbage hauler operating in the town to practice single-stream recycling, which allows residents to place all of their recyclables, including paper, metals and plastic, into one container for collection. The recyclables would be later sorted at a processing plant with the help of workers and complex machinery.

A processing plant is located in nearby Stamford, Conn., and new ones are being built throughout the region.

There are clearly many details to be worked out. Finding haulers equipped and inclined to handle single-stream recycling may prove complex. Rates, licensing and contracts will need to be reexamined by both towns and homeowners.

Clearly the haulers must become the next part of this equation. With an estimated 3.1 pounds of garbage produced each day per person, the need is evident. Single-stream recycling is a sustainability effort that is worth our while, and one that will make our lives both simpler and greener.

On thin ice

The National Hockey League glided over its differences just in time to salvage the season. For skaters, hockey enthusiasts and fishermen in Bedford and Pound Ridge, the cold weather was a welcome change as well, with plummeting temperatures leading to hard freezes in area ponds, parks and reservoirs.

In Bedford, there are a number of ways to stay up on the latest skating conditions. One is to drive by Lake Marie in Bedford Hills Memorial Park or Todds Pond in Katonah, which are checked daily for safe conditions. Red flags and “no skating permitted” signs are posted at both locations and must be strictly observed. Rescue equipment is located at both locations in the event of an emergency. Should ice conditions change or deteriorate, the ponds will be closed with proper signage and red flags posted. Skaters can also find out conditions at the recreation and parks department at 666-7004 or www.bedfordny.info. The recreation hotline telephone number is 864-3777.

The New York City DEP carefully regulates ice fishing, which is permitted at the Muscoot and Cross River reservoirs, both in Katonah. Each reservoir has a daily limit of three trout, with a minimum length of 12 inches per fish. A free New York City public access permit is required; the DEP rules and safety measures can be found at www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor.

In Pound Ridge, residents can visit the town’s website at www.townofpoundridge.com/recreation for Town Park skating conditions. On reservoir property, officials at Aquarion remind skaters and fishermen that ice can be deceptive due to shifting water levels and thermal undercurrents. In addition to the physical danger, trespassers also face the possible fines or arrest if caught on Aquarion reservoir property. To obtain a permit or learn more about Aquarion’s public access policies, call Aquarion’s Watershed and Environmental Management Office at 203-452-3511 or visit www.aquarionwater.com.

Read more local coverage of your hometown in this week’s issue of the The Record-Review. Newsstand copies are available at several locations listed above, or subscribe today for convenient home delivery.

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The official newspaper of the towns of Bedford and Pound Ridge, New York



Pound Ridge/Scotts Corners

  1. Scotts Corner Market – Trinity Corners Shopping Center;  55 Westchester Avenue

  2. Pound Ridge Sunoco — 66 Westchester Avenue    

  3. Sam Parker Country Market — 257 Westchester Avenue    

Bedford Village

  1. Bedford Rexall Pharmacy — Hunting Ridge Mall; 424 Old Post Road  

  2. Village Green Deli — Village Green; Routes 22 and 172    

  3. Bedford Shell — Routes 22 and 172 (at blinking light); 848 So. Bedford Road

  4. Village Service Center —193 Pound Ridge Road (at Long Ridge Road intersection)    

Bedford Hills

  1. Bedford Hills Deli – 7 Babbitt Road    

  2. Bueti’s Deli – 526 Bedford Road (Route 117)


  1. NoKA Joe’s – 25 Katonah Avenue    

  2. Steger’s Paper Mill – 89 Katonah Avenue    

  3. Katonah Pharmacy – Katonah Shopping Center; 294 Katonah Avenue   

  4. Bagel Shoppe – Katonah Shopping Center; 280 Katonah Avenue    

  5. Katonah Sunoco – 105 Bedford Road

Mount Kisco

  1. Teamo/Mt. Kisco News – 239 Main Street    

Cross River

  1. Bagel Boys Café – Cross River Shopping Center; Routes 121 and 35    

  2. Cross River Shell Station – Route 35    

  3. Cameron’s Deli –  890 Route 35    

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