Available to download for free from the App Store or Google Play.

 

Westchester County’s Department of Environmental Facilities (DEF) partnered with Recycle Coach to launch a free mobile app to help make recycling and solid waste information more accessible to County residents.

‘Recycle Coach’ connects residents with their municipal collection schedules, shares local disposal and recycling information and supplies educational tools to help make it easier to recycle products. Users can access Recycle Coach from their desktop computers and mobile devices.

“Recycle Coach compliments DEF’s current education efforts including the Recycling HelpLine, website and educational flyers, offering another way for residents to access accurate recycling information.” Westchester County Executive George Latimer said. “DEF looks forward to working with municipalities to begin using this free app, boost participation and improve recycling rates countywide.”

Municipalities and their residents can utilize Recycle Coach to:

  • Stay organized with municipality-specific curbside collection and events calendars;
  • Receive collection reminders and real-time updates on service disruptions;
  • Help reduce the amount of contamination in the curbside recycling stream by learning how to make mindful and informed recycling decisions;
  • The comprehensive “What Goes Where?” search tool includes local disposal information and collection requirements for common and uncommon items;
  • Image Recognition tool uses your phone’s camera to take pictures to identify items and tell the user how to properly dispose of the item;
  • Share useful recycling tips

“Ultimately, the service takes the guesswork out of recycling, empowering residents to make smarter disposal decisions and take an active approach to reducing household waste. For Westchester, this will translate into higher recycling rates and less contamination in our recycling stream—a win-win for everyone,” said DEF First Deputy Commissioner Lou Vetrone

Users can access Recycle Coach for free from their desktop computers and mobile devices. The app can be downloaded from the App Store or Google Play.

For more information, email or call the Recycling HelpLine at (914) 813-5425.

 

On March 6, 2023, the Westchester County Board of Legislators unanimously passed new single-use foodware legislation to reduce waste, including plastic waste. The purpose of the legislation is to reduce unnecessary waste generated from single-use disposable items in the retail food industry, thereby improving the health and safety of the community, protecting our waterways, and saving local businesses money. Food service establishments are required to post signage about the Upon Request Law.

Single use foodware accessories include: straws, utensils, chop sticks, condiment cups and packets, salt and pepper packets, cup sleeves, cup lids, and napkins, provided with ready-to-eat food and designed to be used once and then discarded.

Effective September 2, 2023, Westchester will require consumers to request the single-use foodware items they need. This includes when ordering in person, online or through a food delivery app.

The new legislation states:

  • No food service establishment shall provide single-use foodware or condiment packets to any dine-in or take-away customer unless specifically requested;
  • Single-use plastic beverage stirrers or single-use plastic beverage “splash sticks” are no longer permitted. Retail stores may sell packages or boxes of single-use plastic beverage stirrers or single-use plastic beverage splash sticks;
  • When requested, single-use foodware items or condiment packets must be provided individually and not in a package containing multiple items.

Department of Environmental Facilities (DEF) and Department of Health (DOH) inspectors will be working to ensure compliance. Food service establishments in violation of the law may be subject to a fine: 1st-time violations will receive a $100 fine; 2nd-time violations will result in a $200 fine; 3rd-time violations will result in a $400 fine. However, there will be an initial education period during which Warning Notices will be issued in lieu of fines from September 2, 2023, until March 02, 2024. For more information for businesses, see the Fact Sheet for Business (in Spanish and Chinese) and the Upon Request information flyer (in Spanish and Chinese) suitable for printing to comply with the posting requirement of the Law.

All current DOH requirements for health and safety remain in effect. Utensils available in self-service containers for consumers must be in either: a single-use dispenser, placed handle-end up, or be individually wrapped. Questions about DOH requirements should be directed to the Westchester County Department of Health at (914)813-5000.

For more information, contact the Recycling HelpLine at (914)813-5425.

In Fall 2020, Westchester County's Department of Environmental Facilities (DEF) established the Residential Food Scrap Transportation and Disposal (RFSTAD) Program. DEF saw the need to establish a program that would ease the financial burden for local municipalities to connect with local food scrap programs, and recognized that the transportation to and disposal of food scraps constituted the largest barrier to these programs in many communities.

DEF established RFSTAD to assist municipalities seeking to start or maintain food scrap programs. Under RFSTAD, District municipalities pay a subsidized rate for the transportation and disposal of food scraps collected by the municipality either through drop-off or curbside collections. This subsidized rate makes the processing of food scraps cost neutral or provides a cost savings when compared with municipal costs to process municipal solid waste. RFSTAD also allows for the bulking of food scraps with a goal of reducing greenhouse gasses created during the transportation of the food scraps to an organics recycler.

BPI Certified Compostable Service-Ware:

We ask residents to try to limit the use of all compostable service-ware and compostable bags to the extent possible. Even though compostable service-ware and bags disintegrate over time at commercial scale compost facilities:

  • Some Compostable service-ware may not disintegrate fast enough to be composted: Although BPI Certified Compostable service-ware will disintegrate at a commercial composting facility over time, some types of service-ware (cutlery for example) may persist for a longer period of time then the lifecycle of the compost pile at a facility. In the end, if the service-ware has not fully disintegrated, it will be discarded after the compost is screened. 
  • Excessive amounts of service-ware may negatively effect the compost process:  Service-ware degrades primarily as a result of thermal activity from a compost pile, and does not provide a significant food source for the composting process. Excessive amounts of service-ware may affect parameters such as the Carbon to Nitrogen ratio of a compost pile, which may in turn inhibit the composting process to some degree.  
  • Compost facilities have difficulties distinguishing between Compostable and non-compostable service-ware. Large quantities of trays, cups and cutlery may be determined by the facility operator to be contamination (as it is difficult to distinguish between plastic and BPI compostable unless under close examination). Most facilities do not have the staffing or the technology to differentiate. As such it may be discarded upon receipt.
  • Excessive use of service-ware may indirectly increase contamination levels in the food waste stream: For example; some food scrap drop-off participants who bring food scraps to the drop-off may see compostable service-ware in the drop-off bin and mistake it for plastic, and may come to the conclusion that it is okay to drop-off non-compostable plastic utensils and cups at the drop-off.  Plastic contamination is one of the most difficult challenges for compost facilities, especially small facilities such as the one that the county relies on.
  • Minimize use of compostable bags, when possible. The use of compostable bags also poses problems for smaller compost facilities which do not have the capacity to de-bag the food waste. Though BPI Compostable bags do break down rapidly, the widespread practice of using bags inhibits the composting process. This is because closed bags prevent food waste from mixing with yard waste at the facility, which is required for effective composting. For this reason, we ask residents to consider other options for storing and transporting food scraps such as using a brown paper bag liner for their table top food scrap receptacle, or freezing or refrigerating food scraps and transporting them to a drop-off in a reusable container. If it is absolutely necessary to use a BPI Compostable bag, we ask that residents rip the bag open or cut the bag open at the drop-off, or alternately refrain from tying the bag closed prior to bringing the food scraps to the drop-off site. 


Contact your local municipality for more information about recycling food scraps.

Participating Municipalities (Map View)
Municipality Drop-Off Site Address
Bronxville 200 Pondfield Rd, Bronxville, NY 10708
Cortlandt 29 Westbrook Dr, Cortlandt, NY 10567
Croton-on-Hudson 1 Croton Point Ave, Croton-On-Hudson, NY 10520
Dobbs Ferry 1 Stanley Avenue, Dobbs Ferry, 10522
Eastchester Farella Way (dead end), Eastchester, NY 10709
Elmsford 2 Winthrop Avenue, Elmsford, NY 10523
Harrison 55 New King Street, West Harrison NY 10604
Hastings-on-Hudson 69 Southside Ave, Hastings-On-Hudson, NY 10706
Irvington 101 Main St, Irvington, NY 10533
Larchmont (Village) & Town of Mamaroneck 40 Maxwell Avenue, Larchmont, NY 10538
Mamaroneck Village 313 Fayette Ave, Mamaroneck, NY 10543
Mt. Kisco 43 Columbus Ave, Mt Kisco, NY 10549
Ossining Town 235 Cedar Lane Ossining, NY 10562
Peekskill 100 South Street, Peekskill, NY 10566
Pelham Village 195 Sparks Ave, Village of Pelham, NY 10803
Pleasantville 1 Village Ln, Pleasantville, NY 10570
Port Chester 82 Fox Island Rd, Port Chester, NY 10573
Rye (city) 141 Oakland Beach Ave, Rye, NY 10580
Rye Brook 938 King St, Rye Brook, NY 10573
Scarsdale 110 Secor Rd, Scarsdale, NY 10583
Sleepy Hollow 100 Continental St, Sleepy Hallow NY 10591
Tarrytown 1561 Green St, Tarrytown, NY 10591
Tuckahoe 15 Marbledale Road, Tuckahoe, NY 10707
White Plains 87 Gedney Way, White Plains, NY 10605
Yonkers 735 Saw Mill River Rd, Yonkers, NY 10710
Yorktown 2881 Crompond Rd, Yorktown Heights 10598

DEF, in partnership with HELPSY, further expanded the County's Textile Program to provide curbside textile services to all residents. This service enables residents to schedule free pickup appointments on designated service days and it’s all aimed at encouraging residents to contribute to a greener future by responsibly disposing of their clothes, shoes, towels, rugs, and other textile materials. Contact your local municipality about joining the program and for more information. 

As of Dec. 2021, Westchester County DEF, in collaboration with HELPSY, has expanded the County's textile recycling program at the H-MRF. Accepted materials include any type of material composed of natural or synthetic fibers such as products made from wool, silk, linen, cotton, polyester, leather, vinyl, hemp, and rayon. Please bag all textiles prior to drop-off.

Drop-offs can be scheduled by convenient appointment online, or by calling the Recycling HelpLine at (914) 813-5425. The Recycling HelpLine is available seven days a week from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.

The following items can be dropped off at the H-MRF in any condition (torn, worn, stained, missing buttons, broken zippers, etc.) as long as they are clean, dry, and odorless.

Footwear (in pairs):

  • Shoes
  • Heels (wedges, pumps)
  • Flats
  • Sandals
  • Flip Flops
  • Boots (all varieties)
  • Sneakers
  • Cleats
  • Slippers

Clothing:

  • Tops (T-shirts, blouses, shirts, tank tops)
  • Sweaters
  • Sweatshirts
  • Dresses
  • Outerwear (coats, jackets, blazers)
  • Bottoms (pants, slacks, jeans, sweatpants, skirts, shorts)
  • Suits
  • Socks
  • Pajamas
  • Intimates (slips, bras, underwear, socks)
  • Baby Clothing
  • Sports Jerseys

Accessories:

  • Hats
  • Bags (pocketbooks, backpacks, duffle bags, totes)
  • Belts
  • Gloves
  • Ties
  • Scarves
  • Bathrobes
  • Jewelry

Linens:

  • Sheets/pillow cases
  • Blankets
  • Comforters
  • Curtains/Drapes
  • Aprons
  • Dish cloths
  • Cloth napkins
  • Table linens
  • Comforters
  • Quilts

Compost Giveback event is back!
High quality, screened compost will be available for Westchester residents on Sunday, June 23 at Household Material Recovery Facility (H-MRF), from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Reservations are required.

Use the Compost Giveback reservation calendar to book a time slot! Please bring your email confirmation the day of the event. 

The Department of Environmental Facilities (DEF) is offering this compost distribution event to residents to raise awareness of the benefits of compost, encourage residents to compost at home, and promote the County’s Residential Food Scrap and Transportation Program!

To make an appointment, residents must register and sign up for a specific time slot. Due to the limited availability of compost, residents must arrive at the specific time slot for which they registered. Individuals who have not registered, miss their time slot, or arrive too early will be turned away.

Residents who register and arrive on time will receive 2 bags of compost (about a 5-gallon bucket). DEF will load the compost into your car. Our team will also provide residents with information regarding municipal composting opportunities and other Department of Environmental Facilities initiatives.

Visit the Compost Giveback reservation calendar to book a timeslot!

Remember:

  • You must register for the event and arrive during the selected timeslot to receive compost
  • Due to limited capacity, 2 bag limit per resident

For any questions, reach out to  or call the Recycling Help Line (914)813-5425.

Quick Guide to recycling your food scraps in Westchester County:

Step 1: Find your local food scrap drop off here

Westchester County DEF supports local municipalities through the RFSTAD Program. The link above will help you identify the location and operating hours of your municipality’s food scrap drop-off.

Step 2- Find a way of storing food scraps that works for you.

  • Freeze or refrigerate food scraps:

Freezing food scraps is a very convenient and safe way to store food scraps. The advantages of freezing food scraps as you generate them during meal preparation is that frozen food waste will not decompose and does not create odors. Freezing also eliminates any potential pest issues in your home. Frozen food scraps are accepted at drop-off sites. Transporting the scraps to the food scrap drop-off site is hassle free, as there are no potential leakages.

When freezing food scraps, it is important to identify a reusable container that will fit well in your freezer. A heavy duty 2-gallon Silicon zip-lock style bag works well, as does a plastic container with a lid.

  • Use a paper bag liner for your countertop composter:

 If Freezing or refrigerating your food scraps is not an option, try lining your countertop bin with a paper bag, instead of a compostable bag. A paper bag will help keep your countertop compost bin relatively clean. Standard brown paper bags (without any plastic liners) are safe to use, and will not inhibit the compost process in any way.

Dropping off food scraps without utilizing compostable bags helps compost facilities process food scraps more effectively. Though BPI certified compostable bags do eventually break down, “bagged” food scraps do not blend effectively with yard waste, which can inhibit the composting process.

  • Use a BPI Certified Compostable bag:

If you are unable to freeze your food scraps, or use a paper bag liner, you may still use a BPI Compostable bag to store your food scraps prior to dropping them off at the food scrap drop-off. Be sure to only use BPI Certified Compostable bags (plastic bags or bags marked biodegradable are not accepted). Avoid using multiple bags (“double bagging”), and try not to tie the bags closed if possible.

 

CompostED Facility
The CompostED facility, located on the Grasslands Campus in Valhalla, is the County’s first small-scale food scrap composting demonstration and education site. Construction broke ground in December of 2020 and officially opened on Earth Day 2021.

The facility composts up to two tons of food scraps a week and also serves as a valuable educational opportunity for County residents, students, and municipal officials. At the facility, visitors can learn about the environmental benefits and process of composting and also explore how local municipalities can incorporate food scraps into existing organic yard waste composting sites.

School Groups
Interactive tours are available for school groups where students will be able to take and record compost temperatures, mix compost ingredients, hand screen and flip compost piles. Tours will offer a hands on learning experience diving into all the benefits of composting, the importance of diverting food waste from the waste stream and how to recycle food waste in Westchester County!

If your school or class is interested in participating in a compost tour, or more information about the CompostED program, please send an email to