Who would ever imagine that over the past year Crotonites would collectively fill their “blue for paper” and “red for plastics and metal” curbside recycling bins to an overflowing 12,936 tons (3,748 pounds per capita) of reusable materials. But that is exactly what has happened in the Village of Croton-on-Hudson, population 7,600.
In fact, Croton residents sorted and recycled a whopping 72% of their household waste. In all of Westchester County, only the town of New Castle outperformed Croton on a percentage basis.
So it was at a recent Village Board meeting that while Manager Rick Herbek was introducing the official report from the county that an excited Mayor Dr. Gregory Schmidt jumped in to issue bragging rights on behalf of residents and the praiseworthy Department of Public Works for a great job done with that.
Mayor Dr. Gregory Schmidt: “Mr. Herbek.”
Village Manager Rick Herbek: “I believe I included—“
Village Manager Rick Herbek: “Yes. Yes.”
Village Manager Rick Herbek: “I believe I included in the packet the Westchester County annual 2005 from the Department of Environmental Facilities to each of you. The thing that I wanted to ah, focus on—“
Mayor Dr. Gregory Schmidt: “Brag about.”
Village Manager Rick Herbek: “Brag about.”
Mayor Dr. Gregory Schmidt: “Okay.”
Village Manager Rick Herbek: “If you take a look at the chart ah, which is the last page or next to last page, you go down to Croton, it gives you the um, tonnages for co-mingled paper, co-mingled containers, yard waste, bulk metal, tires, cathode-ray-tubes um, ah, other, includes a variety of public works materials ah, and then it shows total wastes recycled 12,936 tons and disposed of as solid waste 4,943. So, our total solid waste generation is 17,879 tons a year. But take a look at the percent recycled—72%. I mean that’s pretty remarkable. And I, credit is due to the residents of the village who are very environmentally conscious obviously who are recycling and to the continued efforts of the Public Works Department ah, which is always looking for ways of taking materials out of the waste stream.”
Mayor Dr. Gregory Schmidt: “In fact, this year we started that with the organic waste—“
Village Manager Rick Herbek: “That’s going to help tremendously.”
Mayor Dr. Gregory Schmidt: “That’s going to help tremendously. So, that’s a big initiative of ah, Mr. Kraft to get those things out of there.”
Village Manager Rick Herbek: “The only community that really passed us percentage wise was New Castle, North Castle.”
Mayor Dr. Gregory Schmidt: “And there aren’t many other communities up in that range even over 50%. Most of them are under, well under the 50% mark. So, I think they are doing a great job. So, again, thank you to the staff for doing that and working towards that.”
Village Manager Rick Herbek: “They did a good job.”