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Pleasantville Strengthens Composting Initiatives

PLEASANTVILLE, N.Y. -- Pleasantville continued to strengthen its composting efforts on Monday by officially proclaiming the first full week of May as Compost Awareness Week. This year, the week runs from May 6 to May 12.

Compost Awareness Week is already celebrated in a number of places throughout the United States, and is internationally recognized in Canada and the United Kingdom.

"As part of that, I had asked the board if they could proclaim the first week of May Pleasantville Compost Awareness Week," said Recycling Committee member Christin Simon Ogryzlo. "It’s a beautiful thing; it’s easy to do."

Compost is organic matter, such as food and leaves, that has been decomposed and recycled as a fertilizer, which is typically used in organic farming.

"Soil rich in compost provides nutrients necessary for healthy plant growth and intense colors," Ogryzlo said. "It cuts down on your watering requirements. Very much so if you do it on a regular basis."

Along with improving soil, Ogryzlo said composting is also helpful in reducing landfill space. She said about 50 percent of garbage that can be composted is typically sent to landfills.

"Pleasantville waste goes into an incinerator and kitchen scraps are really poor fuel for a burning facility," said Recycling Committee member Helen Meurer. "So it’s a great way to improve efficiency and improve your yard."

According to Mayor Peter Scherer, interested residents can pick up ready-made compost for free at Pleasantville Public Works on Village Lane.

"It’s returning to you all of the leaves you gave us, and we give it back to you in the form of compost," Scherer said. “Bring a shovel and something to put it in and take as much as you want in order to improve your yard and your garden.”

The recycling committee will also be setting up a booth at Pleasantville Day on May 19 to allow residents to rummage through recyclables they collected on Recycle Day on April 21.

In addition to collecting 61 bicycles, Meurer said the committee took home sports equipment such as pads, bats, gloves, cleats and more.

"Come along and pick up an item or two," Meurer said. "If you show up on the day and have a few pieces with you, you can just throw it on the heap with everything else."

The committee offers a step-by-step guide to home composting on its website.

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