Reduce, reuse and recycle
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Both villages of Lynbrook and East Rockaway have programs to collect yard waste, including grass and hedge clippings and leaves — yet neither has a program to collect organic kitchen waste such as fruit and vegetable scraps at this time. However, individuals who wish to start their own backyard composting have several choices. First, they can follow these steps, recommended by the Environmental Protection Agency:
Select a dry, shady spot near a water source for your compost pile or bin.
Add brown materials (twigs, branches, dead leaves) and green materials (grass clippings, fruits scraps, vegetable waste and coffee grounds) as they are collected, making sure larger pieces are chopped or shredded.
Moisten dry materials as they are added.
Once your compost pile is established, mix grass clippings and green waste into the pile and bury fruit and vegetable waste under 10 inches of compost material. (Optional: Cover top of compost with a tarp to keep it moist. When the material at the bottom is dark and rich in color, your compost is ready to use. This usually takes anywhere between two months to two years.)
A second option for any Town of Hempstead resident is to purchase a home composter called the Compost Wizard Jr. for $45 from the Town. The usual price is $159.99.
More information on the actual composter can be found on the website www.goodideasinc.com. Residents can purchase the Compost Wizard Jr. at the Oceanside Transfer Station located at 3737 Long Beach Road, Oceanside. Proof of residency is required and payment must be made in either cash or check made payable to the Town of Hempstead. For more information regarding composters, you can call (516) 766-0096.
Melissa Schepers is a junior at Lynbrook High School and wrote this article as part of her Girl Scout Gold Award project.