Environmentalists from throughout Nassau County gathered at Merrick’s Thursday to celebrate the Town of Hempstead’s composting and rain barrel initiative.
“I salute our home-grown eco-heroes for taking a leadership role in keeping our planet green,” Town Supervisor Kate Murray said. “Together we're helping the planet, educating young people and demonstrating that anyone can be an eco-hero.”
Already, 1,839 residents have pre-registered to receive a composting unit or rain barrel from the Town of Hempstead for $45 apiece, which is about half of the retail price.
The rain barrels help to conserve tap water, saves money by using water from rain instead of tap water and helps reduce harmful storm water runoff into bays and waterways. Residents can save up to 40 percent in water usage with a rain barrel system. The 50-gallon unit is designed to integrate into homeowner gutters and leaders, which collects rainwater from roofs.
Compositing allows residents to take “greens,” such as lawn clippings, and mix them with “browns,” such as dry leaves and combine them in a composter, which helps break the materials down into soil additives. Composters reduce the amount of yard waste entering the waste stream, allowing home owners to make their own soil additive and reduce the pollution that is generated to make, ship and package commercially available soil additives.
“I think it’s consistent with the attitude of the town on environment,” South Merrick Community Association member Neil Yeoman said.
Residents who pre-ordered rain barrels or composters were on hand as well to pick up their new units.
“I think it’s great that it’s going to give us an opportunity in the Town of Hempstead to be able to be more ecological and to save the world … one backyard at a time,” Levittown Resident Thomas Behrens said.
Rita Connell, a Merrick resident, only purchased the rain barrel, and she said the decision to buy was easy.
“Everything is always filled with water,” Connell said. “All the toys and the lawn furniture … so why not put the water back to some use?”