Recycling Reaps Rewards: Health Department Holds “Caught-in-the-Act” Contest on America Recycles Day

Recycling Reaps Rewards:

Health Department Holds “Caught-in-the-Act” Contest on America Recycles Day

BREWSTER, NY— Plastic film is everywhere. Store “carry-out” bags are made of it. Beverage cases are shrink-wrapped in it. Newspapers are delivered curbside in it, and unfortunately most is not recycled. The Putnam County Department of Health is trying to change that. On Tuesday, November 15, America Recycles Day, the department is holding a “Caught-in-the-Act” Contest.

From 10 a.m. to 12 noon and then again from 2 to 4 p.m., the recycling coordinator from the health department will be looking for residents who recycle and rewarding them with a free reusable shopping bag, and social media recognition for their efforts. The morning session will take place at Acme Supermarket, 149 Route 6 in Mahopac, and the afternoon hours will be spent at DeCicco & Sons, 50 Independent Way in Brewster.

“We are launching this campaign because most people are unaware you can recycle these plastic film items,” says County Executive MaryEllen Odell. “Curbside recycling does not include them. Instead they must be brought to a drop-off location. But it’s the responsible and civic thing to do—for your family and your community.”

“Less than one percent of plastic bags are being recycled,” continues Interim Health Commissioner Michael J. Nesheiwat, MD. “It may take a bit of extra effort in the beginning, but only until it becomes more routine. And it makes a positive impact on our environment.”

The health department has been working with stores in the county that are required by law

to accept plastic films. All large retail stores, or chains with more than five smaller stores, must participate. Currently there are 25 drop-off locations in Putnam County, including Home Depot, Acme, and Kohl’s in Brewster, and at Foodtown in Cold Spring. A complete list is posted online at the PCDOH website.

The Health Department’s mission is to improve and protect the health of the Putnam County community, composed of nearly 100,000 residents. Core services include community health assessment, disease surveillance and control, emergency preparedness, environmental health protection, family health promotion and health education.