Recycling Reaps Rewards; Third Annual America Recycles Day Contest Scheduled for Nov. 15

BREWSTER, NY— Plastic film is everywhere: Store “carry-out” bags are made of it and paper towels come wrapped in it. Unfortunately most of it is not recycled, but the Putnam County Department of Health is trying to change that. Thursday, November 15 is America Recycles Day, and the health department is holding its Third Annual “Caught-in-the-Act” Contest that day and the following day, Friday, November 16.

On both days, the recycling coordinator from the health department will be looking for residents who recycle plastic film and rewarding them with a free reusable shopping bag, and social media recognition for their efforts. Thursday’s event will take place in the morning at Acme in Mahopac, 149 Route 6, from 10 a.m. to 12 noon, and then from 2 to 4 p.m. in Brewster at DeCicco & Sons, 15 Independent Way at the intersection of Route 312 and Interstate 84. On Friday, the event will end with a morning session in Cold Spring at Food Town, 49 Chestnut Street and Route 9D.

“Plastic film is an environmental hazard, and an eyesore when found scattered along the roadside in our beautiful county,” says County Executive MaryEllen Odell. “Many people don’t know it can be recycled because it is not collected from your home. Instead, plastic film must be dropped off. Many of the larger stores we shop in every day are required to collect it. It’s the right thing to do, for your family and for your community.”

“The number of plastic bags that people use is staggering and less than one percent are recycled,” says interim Health Commissioner Michael J. Nesheiwat, MD. “The positive impact on the environment would be immense if everyone would make the effort to start and it then becomes routine.”

The health department works 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 24 drop-off locations in Putnam County, including Home Depot, Acme, and Kohl’s in Brewster, Acme in Mahopac, and at Foodtown in Cold Spring. A complete list is posted online at the PCDOH website.

The mission of the Putnam County Department of Health, nationally accredited by the Public Health Accreditation Board (PHAB), 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. For more information, please visit our County website at; or visit our social media sites on Facebook at  and Twitter @PutnamHealthNY.