Plastic film is everywhere. Dry cleaning bags and store “carry-out” sacks are made of it. Paper towels and 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. November 15 is America Recycles Day, and building on the success of last year’s “Caught-in-the-Act” Contest, the department is expanding it to three days in the same week.
On Tuesday, November 14; Thursday, November 16, and Friday, November 17—from 12 noon to 2 p.m. each day—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. Tuesday’s event will take place in Cold Spring at Foodtown, 49 Chestnut Street and Route 9D. The remaining two events will take place at Acme Markets: on Thursday in Mahopac at 149 Route 6, and Friday in Brewster at 1511 Route 22.
“Many people don’t know you can recycle these plastic film items,” says County Executive MaryEllen Odell, “because curbside recycling does not include them. Instead they must be brought to a drop-off location, located in many of the larger stores we shop in every day. It’s the right thing to do—for yourself, your family and for your community.”
“The numbers of unrecycled plastic bags is staggering. Less than one percent are being recycled,” continues Interim Health Commissioner Michael J. Nesheiwat, MD. “It takes a bit of extra effort to start doing it, but it becomes routine. The positive impact on our environment would be immense if everyone would do their part and make the effort. We need to continue to bring awareness to this endeavor.”
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, 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 www.putnamcountyny.com ; or visit our social media sites on Facebook at www.facebook.com/putnamhealth and Twitter @PutnamHealthNY.