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Erie County Environment and Planning, partners collaborate on conservation with composters, rain barrels

by jmaloni


Tue, Jul 14th 2015 05:40 pm

Items available for purchase to reduce runoff and waste, provide garden nourishment

The Erie County Department of Environment and Planning and partners are collaborating to promote water conservation and composting by making compost units and rain barrels available to local residents, helping to reduce stormwater runoff and promote home composting for more nutrient-rich soils. ECDEP is joined by the Town of Tonawanda Environment Commission, the WNY Stormwater Coalition, the Northeast Southtowns and Northwest Communities Solid Waste Management Boards, and Keep Western New York Beautiful in accepting orders for these items through July 31.

"Everyone has a role to play in protecting our environment, and this collaboration between the Department of Environment and Planning and their partners will make it easier for residents to do their part in reducing runoff and creating their own compost," Erie County Executive Mark C. Poloncarz said. "I encourage residents to take advantage of these barrels and composters and improve not only their own home gardens, but our overall environment, as well."

Composting is a simple way to recycle nutrients and return them to the soil, which helps to grow healthy plants and vegetables. Also, by composting yard trimmings and some food scraps, residents can help lighten the load of waste that would otherwise go to a landfill and help to reduce collection costs for municipalities. Similarly, utilizing a rain barrel helps to reduce stormwater runoff. Runoff is rainwater that does not soak in to the ground and can collect pollutants as it enters streams and local waterways. For each inch of rain that falls on a 1,000 square-foot roof, a rain barrel captures up to 600 gallons of rainwater. The water that is collected in the barrel provides more nutrients than tap water and can be used for watering lawns, gardens and potted plants.

By offering the 80-gallon "Earth Machine" composter and the 55-gallon "Systern" rain barrel by pre-sale only, a lower price for these individual units is being made available. The units will be available for viewing at the headquarters of the Ken-Ton Garden Walk (the Town of Tonawanda Aquatics and Fitness Center), 1 Pool Drive, which is off of Delaware Road near Sheridan Drive in Tonawanda, during the week leading up to the annual Ken-Ton Garden Tour (July 17-19).

The "Earth Machine" composter is available for $42 and the "Systern" rain barrel is available for $53.40. For information on how to purchase these presale items, email [email protected] or visit www.erie.gov/sale. Orders will be accepted through July 31, with pick up in August.

Units will fit in the back seat of most cars.

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