Town virtual recycling store adds the real world

Town virtual recycling store adds the real world

Continuing the pursuit of his commitment to weave the greening of the environment into the fabric of North Hempstead life, Supervisor Jon Kaiman joined recently with Town Councilwoman Viviana L. Russell to add yet another feature to North Hempstead’s groundbreaking, multifaceted recycling initiative: a Virtual Recycle Store.

Supervisor Kaiman, Councilwoman Russell, along with Town Clerk Leslie Gross, unveiled the Virtual Recycle Store, Oct. 20 in the “Little Theatre” at Westbury High School to the enthusiastic applause of more than 100 students and faculty.

“With more than 30,000 students and nine districts now participating in North Hempstead’s School Recycling Partnership Program, we have seen first hand the strong desire on the part of our students and constituents to make recycling part of our every day lives,” Supervisor Kaiman said. “We plan to grow this until every single North Hempstead resident becomes lifelong advocates for greening our environment.”

Showcasing the Westbury School Districts enthusiastic embrace of North Hempstead’s environmental efforts, more than 75 students from the High School helped create a physical store front, a tangible symbol of the Virtual Recycle Store, which can be found at

“I am extremely proud of the work this school is doing to promote recycling and help protect our environment,” Councilwoman Viviana Russell told the students. “Thank you for your hard work.”

The physical storefront, made up of recycled boards with used-plywood backed sign replete with the town’s logo made primarily from recycled soda cans, took about two weeks to complete, said Brenda Restrepo, the art teacher who directed the project.

“Everyone, no matter how small a role they played, stepped up to the plate,” she said. “It was nice to see it installed.”

Tenth-grader Claudia Roque, whose drawing of the Town’s highly-detailed seal helped create an authentic replica for the physical storefront said she enjoyed every minute of the many hours the project took.

“It feels good,” Roque, who plans to study art and photography at Carnegie Melon University, said in reaction to her praise her work received. “I feel like I’ve accomplished something.”

“Residents can now learn where and how to properly dispose of just about any item, from aerosols to asbestos and books to batteries, with the simple click of the mouse,” said Kaiman, referring to the new website available on North Hempstead’s homepage. “This comprehensive, online recycling resource not only provides a listing of where and how to properly dispose of recyclables but also suggestions on donating used and unwanted items such as eyeglasses.”

Environmental organizations on Long Island praised the Town for its forward thinking in creating another avenue to green the environment. Adrienne Esposito, executive director, Citizens Campaign for the Environment added, “Providing a simple, accessible one-stop webpage for residents is a smart, sensible initiative to increase recycling. This makes recycling easy and convenient. The Town of North Hempstead continues to provide innovative techniques to engage public participation in their go green programs.”

Supervisor Kaiman announced plans in January 2008 to partner with North Hempstead public schools on a comprehensive recycling program. To date, North Hempstead has partnered with 9 of the Town’s 11 school districts and has supplied every single classroom and office in each participating district with recycling bins. The Town has also committed to carting all the recyclables collected in each and every building.

Components of the school recycling initiative include annual recycling art and video contests, school-based electronic waste pickups, composting and the Weighing In program which allows students to gage the impact of their efforts.

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