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Rivertowns Daily Voice serves Dobbs Ferry, Hastings & Irvington

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Go Green With Rain Barrels and Compost Bins

DOBBS FERRY, N.Y. -- Much of the Saw Mill River has been polluted over the years so it takes a coordinated effort to help combat the problem. Leading the way is the Saw Mill River Coalition , which will be selling rain barrels and compost bins Saturday, July 9 in an effort to make the villages just a little greener.

"We're basically a river organization that tries to improve water quality and restoration along the Saw Mill River," said Director of River Programs Ann-Marie Mitroff. "We work with a lot of the municipalities and give them information about storm water."

The rain barrels being sold are basically there to collect the rain water that usually comes a house's roof. In the past rain flowed off rooftops straight into the ground, which caused foundations to erode over time. That was before the advent of rain gutters, which pushed rainwater away from homes.

"In doing that we kind of changed forever the way water comes down on a piece of property," Mitroff said. "Instead of the water filtering into the ground, we take all this water, we throw it into the streets and we create this enormous flush of water."

With that rain water flowing through the streets it collects oil, trash and other pollutants that eventually wind up in the Saw Mill River.

"So the rain barrels are a small, but important piece to cut down the amount of water that goes into the streets and collects pollution," Mitroff said.

The compost bins help reduce heft in the garbage by collecting trash that would normally be thrown away like vegetables. Over time the compost bins turn into a rich fertilizer that can be used in your yard.

"If you actually compost it in the bin, you get wonderful soil," Mitroff said. "You mix with leaf litter and other sort of garden litter and over time you work it into your soil and the bugs and everything love it. You get better structured soil. It really helps anybody who's a gardener."

The Saw Mill River Coalition will be selling rain barrels and compost bins Saturday, July 9 from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Rain barrels are being sold at a price of $75, compared to the usual price of $125 while the compost bins are $55 rather than the market price of $145. The pickup locations will be in Greenburgh, Tarrytown and Dobbs Ferry throughout the day. You can learn more about pickup times and reserve your rain barrel or compost bin here .

Do you have a rain barrel or compost bin? What other ways are there to help the villages become greener? Let us know below in the comments section or on our Facebook page or Twitter .

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