Tips of the Month


Your fresh-cut Christmas tree can live on! After the holidays, use its nutrient-rich boughs and branches as mulch to enrich your garden: just lay them in beds and let their needles fall into the soil. You can alternatively leave your spent Christmas tree for curbside pickup on designated Wednesdays in January (see DPW calendar). For recycling Christmas lights and ornaments, check the ZWAT website for options.


Give a green Valentine this month. Ditch the plastic and opt for a card, a drawing, or an edible treat instead. Refer to the ZWAT website for additional ideas, including Hastings-grown bouquets by resident florists.   


The TILI (Take It or Leave It) Garage is open most Sundays, 11:00-3:00, weather permitting, at Andrus on Hudson. Drop off your unwanted items and take home anything you need, all free of charge. See the TILI page for a list of accepted items, directions, etc.


The Green Tree Textiles bin, in the parking lot across from the train station, accepts all types of textiles (reusable or not), shoes, and handbags. Reusable items are given away or sold for a modest price to fund recycling operations; unusable items are repurposed for use by environmentally minded manufacturers and designers.


The Discover Books bin, in the parking lot across from the train station, accepts both hardcover and paperback books. Books for which there is a demand are resold online, which provides funding for processing unsaleable books. These are taken apart and recycled, as the glue in book bindings is not compatible with county recycling machinery. Please never put any kind of book into our municipal paper recycling stream.


Composting food waste—whether at home or at the Hastings DPW drop-off site, or curbside through Hudson Compost Services—returns valuable organic matter to the soil and reduces production of greenhouse gasses. Westchester County generates 1.13 million pounds of food waste every day!  Most of this is incinerated, generating both CO2 and trace contaminants, and endangering the health of residents who live near the incinerator in Peekskill.


Rely on a reusable water bottle instead of buying bottled water. Production of plastic water bottles uses vast amounts of fossil fuels and generates large amounts of greenhouse gasses. In the United States, about 40-50 billion plastic water bottles are purchased every year, and the vast majority of these are NOT recycled. And anyway, recycling takes energy and produces GHGs too.

When you eat out, bring reusable containers from home for your leftovers. This saves on single-use plastic, which contributes to climate change even when recycled afterwards.


Planning a kitchen renovation? Check out Renovation Angel, a non-profit that resells used kitchens and appliances for a fraction of the original price. They’ll remove your old kitchen and display it in their massive NJ showroom. No landfill involved!  


Soiled parts of pizza boxes should be put in the trash. Oil-free cardboard can be torn off and recycled with paper. For your hard-to-answer recycling questions, refer to Westchester's Recycle Right website and/or download the app


Don't discard your leaves and grass clippings. Mulch-mow instead! Mulch-mowing grinds leaf matter and grass clippings right to your lawn, enriching the soil and producing healthier grass. Transferring leaves to beds allows certain pollinators to overwinter. Preserving insects means more diversity and balance, and this helps protect your garden from out-of-control insect infestations. For more info, visit the Hastings Conservation Commission’s landing page on Lawn & Garden.


Pumpkins going moldy after Halloween?  They’re already half-way to being composted!  Consider smashing your pumpkin (to reduce volume) and putting it in your backyard compost, or leaving it in an unused part of your yard/garden to decompose over late fall and winter. Pumpkins may also be deposited in the food scrap bins at the DPW or through Hudson Compost Services pickup.


Find inner peace and joy in eco-conscious shopping and gifting. Buying from our friendly local businesses reduces the amount of packaging involved in ordering online and helps sustain our community. Consider a Downtown Dollars gift card; these can be spent at almost every downtown business, and are a great way to keep dollars local. 

More tips:

Consider using brown bags (which you can decorate!), newspaper, or scarves/textiles for your gift-wrapping. Please refer to the ZWAT website for more tips. Metallic and glitter covered wrapping paper is NOT recyclable.   

Donate your gently used women’s, men’s, and teen’s clothing and shoes to Rivertowns Thrift. Once every few months, RT sets up a “thrift store” outside the The Good Witch Coffee Bar (at the Hastings train station), and donates all proceeds to the Hastings Food Pantry. Items prices are very low ($2-$10), and unsold items are put into a “community closet” at the food pantry, where anyone can take items for free.

Idling cars is illegal and creates pollution and waste. Turn off your engine while you are waiting to pick someone up.