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Composters, Rain Barrels and Home Sustainability Classes

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The Town of North Hempstead offers classes in Sustainable Yard Care, Rain Gardens and Gardening with Native Plants. Town residents can also purchase composters and rain barrels at a discounted rate.

Scroll down for more information.

Purchase a Composter or Rain Barrel!

Composting involves the breaking down of yard and kitchen waste into a nutrient rich soil amendment.  It provides many benefits including reducing the amount of waste that ends up in landfills or combustion facilities, providing valuable plant nutrients, improving soil structure, adding beneficial soil organisms, attracting earthworms, suppressing plant diseases, reducing the need for fertilizers and pesticides, and helping to prevent soil erosion and nutrient runoff.

Rain barrels are containers that collect rainwater from roofs that can be used for irrigation of lawns and gardens.  One of their main benefits is conserving water that comes from Long Island’s underground aquifers, which provide 100% of Long Island’s potable water.  They also allow users to save money and reduce stormwater pollution.

Town of North Hempstead Composter and Rain Barrel Sales 

  • Composter: $50 (one per household)
  • Rain Barrel: $50 (one per household)*
  • Composters and rain barrels are only available for purchase by Town of North Hempstead residents (Please bring ID)
  • ONLY CHECK OR CREDIT/DEBIT CARDS ACCEPTED (NO CASH) (there is a fee of 2.35% times the charge for credit card use with a minimum fee of $1.50; there is a fee of 1.95% times the charge for debit card use with a minimum fee of $1.50)

*Please note we only provide the rain barrel (including screen and spigot), but additional equipment may be needed, such as a diverter, a platform to raise the rain barrel and a tool to cut the gutter downspout to the proper length

2019 Sale Dates at Clark Botanic Garden (193 I.U. Willets Road, Albertson)

Friday July 12 10 am to 3 pm

Wednesday July 24 10 am to 6 pm

Friday August 9 10 am to 3 pm

Wednesday August 14 10 am to 6 pm

Friday September 13 10 am to 3 pm

Friday September 27 10 am to 3 pm

How to Use a Composter

This manual provides information on how to compost and utilize the Soil Machine Pro composter that you can purchase from the Town: Town of North Hempstead Composting Guide

The video on this site shows you how to setup and use your Soil Machine Pro composter: http://www.goodideasinc.com/products/composters/soil-machine-pro/

The NYC Master Composter Manual provides more in depth details on how to compost

How to Use a Rain Barrel

This manual provides information on how to install and use the RTS Rain Barrel that you can purchase from the Town: Town of North Hempstead Rain Barrel Guide

The videos at the bottom of this site show you how to setup and use your RTS Rain Barrel: http://www.rtshomeaccents.com/rain-barrels

This is also a helpful site that explains how to install a rain barrel: https://www.treepeople.org/installarainbarrel

For a more in depth lesson on composting and using a rain barrel as well as other ways you can make your yard more environmentally friendly take the Town's Sustainable Yard Care class (see below for more information)!

For questions or to get more information please call 311 (516-869-6311 from outside the Town) or e-mail sustain@northhempsteadny.gov.

Sustainable Yard Care

This class will introduce you to a variety of ways you can make your home yard more environmentally friendly including composting, using a rain barrel, saving water, creating wildlife habitat, reducing water pollution, using alternatives to pesticides, properly applying fertilizer, and more.  The class will help you make your yard look great while also being healthy for the environment!

Town of North Hempstead Sustainable Yard Care Class

  • This free class is open to anyone interested (including non-residents of the Town)
  • The class is held at Clark Botanic Garden (193 IU Willets Road, Albertson) in the Main House in the upstairs classroom (if you are unable to climb stairs please notify us by calling 311 or 516-869-6311 if outside the Town of North Hempstead)
  • The class is approximately 90 minutes in length and includes a presentation as well as a tour around Clark Botanic Garden to see sustainable principles in action (weather permitting)

Click here to register online!

You can also sign up for a class or get more information by calling 311 (516-869-6311 from outside the Town) or by e-mailing sustain@northhempsteadny.gov.

Rain Gardens

Rain gardens are shallow depressions in the landscape that are used to capture stormwater from a gutter downspout or sloped area. Rain gardens have many benefits such as:

  • Pollution reduction: filter out contaminants that rainwater can pick up, such as pesticides, oil, fertilizers and animal droppings, which can migrate into our nearby bays and harbors  
  • Aquifer replenishment: water seeps into the ground, which helps to recharge Long Island's groundwater sources where all of our drinking water comes from
  • Wildlife Habitat: A rain garden's use of native plants can provide food and shelter for birds and pollinators, like monarch butterflies, which are in decline

Supervisor Bosworth believes the class "is a wonderful opportunity for residents to learn how to make their own rain garden, while creating a beautiful habitat for birds and beneficial insects. It’s also a great tool for teaching about the importance of water conservation and the need to reduce the pollutants that flow into our stormwater system.” 

Town of North Hempstead Rain Garden Classes 

  • This free class is open to anyone interested (including non-residents of the Town)
  • Classes are held at Clark Botanic Garden* (193 IU Willets Road, Albertson) in the Main House in the upstairs classroom (if you are unable to climb stairs please notify us by calling 311 or 516-869-6311 if outside the Town of North Hempstead)
  • The class is 90 minutes in length and will provide information on how to construct a rain garden and what plants to choose

*PLEASE NOTE: THE SEPTEMBER 21 CLASS WILL BE HELD AT MICHAEL J. TULLY PARK- 1801 EVERGREEN AVENUE, NEW HYDE PARK IN THE AQUATIC ACTIVITIES CENTER (MAIN BUILDING) IN THE MULTI-PURPOSE ROOM (WALK UPSTAIRS OR TAKE ELEVATOR TO 2ND FLOOR- IN LARGE ROOM FACING THE PARKING LOT SIDE OF THE BUILDING)

Click here to register online!

You can also sign up for a class or get more information by calling 311 (516-869-6311 from outside the Town) or by e-mailing sustain@northhempsteadny.gov.

Native Plant Gardening

Native plants are those that historically and naturally occur in an area and tolerate the climate of the local environment.  Gardening with plants native to Long Island is beneficial for many reasons including: 

  • They require less maintenance, including fertilizers, pesticides and watering
  • They provide food and habitat to native birds, mammals, and pollinators, like the monarch butterfly, whose numbers are shrinking (click here to learn about the Town's efforts to help monarchs)
  • They help to reduce flooding due to extensive root systems that take up large quantities of water
  • These plants can also absorb more air pollutants and carbon dioxide than traditional turf grasses
  • Many have beautiful flowers, colorful fruits and seeds and offer vivid seasonal color changes
  • Click here for a list of native plants appropriate for Long Island landscapes

Town of North Hempstead Native Plant Garden Classes

  • This free class is open to anyone interested (including non-residents of the Town)
  • Classes are held at Clark Botanic Garden* (193 IU Willets Road, Albertson) in the Main House in the upstairs classroom (if you are unable to climb stairs please notify us by calling 311 or 516-869-6311 if outside the Town of North Hempstead)
  • The class is 1 hour in length and will provide information on how to construct a native plant garden and what plants to choose

*PLEASE NOTE: THE SEPTEMBER 21 CLASS WILL BE HELD AT MICHAEL J. TULLY PARK- 1801 EVERGREEN AVENUE, NEW HYDE PARK IN THE AQUATIC ACTIVITIES CENTER (MAIN BUILDING) IN THE MULTI-PURPOSE ROOM (WALK UPSTAIRS OR TAKE ELEVATOR TO 2ND FLOOR- IN LARGE ROOM FACING THE PARKING LOT SIDE OF THE BUILDING)

Click here to register online!

You can also sign up for a class or get more information by calling 311 (516-869-6311 from outside the Town) or by e-mailing sustain@northhempsteadny.gov.