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Rain barrels for North Hempstead residents

Clark Botanic Garden is in Albertson

Clark Botanic Garden is in Albertson (Credit: Howard Schnapp, 2010)

The Town of North Hempstead is offering rain barrels to residents as part of a program to help the environment, reduce water bills and protect bays from storm water runoff.

The program, “Recycle the Rain,” which will offer 50-gallon rain barrels to residents for $50 each, will be announced at the Clark Botanic Garden in Albertson Wednesday at 11 a.m. The barrel attaches to the end of a downspout, collecting water that comes off the roof. Barrels can be ordered by contacting the town's 311 call center.

“The whole idea is water conservation. You can use it for gardening, and it also prevents water runoff from entering our bays,” town spokesman Collin Nash said.

Water runoff carries pollutants from streets into the bays, and the new program “minimizes the potential for that to happen,” Nash said.

“Recycle the Rain” is co-sponsored by the Sierra Club and the Citizens Campaign for the Environment.

The program has a larger goal, said Town Supervisor Jon Kaiman.

“It involves rethinking how we sustain our local environment, even down to our own property, our own house, and to get people to think differently about how we utilize natural resources that are available to us such as rainwater, compost, leaves, paper, plastics, all the things that can be reused, and have both the financial and environmental benefit as well as a cultural change in how we use and reuse things,” Kaiman said.

Based on U.S. Environmental Protection Agency estimates, an inch of rain on a 1,000-square-foot roof will generate about 600 gallons of water.

Above: Town of North Hempstead residents can pick up 50-gallon rain barrels at Clark Botanic Garden on Wednesday.

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