Weekly Feature

2017-05-18 / Editorial

Rain barrels available for purchase through county

Bee Editorial

If you would like to collect rainwater to use during the drier months, a rain barrel can do just that. This is a traditional and ancient practice that has been used in Thailand and other areas throughout the world.

Erie County, in partnership with the City of Buffalo and the Western New York Stormwater Coalition, is once again selling rain barrels and compost bins.

Rain barrels can not only save you money, but also have many environmental benefits. According to a press release from the county, rain barrels reduce stormwater runoff, or water that doesn’t soak into the ground and can transport pollutants to local waterways.

According to Buffalo Niagara Riverkeeper, some of the materials that could make their way into the waterways include debris, soil, pesticides, herbicides, fertilizers, engine oil, gasoline, grease, radiator fluid and litter. Rain barrels also can conserve water by using the harvested rainwater for watering lawns, gardens and potted plants, and for washing patio furniture, tools or even a car.

From a gardening perspective, the natural nutrients in rainwater make it far better than tap water, which contains chlorine and fluoride, according to the release. With a rain barrel, gardeners can minimize or eliminate their use of chemical fertilizers.

People have also taken to beautifying rain barrels for an added aesthetic to the garden or backyard, like those created by Depew’s art students for an Earth Day competition.

Composting yard trimmings and food waste is also a way to recycle nutrients and return them to the soil. The addition of compost enriches soil and will stimulate plant growth. This then reduces the need for chemical fertilizers.

To purchase rain barrels, compost bins and accessories, visit www.eriecompostersale.ecwid.com. Quantities are limited, and the deadline to order is May 31.

A pickup date is scheduled from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, June 10. Individuals will be able to select their preference at the time they place their order.

There are two locations for pickup:

• City of Buffalo Engineering Garage, 1120 Seneca St., Buffalo.

• Erie County Highway Garage, 1870 Military Road, Tonawanda.

For more information, call the Erie County Department of Environment and Planning at 858-6370 or send an e-mail to mary.rossi@erie.gov.

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