Bay Ridge

Gentile to give out rain barrels in Bay Ridge

May 2, 2016 By Paula Katinas Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Councilmember Vincent Gentile plans to celebrate the opening of the Bay Ridge Greenmarket by distributing rain barrels. Photos courtesy of Gentile’s office

Local residents can combine healthy eating with environmentally conscious living when they attend opening day of the Bay Ridge Greenmarket on May 7.

In addition to finding fresh tomatoes and cucumbers, residents who come to the Greenmarket, located in the parking lot of Walgreens Drug Store at 9408 Third Ave., will be able to receive free water barrels, thanks to Councilmember Vincent Gentile.

Gentile (D-Bay Ridge-Dyker Heights-Bensonhurst) is teaming up with the New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) to distribute 200 free water barrels to residents.

To secure a rain barrel, residents are required to pre-register by calling Gentile’s office at 718-748-5200 or emailing [email protected].

Rain barrels are a win-win situation for homeowners and the environment, according to Gentile, who said homeowners simply install and connect the 60-gallon rain barrel to their downspout.

The barrels are important to the environment, Gentile said, because they collect storm water from rain that falls on the rooftop, avoiding the sewer system and reducing sewer overflows into waterways.

“Rain barrels help to conserve our water supply and will reduce homeowner’s water bills,” DEP Commissioner Emily Lloyd said in a statement.

By collecting storm water, homeowners can save on their water bills by using the water for gardening and other household chores.

For more information about rain barrels, visit the DEP’s website at http://www.nyc.gov/html/dep/html/stormwater/rainbarrel.shtml.

Over the last several years, DEP has distributed more than 4,000 rain barrels to homeowners. 

The rain barrels require little maintenance, according to DEP officials. Each homeowner who received a rain barrel was provided with an installation kit and a set of instructions.

Rain barrels should be disconnected from the downspout during the winter months to avoid freezing.

The rain barrel giveaway is part of DEP’s Green Infrastructure Plan. DEP has committed to investing $2.4 billion in green infrastructure projects to reduce sewer overflows by the year 2030, officials said.

As part of the initiative, DEP has started a project to repair leaks in the Delaware Aqueduct that supplies roughly half of the city’s daily drinking water.

Other water conservation efforts are also underway. For example, DEP is installing activation buttons on spray showers at 400 playgrounds around the city in a move expected to save 1.5 million gallons of water a day during the summer months.

Work is also underway to install new, high efficiency fixtures in the bathrooms of 500 schools to reduce water consumption by nearly 4 million gallons a day. DEP has partnered with hotels, restaurants and hospitals to reduce water use at these facilities by 5 percent annually.

Gentile said that after receiving their rain barrels on Saturday, residents are encouraged to stick around and enjoy fresh produce, fruits and vegetables from the Bay Ridge Greenmarket. A short opening ceremony will take place at 11 a.m.

This is the market’s ninth season. It will be open every Saturday, 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., from May 7 to Nov. 19.