YONKERS, N.Y. -- Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino unveiled a new Recycled Material Art Gallery on Tuesday, April 22, in celebration of Earth Day.
The new gallery, which features artwork made from salvaged, reused and recycled materials, is known as "Trash as Treasure." The exhibit is within the Material Recovery Facility in Yonkers.
"Educating our young people about the importance of recycling is crucial, and that is what this artwork helps us do," said Astorino. "This exhibit helps them understand why recycling is essential: to make the most of our natural resources, conserve energy and help protect the environment. It's one of the most important ways we can help keep Westchester green."
Six Westchester artists hand-crafted pounds of recycled or reused materials over a six-month period. Hand-painted murals with environmental themes compliment the pieces, according to a press release.
"Artists have always been known for recycling materials starting with Marcel Duchamp in the opening decades of the twentieth century," said Janet Langsam, executive director of ArtsWestchester, which referred several of the artists to the county. "Kudos to Westchester County for continuing this tradition."
With the help of a 50 percent reimbursement from a New York State grant, the total project cost is estimated to be approximately $20,000, according to the release.
"Westchester invests in education and values recycling," said Department of Environmental Facilities Commissioner Thomas J. Lauro. "That is how this innovative and multi-media gallery came about, and it is also why the county is a national leader in recycling."
Westchester's recycling rate of 52 percent outpaces the EPA national average of 35 percent and the New York State average of 36 percent, according to the release.
"My hope is that this artwork encourages people to think differently about the things they throw away," said Mary Ann Lomonaco, one of the local artists whose work is on display at the gallery. "There are many fun and creative ways to give your discarded materials a second life. I was pleased to be able to demonstrate just a few."
For more information or to schedule a tour of the Material Recovery Facility's Education Center and Recycled Material Art Gallery, residents can visit the Department of Environmental Facilities website, or call the Westchester County Recycling Helpline at 914-813-5425.