Recycling Rainwater

Imagine a way to collect and recycle, rather than just dumping, the rainwater that collected around your yard. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to make use of it instead of worrying about it being a breeding place for mosquitoes, or adding to flooding problems?

    The Greenburgh Nature Center has found a way. By installing three 50-gallon rain barrels at their Manor House museum, water that would otherwise contribute to potential flooding in the Bronx River watershed and be lost to the Center's ‘oasis of green space’ can now be utilized.  The barrels, which are 34" tall with a 23" diameter, are attached to downspouts that bring water collected on the Manor House front roof to the storm drains. Each barrel has a screw-on perforated top with inside screen mesh to keep out debris, bugs, pets — and children! With two top overflow male hose connections, a brass spigot, and a bottom drain plug as overflow fittings, the barrels allow excess water to be diverted into additional barrels; or by attaching a hose, excess water can be diverted to any remote area such as a garden or flower bed.

   The rain barrels are “green” in another way. They were obtained from the Midwestern Internet Sales Company (MISC) of Evansville, Indiana.  MISC purchases them in bulk from food processing firms around the country.  The barrels the center is using were originally used to import golden peppers from Greece.  Thus the barrels themselves are a good example of how items can be recycled, rather than being added to the waste of landfills or incinerators.  

    The public is invited to stop by and see the rain barrels, and the Center can provide information about how to order them.  Each barrel costs $109 and the price includes shipping. Now everyone can contribute to the goal of retaining rainwater that might otherwise cause flooding and pollution problems for themselves and other residents of Westchester County. 

    The Center is located on Dromore Road off Central Avenue just south of the Hartsdale Post Office.  The grounds are open daily from dawn to dusk.  The Manor House exhibits are open daily except Fridays and a few holidays from 9:30am to 4:30pm on weekdays and 10am to 4:30pm on weekends.  For further information, call 914-723-3470 or visit  

— Christine Adler