Last week, the New York City Department of Environmental Protection (NYC DEP) announced a program that would entitle all NYC single and two-family homeowners to a free rain barrel. The Rain Barrel Giveaway Program is intended to reduce the strain being put on the NYC sewer system, and help residents go green by reusing thousands of gallons of water that would otherwise have gone into the streets.
Going green by reusing rainwater
The NYC DEP is going to be giving away a total of 1,000 of the above-pictured barrels to single and two-family homeowners in Queens, the Bronx, Brooklyn, and Staten Island over the next few weeks (pick-up dates below). The barrels can hold 55 gallons of water, and are designed for homeowners to use when they want to water their garden and lawns during the summer.
By using rain water throughout the dry periods of the summer, homeowners put less strain on the clean water system, and saves their own household money by reducing their tap-water consumption.
Easy to set up, easy to use
If you’re intimidated by the thought of having to set up a rain barrel yourself, don’t be. They are incredibly easy, require very minimal labor, and connect directly to your existing downspout. Along with the barrels, NYC DEP is providing an installation kit to get them properly set up. Then, just wait for the rain to fall, and afterwards you can connect a standard hose to the barrel’s outlet to water your lawn or garden.
Rain barrel pick-up locations
Below are the locations where the rain barrels can be picked up:
Saturday, April 16; 9:00 am – 2:00 pm at Marine Park Parking Lot, Avenue U.
Saturday, April 30; 9:00 am – 2:00 pm at Cunningham Park, 196th Place and Union Turnpike.
Saturday, May 7; 9:00 am – 2:00 pm at Pelham Bay Park, Middletown Road Parking Lot on Stadium Avenue.
Saturday, May 7; 9:00 am – 2:00 pm at College of Staten Island, 2800 Victory Boulevard.
The rain barrels are being given out on a first-come, first-serve basis so if you want one for yourself be sure to make it to the pick-up locations early!