New Rochelle Schools Need A Driver to make Environmental Change happen

These are my remarks at last nights BOE meeting. I want to thank President Lacher for welcoming me so warmly to the microphone.

Dear Board,

My name is Anna Giordano. I want to start out by congratulating you to the appointment of John Barnes and Melissa Passarelli as principals. Those are great people and I am sure ALMS and Webster are thriving with them.

Last week I got from you a call on my home phone, a call on my cell phone, a text on my cell phone and an email to inform me that school is about to start again. I think it is wonderful that you have embraced the technology to that extend.

I was actually blown away to hear today to what extend you are embracing new technologies and you seem to have a fabulous driver for this in this teacher who just got tenure.

Way to go!

So, how about we embrace environmental sustainability with the same vigor.

Last week, I got these two mailings. One was from Webster school. It contained 4 full sheets of single page printed documents, plus two half. It all came in a 6×9 envelope, costing 66 cents to mail.

Mr Quinn said during the budget discussions that he found a way to save $200,000 for printing. It looks like we overlooked this opportunity here. Here we could be saving 85% of the cost associated with this mailing by embracing double page printing, using normal envelopes and normal 46c letter stamps.

And here is the second mailing I got. The calendar and annual notification of family educational rights. As good point, it is indeed double paged printed, so that is wonderful, but on the bad side, it is printed on heavy resume type letter stock, thus much more expensive then normal copy paper.

So, just those two examples show you, that there are many many ways of how we can save valuable dollars. One just has to look for them, embrace the change and actually do something about it.

I would wish for this upcoming school year, that Buildings and Grounds is ACTUALLY embracing the mandate from Mr Quinn in regards to the recycling law. Last year, I reported about many problems and lost opportunities.

I wish for the board to embrace the new technologies that are offered when it comes to disposal of materials leaving our schools.

Westchester County is now offering food recycling, which is over 50% of the garbage generated by elementary schools. Webster for example generates 300 lbs of lunchroom waste. 150 of that is JUST food left overs.

My wish list for this upcoming year is that

1. Building and lunchroom recycling actually takes place in ALL schools.
2. Styrofoam trays are banned and replaced with washable alternatives.
3. we control the waste of valuable milk, by implementing dispensers.
4. we look detailed at processes that need upgrading to save money

Just because we have had garbage pick up twice per day forever, doesn’t mean it has to stay that way.
Just because we always mailed large welcome packages, doesn’t mean we have to continue to do so.

But no change will happen, until you embrace it, and support it. And you need a driver for change, nothing will happen if there is no force behind it.

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