New Rochelle Elementary School Sorts Out Compost, Recycling, Garbage reduced from 22 bags down to less then 1/4 bag

New Rochelle’s Trinity Elementary school is the first school in the District to sort out all compostable and recyclable items from the lunchroom. The results were simply amazing. Dr Korostoff, New Rochelle’s superintendent, is personally overlooking and supporting its implementation.

New Rochelle’s food service provider Whitson has been very helpful in eliminating items from the lunchroom that were problematic to sort.

The We Future Cycle school lunch recycling program is very simple, the children empty their left over drinks into a bucket, then sort the drink container, they empty their left over food into the compost and they stack their trays. Any untouched food items go into the share basket, any extra plastic goes with the plastics. Done!


The only thing left in the regular trash are very soiled plastic bags, ripped chip bags or yogurt pouches. That is IT! Continue reading New Rochelle Elementary School Sorts Out Compost, Recycling, Garbage reduced from 22 bags down to less then 1/4 bag


New Rochelle School District Garbage Reduced 23% Since Recycling Was Introduced


These are my comments shared with the New Rochelle Board of Education on March 25th, 2014.

Dear Board,

I have been coming to speak here now for about 3 years, the first time in June of 2011. I shared with you then, that I realized how much garbage the kids were generating in the lunchrooms. How mindless they were throwing everything out, how there was no recycling can in sight anywhere, how the students were trained that everything around them was disposable and all they had to do is throw it mindlessly in the garbage.

Continue reading New Rochelle School District Garbage Reduced 23% Since Recycling Was Introduced

Single Use Plastic Bags Cost New Rochelle’s Taxpayers Dearly

Single Use Plastic bags cost the tax payers enormous money because they clog up sewers and litter the environment. New York City has been the front runner for many ground breaking  changes in how residents handle disposables.
Single Use Plastic bags are a major problem for our environment. These bags never decompose, all they do is “photodegrate”, which means they eventually fall apart into tiny little pieces of plastic which are impossible to eliminate. These tiny pieces of plastic create a plastic soup, which has made it into our food chain.
images (2)
New York City is proposing legislation to put a 10 cents charge on each Single Use Plastic bag to foster change in consumer behavior. Because to be frank, people tend to change only if it hits their pocket book.
Intro 209-2104 was introduced by the NY City Council today:

This is the petition sent to the Mayor of NYC to support this legislation.
Dear Mayor De Blasio:
I’m writing today to urge you to support Intro 209-2014, which will reduce the use of plastic bags in New York City.
Plastic bags take years to decompose even when disposed of properly. They also harm our creeks, bays and rivers and the animals that live in them, and cause massive amounts of litter on our streets.
Plastic bags are also expensive to taxpayers. It costs New York City $10 million to transport 100,000 bags to landfills each year. This bill would reduce that cost while also protecting our environment.
Cities and communities across the country have implemented similar initiatives with great success. New York should be at the forefront of this movement, and as a member of the New York League of Conservation Voters, I believe that our city should implement a plastic bag fee to deter the use of single-use bags.
Please support a greener, cleaner New York City. Please support Intro 209-2014.
Trust me, this is not only a NYC problem, this is a New Rochelle problem just as much. Please support the NYC bill by joining the petition, once NYC passes legislation like that, it is much easier to bring similar legislation to New Rochelle and Westchester.
Bringing your re-usable bags to the store is not difficult at all, Try it, you might like it.
images (1)

New Rochelle’s Schools to Donate Surplus Food instead of Throwing it in the Garbage


Every lunchroom in the school district has left over food, but so far, this food has gone into the garbage.  Always the same concerns against donating it to local soup kitchens were  raised. Who would pick up? We are not allowed to donate tax payers money. What if someone gets sick, then we would get sued.

Melissa Passarelli, Principal of Webster Elementary School, shared with me that she found it particularly upsetting that left over milk on Friday, with a short date of Sunday, could not be donated on Friday to either afternoon program children or other agencies. Instead, that milk is being stored over the weekend, just to be thrown out on Monday.

I learned recently about a wonderful organization called


This organization has recovered  thousands of pounds of cooked, but unserved food, or short dated foods such as milk or bread before a school break to give to local agencies. They have an extensive network of vetted and accredited agencies that serve the needy.

In 2008 Public Law 110-247 was enacted to encourage food donation to non profit organizations that provide assistance to food insecure people in the US.

All Donors are protected from liability through the 1996 Bill Emmerson Good Samaritan Law 104-210, 110 Stat.3011)

I have shared this program with New Rochelle’s Superintendent Jeffrey Korostoff, who was immediately on board to see what needs to be done for our schools to connect into the system. Way to go!

Despite Food Safety Concerns, Congress Voted to Allow Chicken Processed in China into New Rochelle’s Lunchrooms

Despite concerns about the safety of food grown and processed in China, chicken can now be processed in China and sent back to this country for human consumption even though there will be no on-site USDA inspectors in Chinese processing facilities to ensure food safety.

Furthermore, Chinese-processed chicken does not have to bear “Country Of Origin Labeling,” which means that consumers will not know if they are purchasing or eating chicken processed in China.

To make matters worse, under USDA rules, Chinese-processed chicken can be used in the National School Lunch Program and other federal child nutrition programs, despite the fact that children are particularly vulnerable to food borne illnesses and dangerous chemicals.

A petition has been started to urge Congress to keep chicken from China out of our schools. Please sign and share if this concerns you. Thanks.

Westchester Municipal Officials Association endorses School Lunch Recycling Program

I would like to thank the Westchester Municipal Officials Association for hosting this meeting.

Thanks to the introduction of the Town Clerk of the Town of Greenburgh, I was invited to present the School Lunch Recycling Program today to many leaders of Westchester’s municipalities.

In attendance were municipal officials of White Plains, Yonkers, Bronxville, Peekskill, Tarrytown, Ossining, Mamaroneck, Rye Brook, Town of Greenburgh and others.

I presented the cost savings, educational and environmental benefits that this program brings to schools and how these benefits will be carried back into the homes and thus back into the municipalities. All members in attendance were very interested and supportive and voted unanimously to endorse the School Lunch Recycling Program.

I am very grateful for that support. I am looking forward to working with these municipalities and school districts to make source separation, school food composting and recycling the norm in Westchester’s schools. For our children and for our future.

New Rochelle School District approves Invoice for 60 (!) hrs of labor to paint a Flag Pole

Dear Board,

I wanted to express my utter disgust at the lack of financial responsibility displayed by the Head of Buildings and Grounds in the Trinity Flag Pole Painting job from November of 2012 as detailed in the New Rochelle talk.

I hope you had all the opportunity to read that expose.

Who can possibly approve 60 man hours of labor to paint a flag pole?

It supposedly took 30 hrs to scrape the pole, another 8 hrs to prime it, and another 16 hrs to finish coat it. And what I love most, it took 6 hrs to clean up afterwards.

And the best, they managed to do all that with only a one day rental for the boom truck. So clearly, during the Trinity Flag Pole Painting Project, the work day was 30 hrs long!

And what is the sense of a purchase order if the invoice is by far exceeding it; and that without any explanation or questions asked?

We are increasing class sizes and are loosing special programs, just so we can pay $4500 to repaint a flag pole? This is absolutely crazy. Continue reading New Rochelle School District approves Invoice for 60 (!) hrs of labor to paint a Flag Pole