New Rochelle City Council endorses School Lunch Recycling Program

downloadOn May 6th 2014, we were honored to present the We Future Cycle “School Lunch Recycling Program” to the City Council of New Rochelle.

My presentation is the first 10 min of this clip. It shows the advantages and desperate need of this program throughout Westchester and the US.

http://newrochelle.granicus.com/MediaPlayer.php?view_id=2&clip_id=268

We are proud to report that the City is working to enact both of our “asks” at the end of the presentation.

Environmental Change Can Come Fast with the Right Leaders in New Rochelle

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIn January of 2014, I gave this speech to the New Rochelle BOE reminding them yet again, that Styrofoam is BAD and that the lack of district wide recycling is costing the tax payer huge money. This is not a new tune, for three years, without fail I have been singing this tune and slowly but surely things moved.

It started with Mr Quinn finally admitting that recycling is needed (June of 2012), to him admitting that we need to be better at it by sending out a memo to remind all staff about the recycling laws in January 2013. I guess, he was tired of my bi-weekly speeches and constant emails with pictures of recyclables in the trash at the different New Rochelle schools.

IMG_20130307_134401In September of 2013, after my speech about Barnard not having ever used their recycling container and Isaac Young using theirs to collect water, Ms Brickle finally asked to put this topic on the agenda.

In January of 2014, despite my regular pushing, still nothing has been set. So I presented this speech to them.

http://www.newrochelletalk.com/content/remarks-board-ed-waste-waste-management-january-28-2014-meeting

This speech was the tipping point for Dr Korostoff to take decisive action. By April of 2014  Styrofoam was abandoned in 3 pilot schools, food waste composting and full source separation was established and garbage went down from 22 bags to a mere two handfuls.

And with that came the realization that a complete waste management revamp, as I had lobbied for for years, is not only possible, but advisable.

The plan is to have the other schools join the different environmental programs by September, as well as have the current garbage system completely revamped to allow for source separated material disposal, while saving the tax payer close to $500.000.

This shows that Environmental Change CAN come very fast with decisive leaders.

 

Green Fracking? “We don’t have time for that”

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In my research about Fracking, I stumbled over this article

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/energy/2014/03/140319-5-technologies-for-greener-fracking/

When I started introducing Recycling into schools, all I heard over and over was ” we don’t have time for that”, as if it took more time to put the can into the recycling bin versus the trash can.

Thinking long term, and thinking for the better of the people rather then the better pocket book of a few is something that we MUST have time for.

Fracking North Carolina is one step closer to Fracking in New York

I just read the very depressing article about North Carolina fast tracking Pro-Fracking legislation.

http://www.msnbc.com/rachel-maddow-show/north-carolina-republicans-move-quickly

Fracking 4I am shivering to think when this topic is coming up in New York again. Astorino has made it clear that he is Pro-Fracking.

And it is not that the dangers of fracking are not known or proven over and over, because even the people that are doing it, practice the NIMBY (not in my back yard).

Chappel-Pit

http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2014/02/21/3316881/exxon-ceo-protests-fracking/

So, if he doesn’t want it in his backyard, why do we allow ANYBODY to put it in OUR backyard.

Let’s be clear, there is absolutely no way that pumping poison into our environment is controllable or “good for the economy”.

 

Katonah-Lewisboro School District Cuts School Waste to Reach Sustainability Goals

The Katonah-Lewisboro School District is well on its way to meeting its goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 20% by 2015.   As well, the District has reduced its use of 50,000 water bottles by installing water bottle filling stations, and has diverted 18,000 pounds of school food waste from landfills and into composting systems.  Read more about the District’s success in the Lewisboro Ledger article.

Yonkers considering Styrofoam ban and School Lunch Recycling Program

Last night We Future Cycle had the opportunity to present the school lunch recycling program to the City Council of Yonkers.

 http://view.earthchannel.com/PlayerController.aspx?&PGD=ynkny&eID=206

Yonkers is the fourth most populous city in New York State with 24,000 students in 39 schools. All schools are using exclusively EPS (Styrofoam) disposable trays.  Which means every school is producing depending on size between 15 – 30 bags of garbage per lunch.

Every. School.  Every. Single. Day.

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Councilman Michael Sabatino is trying to change that. He has proposed to eliminate all single use food Styrofoam items over the next two years.  A wonderful proposal.

The School Lunch Recycling Program offered by We Future Cycle changes the way schools organize lunch. Instead of teaching the kids to “just throw it out”, students are taught to empty extra liquids into a bucket and sort their drink container, then students empty their left over food into the compost bucket and stack their tray. Simple. Continue reading Yonkers considering Styrofoam ban and School Lunch Recycling Program

We Future Cycle Presentation at Sound Shore Environmental Summit May 10, 2014 now on Video

Update: The Video link, courtesy of LMC TV in Mamaroneck is now available to be viewed.

http://lmctvny.swagit.com/play/05202014-1491

We Future Cycle presents at about 35 min into the program.

RYE, N.Y. — Westchester County Legislator Catherine Parker (D-Rye) will host the Sound Shore Environmental Summit on Saturday, May 10, in Rye.

Parker will host the event starting at 10 a.m.at the Jay Heritage Center at 210 Boston Post Road in Rye. The event promises to include a number of elected and municipal officials and environmental leaders from different organizations and advocacy groups. The summit is open to the public.

“Discussions at the summit are expected to cover a number of issues, and there will be short presentations from Sustainable Westchester, Energize NY, Save the Sound, We Future Cycle and Grassroots Environmental Education,” representatives said in the press release.

Parker chairs the Westchester County Board of Legislators Environment & Energy Committee.

New Paltz Students making a HUGE difference with Move Out Recycling Program

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 This face book page  ( ttps://www.facebook.com/newpaltzrecycles)  was just shared with me. It contains the most amazing and heart warming stories of how students can truly make a huge difference. They have organized “Move Out Programs”  to reclaim all the things that accumulate in a dorm room over a year but may not need to be dragged home to mom and dad’s.  
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 They organized “Recycling Carnevals” and “Bike Swaps” Just incredible, check them out.

 

Touring SIMS Recycling Plant in Brooklyn, amazing!

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In December of 2013, the SIMS Recycling Plant in Brooklyn started operation. What a cool facility.

This facility does all of NYC curbside commingled recycling and half of its paper.  Right now about 19,000 tons per month. About 2/3 of the daily tonnage comes in by barge from the two transfer stations in the metro area. One in the Bronx and the other in Queens. The rest comes in by truck. unnamed

The recycling plant sorts out glass, metal and all plastics. It is quite something to see the process. 75 jobs have been created thus far, and they are expecting to ad many more as the education department grows as well as tonnage goes up and they can expand production from 10 hrs per day to 16 hrs per day.

The plant is not open for the public yet, but we were allowed on a sneak peak tour. There is an absolutely fabulous education center, about 95% finished, and they are expecting to welcoming many school classes by September.

Transporting materials by barge takes about 240,000 DSNY collection truck miles per year of the road. You do the math when a diesel truck gets about 2.8 miles per gallon.

This facility sports a large Solar installation as well as soon to come a wind turbine. It shows that sustainability and solutions to todays problems can be solved, if one just wants to.

How to teach kids about Sustainability

Education is the key.

We only protect what we love,

We only love what we know,

We only know what we learn about.

Photo Courtesy by Shutterstock
Photo Courtesy by Shutterstock

So you want to be a good role model and teach kids—whether your own, nieces and nephews or a classroom—how to respect nature, be mindful of the waste they create and more. In short, to teach them about sustainability. And have fun doing it. Where do you start?

http://ecowatch.com/2014/04/10/teach-kids-about-sustainability/