How to Recycle (Almost) Everything

Pleasantville recycles


Pleasantville Recycles is an organization formed by a group of Pleasantville, NY residents to: “increase the use of Pleasantville’s current programs through better community education, enhance our current program, and identify and develop new programs and systems to reduce, re-use and recycle.

They have created a fabulous resource “A-Z Recycling Guide” that helps you figure out how to recycle those items you can never figure out quite what to do with, from packaging peanuts to useless phonebooks and from medications to batteries.  Check out the list at:

New Rochelle Elementary School Reduces Garbage to 2 Handful Through Recycling


The Daniel Webster Elementary School in New Rochelle rolled out the School Lunch Recycling Program.  This school has 600+ kids and generated around 13 bags of loosely mixed garbage.


Principal Melissa Passarelli and Assistant Principal Greg Middleton are big supporters of environmental change and have volunteered to be one of the New Rochelle pilot schools to help pave the way for a general roll out in September to all remaining schools.

The program is simple. Teach children to sort their lunchroom waste into different recyclable categories.

The center aisle is now  sporting a station lining up first a bucket to dispose all left over liquids, a bin for milk cartons, a bin for Commingled Recycling, a Compost bucket and a place to stack trays.


The students learned in class about this program and were eager to put their knowledge to the test. A lunchroom monitor helped the kids along during the learning phase and soon she will be able to take a back seat and enjoy the show of children sorting for the environment. As the kids become more and more on auto pilot when it comes to sorting, we will introduce more education around the environment.

The key to the program is adult supervision, and Dr Korostoff, Superintendent of schools authorized the additional hourly help to make this change happen.

Continue reading New Rochelle Elementary School Reduces Garbage to 2 Handful Through Recycling

“Cheeseburger with a Side of Climate Change” Fabulous Talk at the Greenburgh Nature Center

cafoLast night, Wednesday May 14, 2014 about 30 attendees were treated to a very well organized, highly informative talk given by Elizabeth Bennet, Esq.

Large scale meat and dairy production has a tremendous impact on our local and global environment, from intensive resource usage to climate change. The current corporate animal agricultural production model also raises animal welfare, public health, and environmental justice concerns.

This program discussed these issues and provided recommendations for environmentally-friendly food choices. 

Presenter: Elizabeth Bennett, Esq., Sheldon Lobel, P.C.; Vice Chair to the ABA Young Lawyers Div., Committee on Environmental, Energy, & Resources Law.

Program presented in partnership with the Sierra Club Lower Hudson Group; designed for adults and high school students. 

New Rochelle’s Trinity School Awarded Westchester County Proclamation

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On April 29th, 2014 New Rochelle’s Trinity School was publicly awarded a Westchester County Proclamation, signed by Legislator James Maisano, Legislator Sheila Marcotte, and Legislator Catherine Parker. This is a wonderful recognition of the schools never faltering efforts to bring sustainability to the district through consistent teaching and doing.


This award is long in the making. In September of 2011, Anna Giordano brought the school lunch recycling program to the administration and the PTA, then under the leadership of Ines Bolufer-Laurentie, tirelessly implemented it. The PTA spent countless lunches teaching the children and thus creating a culture of environmental awakening.

The School Lunch Recycling Program is very simple, instead of teaching the children to “just throw out your garbage” after lunch, they are taught to separate their lunchroom waste into different recyclable categories. This process reduces and condenses the amount tremendously. Once all the recyclable packaging, compostable food left overs and left over liquids are sorted out, there is actually very little, that does not fall into these categories.

Trinity was not the only school to implement the program in September of 2011, but it was the only one, where the school administration persevered despite of the total lack of support from Central Administration, foremost the Director of Facilities.

Fortunately, Central Administration under the leadership of Dr. Jeffrey Korostoff is now fully supporting the program and New Rochelle is looking to have all of its schools fully converted to source separation and compostable trays by September of 2014. This could not have been accomplished if it had not been for the unwavering determination  of the Trinity Administration Anthony DiCarlo and Inas MorsiHogans.

I applaud them both. This proclamation is well deserved.

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New Rochelle Webster Elementary School is Going Waste Free in all K-3 Classrooms


At around 10:30 am, most younger grades have snack time in class. Out come the plastic baggies that hold the prepackaged chips, or cookies as well as the juice box. A survey showed that one classroom with 18 students generated 15 juice boxes or juice pouches per snack,  as well as between 20 – 30 different single use packaging items. A total weight of 4 lbs per class. 4 lbs may not sound like much, but this pictures shows the amount of garbage coming out of 3 kindergarten classes. Every day.


So, Anna Giordano set out to create the Waste Free Snack program and together with Lovetta James rolled it out in January of 2014.

The program consists of one week of targeted education to the children.  As parents are the ones packing the snack, they also have to be a part of the solution and a letter was sent home to parents asking for their help to get this trashy problem under control.

The principal Melissa Passarelli walked to all the classes and talked to the students about eating more healthy and she asked them what they thought was healthier….chips or a banana. The result was astounding, the very next day, we had 60% of the class bringing in bananas for snack.

We weighed snack waste every day, teachers tallied the daily amounts and incorporated the lessons into Math, English, Social Studies and Science. Remarkably, within a day we already saw drastic reductions of close to 50% in single use packaging and it went steadily down from there on.


After 10 days of daily weigh ins and education the program culminated in the award ceremony, where each child “won” a reusable water bottle and a reusable snack bag imprinted with the schools name. The students were very proud.

The students also pledged to go Waste Free and wrote their name on a leaf to paste it onto the beautiful tree, created by the amazing art teacher.

From that day on, we had a close to 100% return rate of the reusable lunch bag and we started sending any uneaten food, and any packaging back home with the students. Now,  all the lower grades are completely waste free at snack time, and that knowledge has spilled over into the lunchroom as well.

“The first day we sent the uneaten food back home, we were holding our head down, awaiting the storm of phone calls from parents, but amazingly, there was not a single one”,  remembers Greg Middleton, Assistant Principal.

The students at Daniel Webster Elementary School have learned a valuable life lesson. Waste-free starts with me!


Thanks to Counterspace, “School Lunch Recycling” is now “We Future Cycle!”

After 4 years of operation under founder Anna Giordano, the “School Lunch Recycling” organization had become so much more.  The program now included composting in its school lunch offering, and the Waste Free Classroom program had taken off.  As well, Anna was joined by partner Ashley Welde, who brought communications and technical expertise to the mix.  With a much broader vision and ambitions goals, the organization demanded a new name and identity.

Anna and Ashley met with designing and branding visionaries Christina Collins and Brett Collins from Counterspace to come up with a new name and logo.  Within minutes, the name “We Future Cycle” was born, and the logo shortly followed.  We are so grateful to Christina, Brett, and the whole Counterspace team for donating their time and wisdom to We Future Cycle.  Thank you!