Eastchester Elementary School Is Awarded Green Ribbon Award for Recycling in Washington

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAEastchester’s Ann Hutchinson Elementary School has just been awarded the Green Ribbon Award.

This award acknowledges the school’s achievements in taking a comprehensive approach to green schools. The areas encompassed by the award include reduced environmental impact and costs, improved health and wellness, and effective environmental and sustainability education. U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan stated that The Anne Hutchinson School is a model of excellence and achievement in these Pillars for all other schools to follow.

Ann Hutch was  commended for the  school’s commitment to environmental stewardship, health, and sustainability and for inspiring our entire school community to aim high.

Dave O’Neil , the 5th grade teacher and driving force behind this wonderful program has been invited to celebrate Ann Hutch’s accomplishments during a nOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAational recognition event on July 22nd, 2014 in Washington D.C.

This school is following the School lunch Recycling Program  and thanks to Dave O’Neil has been showing off its remarkable success  to other schools in Westchester. This school truly buzzes with green energy. We had several organized tours and many districts are inspired to also implement the program. Make no mistake, the students are fully in-charge of the program and the tour. Be prepared to have 4th or 5th grade students tell you all about saving the world, how and what to recycle, how and what to compost and what compost is all good for. If weather permits, one even gets to view the butterfly garden, adjacent to some of the compost bins.

The Ann Hutch Website has the following write up about the Award


“I would like to acknowledge and thank Dave O’Neil, fifth grade teacher for spearheading our initiative to recycle and compost, Vidya Bhat, reading specialist for co-writing the Green Ribbon Award Application, and John Condon for ensuring that our facility follows all the guidelines for energy efficiency.  Most of all, I am grateful to the students and staff of the Anne Hutchinson school for working together to produce a sustainable and healthy school environment, ensuring the environmental literacy of all our graduates….it truly “takes a village”. “


Hastings-on-Hudson Schools to Implement School Lunch Recycling Program

Recycle Garbage to GardenHastings-on-Hudson is implementing the School Lunch Recycling Program.

We Future Cycle is going to do all the preparation and set up during the summer and by September Hastings students will come back to school to fully  streamed buildings.

Each lunchroom will have a Recycling station and students will learn to separate their waste into “Commingled” “Compostable” and ” Terracycle” categories. From the current 17 bags of loose mixed garbage, Hastings will be down to less then 1/4 bag coming out of the lunchroom, all the rest will fit into the above categories. 65% of what comes out of the lunchroom is compostable.

Waste Management costs are projected to be cut in half by this measure and the school district will see a drastic decrease in use of plastic bags, a considerable expense often overlooked. Mayor Swiderski of Hastings-on-Hudson is very pleased to have this environmentally sound shift in the schools coincide with the  upcoming Plastic bag and PolyStyrene ban in October of 2014.

New Rochelle School Buildings and Grounds Employees Only Recycle On Overtime, Costing Taxpayer $800-1200 per week

money_fallingThese are my remarks to the Board of Education on June 6th 2014.

Dear Board,

I am very happy to report that the control measures that Dr Korostoff put in place seem to be working beautifully.

Until I reported to Dr Korostoff about the Overtime, we had every Saturday 2 sometimes even 3 guys putting in 8 hrs overtime to pick up paper recycling from all the schools.

For example, 3 guys doing on Sunday Feb 23rd 7 hours of DOUBLE TIME overtime to do recycling. Interesting about this is, that this is the Sunday after a week and 2 days of vacation, so I am not sure how all this recycling was generated with no kids in the buildings.

Essentially Mr Gallagher and Mr Quinn allowed that paper recycling, instead of saving us money in tipping fee, was costing the school district between $800.00 and $1200.00 in overtime pay PER WEEK, plus the fuel and of course the unfettered access to the truck.

And that unfettered access to the truck has brought us to these mysterious amounts of garbage being brought to the transfer station preferably on Monday mornings. Amounts that defy all reasonable explanation as to having double as much garbage in a spring month with a week vacation compared to a winter month with no vacation. School garbage should be only varying very slightly, relative to how many days of school there were.

I just received the 2014 BOE garbage amounts from Westchester Ct, these are the amounts disposed off at the transfer station in January through April 2014.

February, before Dr Korostoff put a stop to overtime was as much as November despite of only 14 days of school, March was 1.5 times as much as February, but I am happy to report that April tonnage compared to last year was down 30%.

I am fully attributing that to the Memo sent on April 14th to all employees essentially stopping all Overtime and by extension putting clear restrictions on the trucks. As well as putting all employees on notice that there is a new cat in town.

I am sitting on the edge of my seat awaiting the report for May, which would be a full month with restriction, plus a full month with two schools fully source separating their lunchroom waste.

This shows clearly that when controls are in place, things can change.

New Rochelle schools need a Time and Attendance System as well as a Vehicle and Supply supervision system.


Hard Cash through Recycling for New Rochelle Elementary School

recycling binsNew Rochelle’s Webster Elementary School has partnered up with Terracycle and the students are sorting out and recycling things like Chip bags, empty glue sticks, juice pouches, empty markers, broken electronics. broken pens, broken crayons.

Things they had — until recently — thrown into the garbage without a thought. Now they know, practically anything can be recycled if it is just sorted out.

In January of 2014, Melissa Passerelli, Principal,  and Greg Middleton, Assistant Principal asked Anna Giordano to implement a Terracycle Partner Program. The 5th graders were the Ambassadors and after going through two training sessions, they were the ones teaching the lower grades about the advantages of recycling. Students learned to bring the materials to a center hallway station and a parent volunteered to mail out the content when it was full.

Check out Terracycle.com, a fabulous company that “upcycles” materials into new and totally hip products. When you go to their website, check out their products. There is no cost involved for schools, mailing labels are free and schools will get REAL cash for their recycling.

Webster is going to buy Composting Equipment from the money they have earned through Terracycle, taking it one step further in their quest to be a waste free school. The students at Webster are learning every day that ” Waste Free starts with Me”