Hastings-on-Hudson school district has changed Food service providers and the new manager Alan Levin is very supportive of the school’s recycling initiative. He worked extensively with We Future Cycle and his staff to find the perfect set up in the kitchen to allow for proper source separation.
Initially the kitchen had garbage cans set up at all locations with only boxes being broken down and placed into recycling. Now the kitchen staff carefully sorts out
all organic waste into composting,
all soft plastics such as the wrapping of drink containers or bread bags,
and all commingled like cans, bottles, salad dressing containers.
This reduces the kitchen waste from 5 bags per day to really just two handful, because only sanitary gloves and soiled soft plastic does not fit into the above mentioned categories.
Mr Levin has shown great support and within days has been able to organize the kitchen to follow the new guidelines properly.
Thank you for supporting Hastings-on-Hudson’s recycling initiative
Hastings-on-Hudson has launched its extensive recycling program and is looking proudly at a 90% reduction of waste from its lunchrooms as well as a significant reduction in the building.
We Future Cycle helped set up the building to allow for source separation into paper, commingled and food waste recycling. Left as trash is really only plastic baggies and some other soiled things that do not fit into the above recycling groups.
George Prine, the Director of Facilities said that he is amazed as to how little garbage there is left. The Farragut Avenue building, which hosts the High and Middleschool of around 800 students usually generated 17 bags of loosely filled garbage bags just from the lunchroom. With the recycling station in place, it is now generating 4 bags going into food composting, 1 bag going into commingled recycling, and 1 small bag as trash. That is it.
This will eventually translate into significant savings for the district in waste management, as about 70 bags of garbage per day are not generated. Instead these materials are source separated and fed into the existing recycling streams. This saves money, and is also much better for the environment.
And we are creating a generation of Hastings students that know what source separation can do and how easy it is. Soon it will be the new normal.
In a Letter to the Editor, Greenburgh Town Supervisor Paul Feiner said, “Westchester County should follow the lead of New York City and promote a countywide organic recycling program…Organic waste accounts for about 31 percent of all waste generated by residents. Organic waste is yard waste, food scraps, compostable paper (napkins, paper plates, etc.) and other materials suitable for industrial-scale composting. Operating a curbside organics collection program can help Westchester reduce millions of dollars in landfill disposal costs, achieve recycling goals and reduce pests by storing food waste in special rodent-resistant bins.”
In 2013, Sims Municipal Recyclingopened a state-of-the-art Material Recovery Facility in Sunset Park, Brooklyn. The facility can process 100% of the metal, glass, and plastic collected in New York City, with the capacity to process 1,000 tons of material a day. Utilizing its waterfront location, the facility transports the majority of these recyclables by barge. See how NYC recyclables are sorted at the facility in this video.
This month, Sims opened the Recycling Education Center (REC) for schoolchildren and other organizations. While developed with third to eighth graders in mind, people of all ages can enjoy the REC with its colorful, interactive, hands-on exhibits and activities that show how materials are processed for recycling, and turned into new products.
Visitors can watch videos and take an interactive recycling quiz in the media center; play with magnets, scales, air compressors, and conveyors in the activity center; and step onto an operations overlook to see the machines and people in action as they sort NYC’s recyclables. Eadaoin Quinn, Education Coordinator at Sims, explains, “Hearing the machines, smelling the recyclables, and seeing the faces of the workers will really change how people view recycling.”
Sanitation Commissioner Kathryn Garcia recently joined children of DSNY employees for a sneak peek of the center and saw firsthand how the center creatively engages kids, while they learn all about recycling.
DSNY gets many requests from the public to see the recycling process up close. Now, the REC is open for free tours. Get a group together, and schedule a visit today!
TIPS Recycle Plastics!
NYC’s residential recycling program includes all rigid plastics; the number on the bottom doesn’t matter. These include items that are made predominantly or entirely of plastic, and have relatively inflexible shapes or forms, such as takeout containers, plastic cups and utensils, and bulky items, like toys.
HIGHLIGHTS Eadaoin Quinn of Sims
Eadaoin (pronounced “Ay-Deen”) Quinn helped develop the REC, and loves teaching children about the important role they play in recycling and conserving resources. After visiting the center, she hopes children will be inspired to tell others how recycling works. Contact her toschedule a visit!
Recycling by the Numbers*
lbs of recyclables
lbs of organics
lbs of clothing collected by
lbs of electronics collected by
lbs of reusables
New York City is showing America that it can be done. Children of 750 New York City public schools are learning source separation in their cafeterias. They will learn that “waste free starts with me” by being responsible for their lunchroom waste.