New Rochelle School District Embracing Sustainability

Changing the culture of a school district from “throw-away” to ” sustainable” is very challenging. Consider the sheer number of players in the system. However, New Rochelle City School District has embarked on that journey, understanding that educating a child includes also environmental and social literacy. And also understanding that this is a long term, capital improvement project that will pay out on many levels, some tangible, some intangible.

Making a school district sustainable calls for changes in many systems and New Rochelle has hired We Future Cycle as principal consultant to move the initiative forward. Executive Director Anna Giordano is no stranger to New Rochelle school lunchrooms as she started the recycling program right here, in the school of her kids. Those were different times though, as the former central administration was less than supportive and many barriers needed to be worn down before real change could take place.

3 lbs of trash, all the rest goes into compost or recycling
Only 3.5 lbs of trash, all other 240 lbs are recycled or composted

However, as steady drip even hollows the stone, New Rochelle School District is now embracing sustainability with overwhelming energy. All elementary schools are fully source separated and have reduced their lunchroom garbage by 95% from the lunchroom and a good 50% from the building. Step by step, obstacles are identified and systems rearranged to allow for proper streaming of materials. Students are trained on a per class basis, informational material went home to parents, custodians came to professional development training sessions, classroom monitors and aides were trained to support learning and the building logistics were set up and are maintained.

Bringing a recycling program to a school district is like driving a car. The journey cannot be done by just putting the engine in drive. We Future Cycle is happy to help the district reaching its destination of sustainable schools filled with a generation of kids that care.




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