Here is a great article by Topher Forhecz about New York City’s decision to eliminate Styrofoam trays and switch to round plates made of sugar cane byproduct, starting this fall. This initiative is “the first result of the Urban School Food Alliance –- comprised of Miami, Los Angeles, Dallas, Orlando, Chicago and New York City — which formed in 2012 to boost the schools’ purchasing power in the private sector.” Read the full article here.
The largest School districts in the country have finally woken up to the fact that schools, and the kids that are in those schools are the biggest players in environmental and sustainable planning.
Doing an Earthday project and then calling it done as far as it goes for instruction around sustainability is NOT ENOUGH.
Fortunately, the largest school districts are starting to wake up, that life is not disposable around us and that it is not cheaper and better to serve children on disposable Styrofoam trays. BTW, these trays are made of Polystyrene which has been classified as “reasonably anticipated human carcinogen” by the US Dept of Health in 2011.
Here is an excellent read on that topic. Some Westchester school districts are already following suit, but some is not enough. Westchester incinerates its garbage and guess who is breathing the air after burning 100.000 Styrofoam trays per day.
In its article “Despite $93 Billion in Profits, Big Oil Demands Continued Tax Breaks,” EcoWatch describes “why, despite their outsized earnings, the oil companies are not only fighting to keep their tax breaks but also lobbying to lift the crude oil export ban.” Instead of investing in tax breaks, the American people would benefit more from investing in clean transportation alternatives.
A very simple equation: what goes in, must come out.
This is valid for how New Rochelle’s schools are dealing with their garbage.
Here is a interesting article on how nationwide schools are the key to recycling and environmental awareness, but not all schools are equal in that regard.
New Rochelle’s schools were until 2011 doing absolutely nothing in ways of recycling.
I started pushing the issue and with great pride I can say that we now have 5 schools actively source separating in the lunchrooms as well as more or less streaming the building waste. There are still many ways on how that can be improved and the students are the key to it all.
Education and hands on involvement is what is needed to -literally- bring the message home.
But nothing is more detrimental to a child than to see that no matter his effort to recycle, the custodian will just throw it all back together.
Education is the key, but the adult support is the lock. We cannot open the door to a more sustainable future with all its benefits without adult commitment.
I am calling for New Rochelle’s schools to increase its environmental education and I am calling for Buildings and Grounds to actually live up to Mr Quinn’s recycling mandate.
These are my remarks at last nights BOE meeting. I want to thank President Lacher for welcoming me so warmly to the microphone.
My name is Anna Giordano. I want to start out by congratulating you to the appointment of John Barnes and Melissa Passarelli as principals. Those are great people and I am sure ALMS and Webster are thriving with them.
Last week I got from you a call on my home phone, a call on my cell phone, a text on my cell phone and an email to inform me that school is about to start again. I think it is wonderful that you have embraced the technology to that extend.
I was actually blown away to hear today to what extend you are embracing new technologies and you seem to have a fabulous driver for this in this teacher who just got tenure.
Way to go!
So, how about we embrace environmental sustainability with the same vigor.
Last week, I got these two mailings. One was from Webster school. It contained 4 full sheets of single page printed documents, plus two half. It all came in a 6×9 envelope, costing 66 cents to mail.
Mr Quinn said during the budget discussions that he found a way to save $200,000 for printing. It looks like we overlooked this opportunity here. Here we could be saving 85% of the cost associated with this mailing by embracing double page printing, using normal envelopes and normal 46c letter stamps. Continue reading New Rochelle Schools Need A Driver to make Environmental Change happen
New Rochelle’s schools are producing a large amount of Garbage every day, this is not new to readers of my blog. That this garbage costs us tax payers dearly is also not new.
I proposed to the schools in order to curb waste of milk and to reduce garbage that we should institute dispensers and re-usable cups. The Foodservice Consultant told me that it could not be done easily but that she is looking into the feasibility.
That would be a wonderful step in the right direction. Right now, New Rochelle generates around 6000 cartons per day, and especially the elementary schools have a milk waste of close to 50%.
The students are learning a lot about being stewards of the world and how to reduce our foot print. They are source separating their lunchroom waste into different recyclable categories and now they are expanding into recycling other items. Did you know that empty glue sticks are recyclable? How about old cell phone, chargers, ink cartridges, broken cameras, or spent Nestle Coffee Pods?
Well…YES, they are recyclable and the students are collecting these items now in specially marked recycling drawers in the school lobby.
So, from now on, instead of tossing items into the trash, have your child bring them to school to earn Terracycle Points for our school. If you send these items in a plastic bag, we will send the bag back for you to reuse or recycle.
Please check out Terracycle.com, this company is “upcycling” our waste into fabulous new products.
Please send in:
empty Ink Cartridges,
empty glue sticks and glue bottles
broken, empty markers, pens and other writing equipment
spent Nestle Coffee pods ( have your child empty them before bringing them in please)
Thank you for helping our Earth and our school as we can put the Terracycle Points to many good uses.
What to do with that large and looming container, filled with construction debris from that bathroom or kitchen renovation? Most home owners, that have work of that sort done, order a container which costs around $550$ to be placed and the cost includes 3 tons of garbage, any additional tonnage is charged at $95 per ton, so very quickly that 20 yard container comes with a price tag of $1000.00 or more. Construction debris removal has always a hefty price tag.
Did you know that Construction debris is also fully recyclable?
I bet you didn’t.
However it is, and right here locally in New Rochelle, at 19 Cliff St, very close to Home Depot. Continue reading Construction Debris Recycling Finally Available Locally in New Rochelle
I shared this at the New Rochelle Board of Education Meeting on February 4th, 2014
I wanted to take this opportunity to express my gratitude to Dr Korostoff.
Ever since he took the helm of this school district, he has been incredibly supportive of recycling. He, as an educator, immediately understood that for children to learn to respect Earth and its resources is as important as reading and writing. As a matter of fact, it is actually called “Environmental Literacy”. That is what I want New Rochelle students to become: environmentally literate. And with that knowledge change will come to our communities. But it has to start in the schools and schools have to be the good example.
For a school to be a good example means to eliminate disposables that are used in the school, which brings me back to these dreaded Styrofoam trays, these awful plastic spork packages and other single serve packaging currently used in the schools.
You have heard from me plenty of times why Styrofoam trays are bad for the children, bad for the environment and bad for the bottom line. You have mostly gravely nodded your head in approval or maybe just out of good manners. However, the banning of Styrofoam from New Rochelle’s lunchrooms is in your hands and your hands alone. Continue reading Styrofoam Used in New Rochelle’s Lunchroom Classified as ” reasonably anticipated human carcinogen” by US Department of Health
Yesterdays BOE meeting took place at Jefferson Elementary School and the presentation given by the student was very charming. I have to say, by far the most charming I have ever seen. There was a very lovely choir, first on stage and later on the balcony, with a music teacher who was so on fire and filling the room with good energy. I had goose bumps!
Then there were 1st graders that did an outstanding presentation on Polar Bears, every one on the mic, really well done. Hats off to all teachers involved.
I also very much liked the presentation by Dr Weiss about Lice (I am actually feeling itching just typing this). Dr Weiss managed to really bring to point the misguided no-nit policy that the district had been following, but fortunately has recently abandoned. Continue reading New Rochelle School District could save $500.000 through revamping Waste Management System