Tag Archives: environmentaleducation

New Rochelle Isaac Young’s Green Team in motion

New Rochelle School District is running the We Future Cycle recycling program for over 6 years now, working its way up the grades. First all the elementary schools then the middle schools and lastly the highschool 2 years ago. Together, 11.500 students are sorting their waste every single day. In the lunchroom and in their classrooms.

Isaac E Young MS has a vibrant Green Team and under the leadership of their Green Team coordinator as well as the head custodian William Coleman, a well oiled recycling machine was created.

20190125_143655Twice per week, teachers put out in the hallway their blue and green recycling bins with carefully sorted materials. Green Team students grab large rolling toters and go from classroom to classroom to collect the materials for recycling.

It creates ownership of the process for the building, the custodial staff appreciates the help and is sponsoring a pizza party for green team members on a regular basis and the kids feel empowered to be part of the solution. A win-win all around. We Future Cycle is proud to be part of this process.

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White Plains Post Rd Students working hard to support recycling

White Plains School district has adopted the We Future Cycle recycling program 4 years ago and most of their elementary school population has now seen only to carefully sort their lunchwaste into compostable, recyclable and non recyclable materials. Achieving everyday a 97% reduction.

Post Rd was particularly successful reducing its garbage from 277 lbs per lunch to a mere 5 lbs. Here is a picture of the proud principal Jessie Ossorio after the first lunch with just one fluffy little bag.

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Post Road elementary schools bright and inviting lunchroom welcomes 2 grades at a time to the right and the left of the center aisle. Each grade has their own recycling station and students are invited by the head custodian Rob Dell’Orletta to come up and help at the station, once done with eating.

And boy…. do they take him up on that offer. Every single lunch period, especially the littlest grades are eager to help and shoulder to shoulder they are standing to help their classmates through the process. Mr Dell’Orletta just smiles and confirms that this is an every day event.

It is heartwarming to see these eager faces, their unflinching commitment to the cause, calling Mr Dell’Orletta over when a classmate made a mistake and they cannot reach the offending material to remove.  When I asked them what they were doing, they answered “we are saving the world”, and sure thing! that is what these troopers are doing, every single day.

New Rochelle Barnard students are detectives of packaging material

New Rochelle Barnard students are fabulous waste sorters. The whole school populations has never seen anything but carefully separating their lunch waste into excess liquid, food waste, and recyclable and non-recyclable packaging.

Students know to walk up to the recycling station after lunch and sort their left overs, under the caring and watchful eye of Nick, the lunchroom cleaner.

Recently, We Future Cycle presenters were invited to play some more with the students all around sustainability and material identification.

Knowing what is recyclable and what not is the key to doing it right. Wishful recycling, as in just putting stuff into the green bin, is actually counter productive and creates many problems at the material recovery facility in Yonkers.

Students sat in front of a large pile of common packaging material of all types and were playfully “helping” the presenter to place the items into the correct bin. Most rigid packaging materials made out of plastics, aluminum, carton or glass are fully recyclable in Westchester County.

We Future Cycle shared with the adults in the room that Styrofoam contains Styrene, which is now a classified human carcinogen and banned in New York City, with legislation on the books in Albany to make it a state wide ban.

Students also learned that it is easy to avoid making trash. We Future Cycle presenters shared with them just how much they personally did not like to create trash.

Students learned that -oh big surprise- gold fish taste the same if they are packaged in a plastic zip lock baggie or in a reusable container. After learning about where the trash goes and that baggies end up in the trash, every single one of them responsibly voted that reusable containers are a much better choice for our world.

A harder sell were juice pouches. Juice pouches are one of the worst packaging offenders in existence. Valuable aluminum foil is sandwiched between two layers of plastic. Unrecyclable and thus adding to the whopping 2500 tons of trash generated in Westchester County every single day. All for 2 min of sugar laced drink. Students learned and agreed, that a reusable water bottle is a much better idea for our world.

 

 

Why Recycling and Energy Efficiency go hand in hand….. to save our Earth

We Future Cycle is working actively in the New Rochelle schools to educate students about recycling and material management. Students are sorting their lunch waste every day and by now it is normal business. They know that plastics go in that bin, food and paper goes over there and only soft plastics are placed in trash.
They learned they are diverting 97% of their waste. In the elementary schools, these reduction numbers don’t really get a wow from the students, but from middle school on, there is the dawning of some understanding of the scope. Students also learn in classroom session what happens to the different materials that they sort out. These presentation really cement that sorting will become second nature and transfers to other times in their lives.
We Future Cycle is now including energy efficiency awareness training, afterall energy efficiency is effectively the REDUCE in the 3 Rs.
27625287_1711151925595102_1401935894197184112_oBecause of course, Energy efficiency is nothing else than energy management on a personal level. Energy that is being created at environmental cost, provided  and used, but ultimately wasted is a burden on our pocket book and a burden on the environment.
Energize New Rochelle can help home owners to assess their own homes in terms of how energy efficient they are. We all are spending a significant amount per month to heat and cool our homes and on average, we could save 30% of that cost by following some simple steps.
Learn more about how you can become energy efficient and save money (and save the environment) by signing up for a free or reduced cost Home Energy Assessment with Energize New Rochelle.

 

Saving the environment and our pocket book goes hand in hand.

New Rochelle Ward School recycles boxes and boxes of markers

Once a week, a swarm of green team students are fanning out over the New Rochelle Ward Elementary building to collect used up markers from each classroom.

Students have learned that most materials can be recycled if they are just sorted properly and under the leadership of Mr Nodiff, the science teacher,  boxes and boxes of markers are diverted from the incinerator to be shipped to Crayola for recycling.

Never underestimate kid power when it comes to creating change!

White Plains MAS students learn about what happens to their recyclables

White Plains elementary students know all about recycling. No wonder, all schools are participating for years in the We Future Cycle recycling program, sorting their waste in the lunchroom and thus diverting 97% into recycling and composting streams. Mamaroneck Avenue School is a particularly well oiled machine thanks to the super supportive administration and a head custodian fully on board.

However, even though these youngsters are masters of the sorting, when asked what happens to the material, their answer comes a bit hesitantly….”it is getting recycled…?”, the statement more like a question than an answer.

We Future Cycle had recently the opportunity to share the inner workings of a Material Recovery Facility with grade 3, 4 and 5. Students learned in auditorium presentations how the world of science dominates the sorting process by using friction, gravity, magnetism, anti-current. sensors and motion. They learned that materials can only be recycled if they are sorted so cleanly into just THE ONE type of material. They learned about optical scanners, contamination and wishful recycling and they were stunned into silence while learning what it takes to make some of those everyday materials. Can you imagine an auditorium filled with third graders in unison gasping of disbelieve and then stunned silence?

Learning about the environmental foot print of materials is the key to waste reduction. We Future Cycle empowers students to share that message with their caregivers. Nothing is more frustrating to a child that just learned to embrace sustainability, only to find non-recyclable stuff in their lunchbox every day. MAS students pledged to be agents of change in their community. Way to go!

New Rochelle Columbus lunch monitor adds artistic detail to recycling station

Meet Gloria, a wonderful lunch monitor at New Rochelle Columbus Elementary school. For nearly 3 hours, every day, she smiles at her students, opens endless milk cartons for them, helps with anything and all around eating lunch and then is the driving force to make sure that Columbus students sort their lunch waste according to the We Future Cycle system. She is passionate about saving the environment and found her calling to make sure things run smoothly in that very busy lunchroom.

The lunchroom features two recycling stations, neatly signed with large colorful posters, but Gloria added a wonderful personal and artistic touch to it, by taking the actual materials and creating a cute mobile to be hung right over the opening as yet another visual reminder for correct sorting.

Thank you Gloria for making Columbus’ station special.