Tag Archives: environmentaleducation

White Plains Church St Elementary School Nearly At Zero Waste

White Plains Church St Elementary School under the leadership of Principal Myra Castillo and Assistant Principal Merle Jackson have reached nearly Zero Waste  with only 3 lbs of trash from nearly 700 students in the lunchroom.  Outstanding!

Ms Castillo knew that this program can only work if all departments work together for a common goal. She allowed time for food service, facilities, teachers and teachers aids to be trained on why the We Future Cycle recycling program is so valuable for the social development of the students.

And both Ms Castillo and Ms Jackson are putting their money where their mouth is and are actively participating in teaching the students on how to sort.

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33 lbs of compostable trays sorted out

The system is easy. First the students empty their left over liquids into the bucket, sorting the container into either milk cartons or commingled, then all remaining plastic is sorted into commingled, all food waste and paper products are dumped into compost and the tray is stacked neatly. Done.

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42.5 lbs of compostable food waste

Church St had a whopping 76 lbs of excess liquid, a large bag of commingled, 2 large bags of milk cartons, 75.5 lbs of compostable material and only 3 lbs of trash, that is 1.7%. Nearly Zero Waste!

6 students helped with the weighing and counting. Thank you

Only the students that bring lunch from home in disposable packaging are contributing to trash. Non recyclable are chip bags, drink pouches, soft plastic wrappers, sandwich baggies, go go squeeze packaging and things along those lines. Next steps will be to actively involve parents to be part of the zero waste solution.

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Smiling head custodian Jody Raynor helping students sort

A huge shout out to Head Custodian Jody Raynor, whose support in this program is invaluable. He is being called  ” Mr Smiles” by the students.  Trust me, I am not making this up.  He does smile all the time, while helping the students to sort. Truly WAY TO GO!

Church St Elementary School is a prime example on how support by all departments can lead to something as fabulous as nearly zero waste.

 

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Joining We Future Cycle To Make A Difference

Enid Blount Press joined WeFutureCycle to help be part of the solution of recycling and composting in the schools in 2015.

Enid is a mom and a professional musician.

On the day her 2nd Grade daughter came home, distraught that the school had brought back Styrofoam trays in the lunchroom, she decided to call the school system and ask what their plan was for bringing back compostable trays.  Their response was that the cardboard trays would be back 5 months later, in the fall.   Joining Anna Giordano, who was behind getting the Styrofoam out of the schools, was her next step.

Enid now helps in the New Rochelle school system as well as other schools with the composting and recycling in the lunchrooms.  Enid is “thrilled to help tackle the waste” and provide a better environmental education for our community along with her colleagues.

We Future Cycle is extremely proud to have Enid. She immediately jumped into action by joining the implementation at the White Plains Church St Elementary School.

White Plains Church St Students are learning about “away”

When you say ” I am throwing something away” , where is “away”?

That is a question  students at Church St Elementary school learned the answer to. And they didn’t like it, not one bit.

Looking at pictures of land fills and incinerators brought even the littlest students to a open mouthed gasp.  November 6th 2015 was launch date of the We Future Cycle Recycling program at Church St and it started with assemblies to all students in the auditorium. In a lively presentation, students learned to look differently at packaging material. What they first considered trash, they saw later as raw material for new things, the premise of recycling.  What they first saw as a yummy snack, they later saw as food that created trash because of its unrecyclable packaging.  They also learned just how much garbage is generated at a school, something they had never thought of before. And they learned, that most of what they generate can be recycled if it was just sorted out. Now they are chomping at the bit to start sorting.

DSCN19056 Safety Squat students were chosen to assist with the “before recycling” waste audit. They stood open mouthed in front of the 15 bags of bulging trash. They weighed each bag, we calculated totals, looked at median bag weights, offered suggestions why some bags were much heavier then others, while not being necessarily more bulky.  Suggestions included that the bags may have come from younger students as there was more heavy food and more left over liquid in these bags.

Church St generated that day 15 bags of trash, weighing a total of 204 lbs. Anna Giordano, from We Future Cycle, asked the students to imagine what a ton of garbage looked like. Step by step, the students worked to identify that 200  of their own lunchroom bags would equal 2000 lbs. Upon learning that Westchester Ct generates more then 2300 tons of garbage per day, one boy sadly commented “and that is just Westchester”. A very mature deduction from a 5th grader.

From Monday Nov 9th, Church St students will be separating their lunchroom waste into waste liquid, milk cartons, commingled and food waste and the students are looking forward to diverting an estimated 90% away from trash and into recycling.

Church St is all geared up to make a difference. Way to go!

 

 

 

Hastings: Astonishing First Year Results from We Future Cycle Program

IMG_0258Can you imagine 110 times the amount of garbage as in this picture? Well, this is what Hastings-on-Hudson school district has not generated in the past year thanks the robust We Future Cycle recycling program it adopted last year. About 22 tons.

Thanks to the endless energy and support of Maureen Carabello, Treasurer, as well as the two head custodians in the elementary school and the middle/high school Hastings can look proudly upon major accomplishments.

Both buildings reduced their garbage so significantly that they reduced the number of dumpster by 50% and were able to renegotiate a $2000.00 reduction in their pick up cost.

Custodial staff was also able to reduce their plastic bag usage and purchases by 50% which is an expense often overlooked.

Truly an astonishing first year results. Hats off to Hastings-on-Hudson.

We Future Cycle and Eco Pel join forces to bring Textile Recycling to Pelham Town Clean up

P1000843On October 24th at 10 am 60 Pelham residents arrived, ready to tackle the problem of litter. EcoPel, the organizer, joined forces with We Future Cycle to include in this 4th year clean up, also textile recycling.

As grassroots, non-partisan organization in Pelham NY concerned with environmental issues, it is important to get the message out, and this year EcoPel is concentrating on schools and textiles.   There is a ground swell of concerned citizens and EcoPel was pleased to have this fantastic turn out.

unnamed (3)A make shift donation area supervised by students was set up and loads of textiles were brought to be recycled, rather then being disposed of in the trash. These textiles went into a Spin Green Textile recycling bin at the Columbus Elementary School in New Rochelle. A win win situation. Pelham was able to divert textile from the waste, educated their citizens and Columbus is able to receive the revenue from the bin for their students.

EcoPel successfully integrated the use social media to spread the word to the adults in the Pelham community as well as the local papers.  This year EcoPel also integrated the local church into their campaign, as the event was featured on the weekly church bulletin.

All of Pelhams High School and Middle Scholl students are required to complete community service hours to graduate.   EcoPel contacted many teachers and guidance counselors at the schools to get the word out to the students.  At the events the names of the participating students were collected so appropriate credit can be given.

unnamed (1)A success event, due to diligent work of the EcoPel members getting the word out, and now the knowledge that textiles are recyclable is starting to grow roots.  Way to go!

Cash For Columbus School Writing Competition Winners

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Columbus Elementary School was the proud winner for the coveted Nina Chin Writing Contest Grant. Mrs. Nunez, Principal, gave 3rd, 4th and 5th graders the opportunity to participate by writing an essay to the Topic “I can make a difference”. 145 students rose to the challenge, an outstanding level of participation, thanks to two teachers Ms Costa and Ms Alexander-Zahn, who went from class to class to promote the contest.

On June 15th at 10:00, the auditorium was filled with excited students. Who snagged the top prizes per grade?

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The ceremony began with a presentation by 11 students sharing information about Columbus’ recycling program. Students shared that they learned that they can make a big difference by sorting their waste into different categories, they were proud to have weighed the materials and realized that instead of making 400 lbs or garbage, they only made 8 lbs and all the rest is now raw material for new things.

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A second grader said that she is now the recycling specialist in her house and is teaching her mom about it. A kindergarten student  loudly proclaimed that we only have one Earth and she will make sure that all her friends are taking care of it with her.

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A sideways glance to the dignitaries Derrik and Jean Chin, Irene Schindler and Rev. Jennie Talley showed that they were very moved, clutching tissues.

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Sonia Nunez, Principal

The second part of the celebration was Mrs. Nunez calling one by one the runner ups and winners per grade up to the front to receive their certificate and their envelope with the cash prize. While the kids came up, some excerpts of their essay was shared.

Some truly powerful statements came from these young minds.

Mia Torres shared in her essay that she wants to help the environment because when she looks outside, she sees plastic bags in the trees. She doesn’t like that because the trees help us breathe.

Jasmin Alvarez very wisely said “Live like every day is Earthday!”

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Mia Torres, 3rd grade

And Willy Hidalgo says; ” to make Earth green we have to care for it. We also have to clean up liter and garbage, even if it is not yours!”

Willy, you are SO right! Well said.

Michelle Oliveros thought long term, an outstanding achievement for a 5th grader. She said; ” We have to keep the Earth clean for our future families. We also have to let our families know about recycling and reusing. It is all about our Earth.”

Larchmont Green Expo, A Great Success

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWe  Future Cycle had a vendor table at the Larchmont Green Expo, what a wonderful event. It was very well attended and many visitor were very interested in what we are doing.

Ashley was using magic to lure them to our table (we had a plate with Girl Scout cookies……) and while munching they learned about the program.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASimultaneously we ran a recycling sorting game for the children, and it was very heart warming to see how much some children already knew.