Tag Archives: milk cartons

White Plains Ridgeway Elementary School reduces garbage by 95%

White Plains Ridgeway Elementary school was chosen as one of the pilots to implement the We Future Cycle School lunch recycling program.

With enthusiastic support from Assistant Principal James Graziano  Ridgeway students learned  in assemblies that packaging is not trash but material for new things, they learned where the garbage goes when it is not sorted or recyclable, and they all agreed that they did not want to live next to a dump nor an incinerator. For good measures, they also agreed that animals probably won’t like living next to one either.

The custodial staff, under leadership of Pedro Molina, was super supportive, helping to set up the recycling station, going way out of their way to make the school a success. On Halloween a full bodied Batman was helping students at the recycling station. How fabulous is that!

Ridgeway had 124 lbs of waste of which only 6 lbs were actual trash, all other was either liquid, food waste, milk cartons or commingled recycling. A whopping 95% reduction. Now, that is truly something to write home about.

Ridgunnamed (5)eway’s parents came to “do lunch” with their children, helping to train the students in the new sorting system.  It takes active supervision and guidance to teach 700 students to sort and these parents were up to the task, fully supporting the efforts of the school to create a generation of kids that care.

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!

 

 

 

Update: Carton Recycling Integration Finally Planned for February 2016 in Westchester County

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Update:

Louis Vitrone just shared that the upgrade equipment is being purchased and a February 2016 start date is being envisioned. That is great news for  Westchester, as it will take an additional 1% of resources out of the waste stream and turn it into revenue for the County.

Original article from 2014:

Milk cartons and juice boxes are a common sight in schools, and so far they are being trashed in Westchester County. In New York City, they are part of the Commingled recycling stream.

We have worked closely with Louis Vitrone, Deputy Commissioner  and Marianne Patronella, Director for Resource Management from Westchester County Environmental Service to bring carton recycling to Westchester. Just in November another meeting between the County and the Carton Council took place to find ways to make it work.

Part of the problem is that if a material is added to a recycling stream, it can really only be recycled if it is sorted. This sorting is done by a complicated sorting system which includes among other optical scanners to identify materials and then sort it via air stream into the correct container. The optical scanner itself is available and manageable in cost, but because Westchester’s Material Recovery Facility was one of the first built, its building doesn’t lend itself to easy equipment changes and the upgrading of the system is complicated and needs proper planning.  Yesterday’s meeting was a giant step in the right direction.

Schools that are using commercial carters such as Suburban Carting can already recycle their milk cartons as it is brought to a different facility that can sort out milk cartons.

Cartons are about 1% of Westchester’s waste stream and are a very valuable resource.

Here is a little educational youtube clip how easy it can be.

Mamaroneck’s Hommocks Middle School to Join the We Future Cycle Program

Under the decisive leadership of Hommocks Middleschool Principal Dr Seth Weitzman, students will be learning hands on about sustainability. Dr Weitzman asked We Future Cycle to help with the implementation of the lunchroom as well as the building wide recycling program.

Representatives from PTA, teachers and staff took part in a meeting today to shape this upcoming environmental as well as social initiative. Dr Weitzman has been planning this well, writing and recently receiving a grant from the Mamaroneck Education Foundation to cover the cost.

Over the summer, plans will be put into place and come September 1st,  Hommocks students are going to make a big difference. According to their head custodian, the school is generating 31 bags of garbage at lunch as well as 20 bags from night clean. We expect that 90-95 percent of that can be diverted into recycling and composting.

We Future Cycle is excited to be working with Hommocks.

First Graders Write Heartwarming Thank You Notes for Bringing Recycling to Their School

We Future Cycle just finished implementing the recycling program at Blind Brook’s BMP Ridge Street Elementary School.

We just received these  heartwarming Thank You Notes from the 1st graders for bringing recycling to their school.

We are honored and very touched.

THANK YOU 1st Graders for such wonderful thoughts.

We Future Cycle to present at Bedford 2020 “Beyond Waste” Fair

b20-BeyondWaste-flyer-v7On May 13th at 6:30 to 8:30 pm, We Future Cycle is invited to be part of the Bedford 2020 Beyond Waste Fair. We will have an informational table as well as be part of a round table discussion.

We are looking forward to spreading our message to bring sustainability education into schools through hands-on source separation in the lunchrooms and buildings.

Pelham’s Colonial School In The Pelham Weekly Newspaper For Making A Difference

Colonial Fifth Graders Challenge School To “Bash The Trash”

Colonial’s fifth graders recently challenged the school to “Bash the Trash” and go litterless at lunch, reducing the trash collected every day. Parents were urged to use recyclable containers for food and drink (containers that could be returned home, washed  and reused). At the end of the challenge, the fifth graders plan to tell the school how much the trash was reduced, based on data they collected. Their hope is to leave a “littlerless legacy” at Colonial when they graduate.

Please see full published “The Pelham Weekly” article here:

http://www.pelhamplus.com/news/schools/collection_b8f059da-ac9e-11e4-a787-2f29c82bf329.html

Environmental Goals for Westchester in 2015, let’s do this!

With 2014 being such an incredible year we are looking forward to 2015 and the positive change it can bring to Westchester schools.

My personal wish list for 2015 is

1. Implementing We Future Cycle’s School Lunch and Building-Wide Recycling and Composting Program to 10 More School Districts in 2015, even if it is just in one pilot school per district. Implementing these programs is very do-able, but working with experts is critical to ensure a successful implementation. Results will speak for themselves and that will hopefully lead to district-wide implementation in many Westchester School districts.

Just imagine, if one school reduces its garbage from 22 bags per day down to less then 1/4 bag per day, what kind of impact this will have if 10 more districts will join the program. And just imagine all those students going back home to their parents and sharing their enthusiasm to save the world.

2. Creating the First Leaf and Food-Waste Composting Site in Westchester. So far, only very few communities are composting their leaves, most are trucking them to Rockland County at great expense in fossil fuel consumption, labor and heavy equipment on our streets. So far, no community is doing larger scale, organized food waste composting instead nature’s valuable resource is treated as trash, plastic bagged and burnt. The good news is that several communities are now studying how to solve this problem. We are proud to be on the forefront with them.

3. Integrating Sustainability Education into Curriculum. We have done numerous environmental projects with individual schools such as green writing contests, waste free snack education, TerraCycle Ambassador programs, kindergarten recycling sorting games and it shows again and again, that when students are made aware early of their personal ability to create environmental change, that the ripple effect through the community is amazing.

Some Schools are Ditching Milk Cartons for Milk Dispenser

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%.

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