Tag Archives: recycling

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.

White Plains Rochambeau Teacher ditches the straw

We Future Cycle is in the process of bringing  its lunchroom recycling program to Rochambeau, White Plains Alternative Highschool Campus. Recently we presented the program to the staff in the media center and the librarian shared with us just how easy it is to make the switch away from single use straws. She showed off her reusable cup with her metal straw.

Seeing a video about a plastic straw being removed from the nose of a loggerhead turtle was setting her into motion to research reusable straws and with just a few clicks on the internet found just how affordable they are and how easy they are to clean and to transport in one’s purse.

Being environmentally responsible is not rocket science, it just takes a tiny little bit of planning. We all make sure we have our wallet and our phone with us at all times, it is no stretch to include our reusable straw in its tiny carrier and our reusable bags that fold into a tiny ball. 71pehv-prpl._sl1500_

Yes, we can do this. And this teacher shows just how easy it is.

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 Webster 3rd graders are STEAMing into recycling

New Rochelle Webster third grade students are STEAM-ing….., into recycling that is. In a recent science and technology block 3rd graders learned all about magnets, metals and their uses.

Ms Galano, Webster’s STEAM coordinator, wanted give this knowledge a tangible context and decided to invite Anna Giordano, New Rochelle’s Recycling Coordinator to the party.

Students learned how the science of physics is used all the time in the realm of recycling. Learning how concepts of gravity, friction, magnetism and resistance are bedrock of how modern material recovery facilities (MRF) sort the different recyclables was quite eye opening for them. Magnets are used to attract ferrous materials out of the recycling stream and anti current is repulsing aluminum to be sorted. Sheer genius.

20181101_141132Currently we are working on mass, volume and weight. And there is no better activity to explore that relationship than weighing lunch waste. Students are standing in front of their neatly sorted two bags of commingled, two bags of food waste, one bag of trays, one bucket of liquids and one bag of soft plastic trash. They make predictions on what might be the heaviest based on volume and then they get down and dirty and weigh each bag, standing on the scale. Isolating the weight of the bag without the child attached brought home that math is for the usage in life, and not just a tedious thing to learn.

Students worked extensively with the balance scale, learning the concept of grams as scientific units. They weighed common packaging material, such as a plastic bottle, a milk carton and some aluminum foil and were quite surprised to realize that just a little bit of liquid left in a container makes a whole lot of difference in the weight of the item.

Capping off the lesson with an explanation on how sorting will reduce their waste to just a single small fluffy bag whereas the other bags were going to composting or recycling, reiterated the basic concept of their daily lunchroom activity.

Webster’s 3rd graders are STEAMing……. into recycling and are lovin’ it.

 

New Rochelle Columbus gets new recycling station

New Rochelle Columbus Elementary School has been a front runner in environmental consciousness. This school joined the We Future Cycle recycling program during the early stages and Assistant Principal Shelly Owens has been a steadfast supporter.

Columbus’s lunchroom is teeming with kids during lunch, a well orchestrated bee hive of age matched students. 5th grade with K, 4th with 1st ……all to ensure an oiled machine of a student buddy system for peer help.

Until recently, Columbus was rather low tech when it came to the recycling station. But no more. Since September 2018, all New Rochelle schools are sporting a gleaming stainless steel recycling table with large signage. And students and staff are loving the new look.

20181019_131138 (1)Columbus school treasures its Green Team students that are up and ready to help their fellow classmates at the stations. Donned with reusable gloves they are hard at work to make sure that each material is going into the right bin. And the work is paying off.

Waste Audits consistently show a diversion rate into recycling or composting of 95%.

Can you imagine what our world could look like if EVERY SCHOOL diverted 95% of its waste. Not only would we reduce 95% of our trash, we would also retain 95% of our resources. Food waste makes nutrient rich soil that could replace chemical fertilizer. And recycling our papers, metals and plastics reduces the energy and water consumption during production by over 90%. These numbers are staggering.

And Columbus students totally get it!