Tag Archives: Styrofoam trays

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.


750 New York City Schools Are Source Separating

Composting pictureNew York City is showing America that it can be done. Children of 750 New York City public schools are learning source separation in their cafeterias. They will learn that “waste free starts with me” by being responsible for their lunchroom waste.

Way to go!


Eastchester Elementary School Is Awarded Green Ribbon Award for Recycling in Washington

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAEastchester’s Ann Hutchinson Elementary School has just been awarded the Green Ribbon Award.

This award acknowledges the school’s achievements in taking a comprehensive approach to green schools. The areas encompassed by the award include reduced environmental impact and costs, improved health and wellness, and effective environmental and sustainability education. U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan stated that The Anne Hutchinson School is a model of excellence and achievement in these Pillars for all other schools to follow.

Ann Hutch was  commended for the  school’s commitment to environmental stewardship, health, and sustainability and for inspiring our entire school community to aim high.

Dave O’Neil , the 5th grade teacher and driving force behind this wonderful program has been invited to celebrate Ann Hutch’s accomplishments during a nOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAational recognition event on July 22nd, 2014 in Washington D.C.

This school is following the School lunch Recycling Program  and thanks to Dave O’Neil has been showing off its remarkable success  to other schools in Westchester. This school truly buzzes with green energy. We had several organized tours and many districts are inspired to also implement the program. Make no mistake, the students are fully in-charge of the program and the tour. Be prepared to have 4th or 5th grade students tell you all about saving the world, how and what to recycle, how and what to compost and what compost is all good for. If weather permits, one even gets to view the butterfly garden, adjacent to some of the compost bins.

The Ann Hutch Website has the following write up about the Award


“I would like to acknowledge and thank Dave O’Neil, fifth grade teacher for spearheading our initiative to recycle and compost, Vidya Bhat, reading specialist for co-writing the Green Ribbon Award Application, and John Condon for ensuring that our facility follows all the guidelines for energy efficiency.  Most of all, I am grateful to the students and staff of the Anne Hutchinson school for working together to produce a sustainable and healthy school environment, ensuring the environmental literacy of all our graduates….it truly “takes a village”. “

Yonkers considering Styrofoam ban and School Lunch Recycling Program

Last night We Future Cycle had the opportunity to present the school lunch recycling program to the City Council of Yonkers.


Yonkers is the fourth most populous city in New York State with 24,000 students in 39 schools. All schools are using exclusively EPS (Styrofoam) disposable trays.  Which means every school is producing depending on size between 15 – 30 bags of garbage per lunch.

Every. School.  Every. Single. Day.


Councilman Michael Sabatino is trying to change that. He has proposed to eliminate all single use food Styrofoam items over the next two years.  A wonderful proposal.

The School Lunch Recycling Program offered by We Future Cycle changes the way schools organize lunch. Instead of teaching the kids to “just throw it out”, students are taught to empty extra liquids into a bucket and sort their drink container, then students empty their left over food into the compost bucket and stack their tray. Simple. Continue reading Yonkers considering Styrofoam ban and School Lunch Recycling Program

Westchester County Board of Legislator Endorses School Lunch Recycling Program


On March 31, 2014, I was so proud to present the School Lunch Recycling Program to the Westchester County Board of Legislators, Committee for Energy and Environment.

Legislator Catherine Parker invited Anne Jeffe Holmes, Director of Programming at the Greenburgh Nature Center, Jean Bonhatal from the Cornell Waste Management Institute and myself, Anna Giordano, to share programs in place in Westchester working towards the final frontier of Food Waste Management.

Here is the video coverage of the event.

The Legislators were very interested and assured us that they will carefully look at how they can create infrastructure in Westchester to facilitate local Food waste management.

Right now, only Suburban Carting offers commercial food waste hauling to an out-of-county facility.

But food waste is black gold and we really need to keep it in Westchester to benefit from it.

New Rochelle Elementary School Sorts Out Compost, Recycling, Garbage reduced from 22 bags down to less then 1/4 bag

New Rochelle’s Trinity Elementary school is the first school in the District to sort out all compostable and recyclable items from the lunchroom. The results were simply amazing. Dr Korostoff, New Rochelle’s superintendent, is personally overlooking and supporting its implementation.

New Rochelle’s food service provider Whitson has been very helpful in eliminating items from the lunchroom that were problematic to sort.

The We Future Cycle school lunch recycling program is very simple, the children empty their left over drinks into a bucket, then sort the drink container, they empty their left over food into the compost and they stack their trays. Any untouched food items go into the share basket, any extra plastic goes with the plastics. Done!


The only thing left in the regular trash are very soiled plastic bags, ripped chip bags or yogurt pouches. That is IT! Continue reading New Rochelle Elementary School Sorts Out Compost, Recycling, Garbage reduced from 22 bags down to less then 1/4 bag