Tag Archives: wefuturecycle

How Much is Actually “a Ton of Garbage”?

Garbage costs money.  However only very few people actually know how much it costs and what a ton looks like. Very few of us think further then to the curb.

Let’s look at school garbage a little closer. A school with 830 students generated 23 large black bags of garbage every lunch, the total weight of those bags is 398.5 lbs.

This is what 23 bags look like. IMG_0258 Now that we know what about 400 lbs of garbage looks like, lets think about it.

A ton of garbage costs the tax payer around $80.00 to just dump it onto the tipping floor of the Incinerator, the big trash burning facility up in Peekskill. 400 lbs is a fifth of a ton.  So, imagine 5 times the amount you see, or 115 bags of trash. Clearly the $80 per ton does not represent the only cost of garbage. This material has to be put in bags, then brought outside into the dumpster, then loaded by workers into diesel fuel guzzling trucks (about 2.5 miles per gallon of diesel), driven to a transfer station, dumped there, then loaded onto large trucks and driven 50 miles up north to be dumped onto the tipping floor of the incinerator. And then it is burnt into our air. I get dizzy just looking at how often this material needs to be touched and handled for it “to go away”. It takes that much time and effort to “just throw something away”.

We just started the School lunch recycling program in this school and the kids sorted their lunchwaste into liquids, commingled, milk cartons, compost and trash. The results were astounding. unnamed

Out of the previous 398.5 lbs, only 8 lbs were actually non recyclable. That means that 98% of the material is recyclable.  So, “just throwing it away” is not just costing us a lot of money, but in fact, we use tax payer money to burn materials that we could easily sell for a profit. unnamed (2)

This is what 10 lbs of commingled looks like. Some math on the value of commingled. 1 ton of plastic PETE 1 sells from the Yonkers MRF for around $800. (the cost is market driven, oil dependent and is fluctuating). 10 lbs of plastic (to simplify this calculation, it is all the same resin) 2000 lbs of plastics sell for $800.00 10 lbs = $4.00 Milk cartons sell for $450 per ton. 30 lbs = $6.75 IMG_0278And this is what 15 lbs of milk cartons look like, we had two of these bags. And two full 5 gallon buckets with waste liquid weighing 74 lbs. That means we use fossil fuels to truck liquids 50 miles north just to burn them, rather then sending them down the drain? By far the heaviest was the food waste. 180 lbs of wasted food from 800 kids, plus about 50 lbs of untouched never opened food that was placed into the share basket. Clearly, a ton of garbage is a lot, but as you can see, only 2% of it is actually non recyclable.

So, our convenience to “just throw it away” costs us all dearly. Not just as hard cash but also at great environmental expense.

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.

Senator George Latimer Visits We Future Cycle School Recycling Implementation

IMG_0128Five eager 5th graders from the Blind Brook’s BMP Ridge Street Elementary school’s Green Team were very proud to present the results from the recent implementation of the We Future Cycle School Recycling Program to Senator George Latimer, BOE President Jeff Diamond and Rye Town Councilwoman Christina Collins.

Everybody listened attentively as the students described how they conducted a waste audit in the lunchroom and learned that Ridge St Elementary school regularly generated 12 large garbage bags weighing a total of 186lbs and Senator Latimer expressed amazement when they shared with him that after source separation only 8lbs of trash are remaining (4% of the total waste).  All the other materials are diverted into recycling and composting.

Senator Latimer was also interested in learning how this program could be brought to additional Westchester County schools.

The Blind Brook Board of Education was instrumental in getting the district to adopt the We Future Cycle program and BOE President Jeff Diamond was very pleased to see the system up and running so amazingly well. Councilwoman Christina Collins, who also chairs the Rye Town Sustainability Initiative, has been supportive of the program from the first moment she heard about it and is delighted to see it in action.  The Blind Brook PTA sponsored the program in the district, and many PTA members volunteered during the first few weeks to get everything running smoothly.  Thank you to everyone for the support!

 

We Future Cycle’s Bash The Trash Documentary showing in Pelham Picture House on April 22, 6:30 pm

On April 22nd 2015 at 6:30, the curtain will rise to show the documentary filmed about the Bash The Trash Legacy Project created and supervised by We Future Cycle in the Colonial Elementary School in Pelham. We are so excited and hope you can all join us for this event.

maxresdefault-e1429033807574Also shown will be “Devide in Concord”, the tale of the battle to ban the plastic bottle.

The Pelham Picture house is located at 175 Wolfs Ln, Pelham, NY 10803.

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.

We Future Cycle Joined Forces with Creative Change Educational Solutions to Bring STEM Based Environmental Education Into The Classroom

creative-change-education-systems-logoCreative Change Educational Solutions Founder and Executive Director Susan Satone asked herself in 2002:

What do you do if you’re a teacher and everything you’re passionate about is largely absent from the curriculum?

This is the dilemma I faced more than 20 years ago when I was teaching in the public schools. I had discovered sustainability through the issue of world hunger and was desperately searching for a way to bring these issues into my teaching. I wanted to inspire students and develop their skills in addressing global issues. And that’s when I decided to start Creative Change. I wanted to build an organization focused on supporting educators to teach effectively about sustainability. I wanted to equip people with quality curr5iculum that supports inquiry, engagement and action. 

We Future Cycle’s mission is to bring sustainability awareness to students, as young as kindergarten. Children can learn that their choices, their actions count and can make a big difference. We know that doing hands-on source separation in the lunchroom needs to be backed up with class room activities. We created the 2 week “Bash the Trash” program where  a 10 day curriculum is tying each step of the program into ELA, Math, Social Studies and Science.

Creative Change Educational Solutions graciously supplied us with cutting edge, STEM oriented lesson units, helping teachers to incorporate sustainability education into the mainstream curriculum.

For more information on Creative Change Educational Solutions, go to      CREATIVECHANGE.NET

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

We Future Cycle and The Science Barge Teaming up for local Elementary school

We Future Cycle and The Science Barge are teaming up to bring environmental education and hands-on every day source separation to a local elementary school. The program is sponsored by the school’s PTA and championed by the principal.

Jennifer Sloan, Director of Education of The Science Barge, gave the introductory presentation to the students.  Neatly sitting and attentive were 150 students ranging from Kindergarten to 5th grade, listening to the fascinating story of garbage through times.

Slide From Ms Sloan's presentation
Slide From Ms Sloan’s presentation

Did you know there were once “Piggeries” in New York? Pigs were kept in Central Park and were let out at night to roam the city and eat the garbage off the streets.  The kids were giggling to no end when the presentation included a cartoon piggy, um, leaving its own waste on the street, illustrating that pigs roaming the street may not be the best waste management solution after all!

Ms. Sloan very skillfully and with great energy combined science with social studies explaining what garbage is, why it is a problem, and how kids can be empowered to tackle this problem. It was heart-warming to see how attentive and engaged the students were to her presentation.

We Future Cycle guided the students through a Waste Audit as well as a Waste Analysis. Students counted, charted, weighed and identify what waste is being generated at school.

After establishing the current waste situation, the students helped setting up a recycling station to sort the materials into left over liquid, milk cartons, commingled, compost, trays and remaining trash.

It was eye-opening for students and staff to see the mountains of untouched food sorted out, that was normally going straight in the garbage. In this sOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAchool with 300 students, there were 63 pieces of fruit, 73 pre-packaged vegetables, 15 apple sauce containers and 3 milks completely untouched. We Future Cycle is now helping this school to donate this food to a local agency.

The wonderfully supportive custodial staff was all aghast to see that their usual 10 bags of garbage was reduced to 1/4 bag of loose softplastic anOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAd single service wrappers. All the rest went into recycling, composting or reusable avenues.

The Science Barge, a Floating Urban Farm in Yonkers

Jennifer Sloan, Director of Education, The Science Barge, teaching students about garbage and recycling
Jennifer Sloan, Director of Education, The Science Barge, teaching students about garbage and recycling

We Future Cycle and The Science Barge are working together to bring Environmental Education to Westchester Schools.

Creating Change is all about showing alternatives. That is exactly the mission of the Science Barge in Yonkers.

girl-with-Lettuce-600x449The Science Barge is a prototype sustainable urban farm developed by NY Sun Works and acquired by Groundwork Hudson Valley in October, 2008 to be operated as an environmental education center.

IMGP4719-600x450The Science Barge greenhouse, floating on the Hudson River, grows an abundance of fresh produce including tomatoes, melons, greens, and lettuce with zero net carbon emissions, zero pesticides, and zero runoff. All of the energy needed to power the Barge is generated by solar panels, wind turbines, and biofuels while the hydroponic greenhouse is irrigated solely by collected  rainwater and purified river water, thus operating completely “off the grid.”

It is the only fully functioning demonstration of renewable energy supporting sustainable food production in New York. It is now docked in downtown Yonkers just north of the Yonkers Pier.

Check them out, they are fabulous!

http://www.groundworkhv.org/programs/science-barge/

 

 

FiOS1 News Story on We Future Cycle Program in Hastings

We Future Cycle is proud to be featured on FiOS 1 News by reporter Christina Chiarelli, who was on site at Hastings’ Hillside Elementary School.  Ms. Chiarelli spoke with the school’s head custodian, George Giannone, aide Kim Osborne, and many students about how the program has dramatically reduced lunchroom waste.

As well, interviews with the students’ demonstrated how much they have learned about recycling from participating in the program!  Hands-on recycling and composting give kids a tangible understanding of how their actions have an impact on the environment.

Watch the broadcast by clicking here or on the image below:

Fios newscaster