Tag Archives: wefuturecycle

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.

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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!

Research: Longer Lunch Periods Mean Healthier Eating and Less Waste

According to a new study published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, students with 20 minutes or fewer to eat at lunchtime rarely finish their meal and make unhealthier food choices.

While most elementary school children have about 30 minute lunch periods in the U.S., some spend much of their lunch period standing in line waiting to get their lunch.  We often see students come to the source separation station to recycle and compost leftovers with only a few bites of their lunch consumed.  When we ask why they didn’t eat more sometimes they say they didn’t like the food; however just as frequently they will say “I didn’t have time to eat everything.”

[Read the full article here]

This response confuses school administrators, as it would seem that 30 minutes is sufficient for a child to each lunch.  However, we have observed that students spend a lot of their lunch period talking, as it is often the first opportunity during the school day that they can relax and talk with their friends.  Socializing often takes priority to eating!

The research – and We Future Cycle – offer recommendations about how to reduce lunchroom waste and to encourage healthier eating.  Designing lunchrooms and lunch schedules to reduce wait times on lunch lines, and to offer as extensive lunch periods as possible, are constructive ideas.  While recycling and composting is great, the best way to reduce waste is to not create it!

Senator Latimer supports We Future Cycle Program implementation throughout NY

We Future Cycle is honored to have its lunchroom recycling program endorsed by Senator George Latimer. He took time from his busy schedule to visit a We Future Cycle Recycling implementation at BMP Ridge Street School in Rye Brook, NY, and he has also met with our team to discuss grant opportunities.

Thank you Senator Latimer for your public support.

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Waste Management in Germany, 87% recycling rate

3,w=650,c=0.bildIn Germany, Source Separation is old news, everybody does it . And I mean

E V E R Y  B O D Y!

It is working because Germany applied country wide the same strategy.  German households, and buildings are all set up the same way. Everybody is sorting food waste into the  brown “BioTonne”, Paper into the “Blue Bin” , all packaging into the “Yellow Bin” and then there is the black bin for left over garbage.

The pick up schedule is set up to reward recycling and to penalize garbage. Country wide food waste pick up takes place once per week, Paper and Packaging Materials are alternating once per week and the left over garbage is only picked up once per month. Each bin has a bar code and is read at point of pick up. The cost per consumer is calculated by weight whereas food waste and recycling has a very low per pound fee, and remaining garbage a very high per pound fee.

The keys to success were

1.  consistent signage, consistent colors of bins

2. supervision at point of collection (oops stickers, and ultimately fines for non compliance)

3. pay per throw via bar code,  per pound cost differentiated by material.

4. Bio Digesters for food waste management .

The results are just amazing.

KSzectF (1)In Numbers:  Germany generates some 50 million tons of waste per year from its 82.5 million people.  87% of that waste is recycled through household and industrial source separation.

Construction debris is only accepted source separated to particular standards.

Grocery stores are required to offer disposal of hard to recycle materials and with that came a revolution in packaging, as suddenly the point of sale was responsible for what it put on its shelves.

There are no active landfills in Germany, a few incinerators are dealing with the remaining 13% of left over garbage.  Italy is sending its trash to Germany for incineration, and Germany is actually harvesting that trash from its recyclables before sending it to the incinerator.

And the absolute best is, that it is now cost efficient to harvest old landfills, which is starting to happen in several areas all over Germany.

A true example of what can be possible if everybody is seeing the greater good, rather then the quick buck for some selected few.

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.”

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.