The NRRA School Recycling Club

Northeast Resource Recovery Association

School News You Can Use – April, 2020






Click HERE to view PDF




Due to public health concerns, we have made the difficult decision to cancel our Annual Conference.

We encourage everyone at home to “Think Outside the Bin” and continue to recycle in celebration of Earth Day!






Permission Granted to Come Aboard our SHIP

FREE Recycling Lessons Now Available!

We are proud to announce that we have launched our SHIP (Supporting Home Instruction Program)! This FREE series of recycling lessons is available to all teachers, parents and students.

We are taking lessons from our 3R’s of the Common Core and Teaching Toxics curricula, adding activities, videos and games to provide a diverse weekly lesson. Just go to our Teacher Resources Tab to access them!



Our FREE recycling lessons are being made available due to the generous support of NH the Beautiful!

We look forward to presenting our workshops and technical assistance programs when schools are cleared to reopen.  Until then, we hope you will use these lessons and our newsletters to keep current with “all things recycling!”



Announcing our Newly Combined NRRA/CLUB Facebook Page!

Like us on Facebook!

As part of our on-going mission of providing a “one-stop shopping” experience for our readers, we have combined the School Recycling CLUB and NRRA Facebook pages. Please visit us at our new digs: We hope you “like” us and “follow” us!    

Welcome Renewing Member



Lancaster Elementary School


  • Lancaster, NH
  • 405 Students
  • PK-8


What has your recycling club (or transfer station) been up to?

Send us your pictures and we’ll share them in our next newsletter!





Compost Bin Sale Moving Ahead!



Due to popular demand, we are proceeding with our Compost Bin sale this year!

For details on how to order, go to:




Need a Sign for Your School or Facility?

Did you know . . . that NH towns can get free recycling signage through NH the Beautiful?


Towns are allotted a certain number of points each year which they can use for standard town or school signs.


Check with your local Transfer Station or contact for details on point status and eligibility.




Planning an Event This Year? Reserve a Can Cage or RecycleMobile! (PRAPSE We Can Help!)


Thanks to the generous sponsorship of NRRA, NRRA’s School Recycling CLUB and Schnitzer Steel Industries, Inc., the Can Cages (2) are available for loan to member schools for FREE!

For more information CLICK HERE or contact Programs Coordinator, Gwen Erley at


Thanks to the generous sponsorship of NRRA and New Hampshire the Beautiful, Inc., our three RecycleMobiles are available for loan to NH schools, municipalities and community groups for FREE!

Please contact the NRRA by telephone at (603) 736-4401 or by e-mail at for more information and scheduling details. To reserve the RecycleMobile for your community’s event, download, complete and send in the RecycleMobile Reservation Form.

CLUB NOTE:  See Event Planning Help under PRAPSE grant information below!



Thanks to NH the Beautiful, schools may purchase discounted recycling bins and ClearStreams.


For discounted school recycling bins, go to:



For discounted school ClearStreams™ Recyclers, go to:




PRAPSE We Can Pivot!

NRRA is re-tooling its USDA RUS SWTAT grant for event planners, educators, transfer station operators, administrators, and health professionals. We continue to help members make informed decisions concerning chemicals and waste; but, our on-site, hands-on support is faced with a new look for the time being.

Though the approach has shifted, the goal has not. NRRA continues to support the protection of drinking water resources and encourage mindful materials management practices through public health and environmental education programs in public spaces. Stay tuned for the details!




Attention School Nurses!


PRAPSE School Nurse Survey & Medical Waste Roundtable Events

As part of our PRAPSE research, we are canvassing school nurses in NH, VT and MA

about how they handle their medical waste. If you know a school nurse, please feel free to send them this link to our very short, anonymous survey:      





Medical Waste Round Table Webinar –

April 30


Our medical waste trainings are open to transfer station operators, school nurses, medical professionals, veterinarians, first responders, fire, police and municipal administrators.  For further details, watch for upcoming email announcements and invitations.  Additional information available by contacting Ben Perham at  



The TOLD to Go Tool Kit!




NRRA’s Trash On the Lawn Day is our most popular on-site program. Under the NRRA School Recycling Club’s guidance, student leaders organize a waste sort of an entire day’s worth of trash. However, sometimes NRRA staff are not available and the weather is a challenge.

That’s where the TOLD to Go Tool Kit comes in!  Schools now have control over setting their own date as well as the flexibility to reschedule their event due to weather concerns or scheduling conflicts. The TOLD to Go Tool Kit is available for rent at a very affordable rate and will be shipped directly to your site.  The Kit includes:

  • a training video on flash drive and training manual with templates and step-by-step instructions
  • a scale, clipboard, pens and data sheet for recording weights
  • signs and bags for the individual containers
  • a pre-paid return postage sticker to return your bin

The school provides the larger items such as tarps, collection containers (barrels, boxes, bins, etc.) and of course the trash! NRRA will assist by applying commodity prices to the final weights from the school data sheets in order to assess potential savings and revenue for the school. We also provide recommendations based on the results and are only a phone call away if the school has any questions while using the kit. 

Contact Gwen Erley at for details to reserve your TOLD to Go Tool Kit and arrange delivery.



YIMBY Where Does It Go Story Map for Organic Waste

Also, from our YIMBY Grant, with the help of the Antioch University Spatial Analysis Lab, we have created a map of organic waste facilities in NH, VT and MA.     Here is the link:  




Need Professional Development Credits?

Access Our Town & Gown Webinar Links!

We are pleased to present the completed webinars for professional development credit to Operators and Teachers where applicable.

(Please note that you must register and complete each webinar evaluation to receive credit.  All webinars are proprietary and cannot be duplicated or disseminated without express written permission from NRRA.)

To access our webinars, go to our RESOURCES Page!



Keene School District Recycling Program

The Keene School District has contracted NRRA’s School Recycling CLUB to provide analysis, programming and equipment to facilitate effective and cost-saving recycling throughout the District. Phase One was completed with Star Assessments being done at each school.  Surveys were sent to staff at all seven schools to gauge their current recycling efforts.  Programming and recycling equipment will be provided this coming school year.

A Trash On the Lawn Day (TOLD) event was held at John Fuller Elementary on October 29. This fun and educational all-day event allowed the students to hone their recycling skills by auditing a day’s worth of trash to see what could have been diverted from the landfill and recycled instead.

Our next stop was Symonds Elementary on February 20, where we presented our Garbage Guerrillas workshops to the fifth grade students. Here’s the PRESS RELEASE! Funding for this recycling programming was provided through the Joint Procurement Initiative between the City of Keene and the Keene School District. For more information, please contact Gwen Erley, Programs Coordinator at




School CLUB Curricula – Our Library is Growing!


3R’s of the Common Core: A Teacher’s Resource Guide to Solid Waste Recycling Sold as a set with Teaching Toxics Call for Pricing    




Teaching Toxics: Creating Solutions to Household Pollution.  Sold as a set with 3Rs of the Common Core Call for Pricing      




School HazMat 101: A Blueprint for Hazardous Materials Management in Schools $15 for Pickup $20 if Mailed        




Now Available! School On-Site Composting Guide $15 for Pickup $20 if Mailed


Anyone interested in purchasing these resources should contact NRRA Programs Coordinator, Gwen Erley, at




White River Alliance Solid Waste Entity

School Outreach Continues for 2019-2020 School Year

Workshops and Technical Assistance Available

Vermont – We have completed our first and started our second round of outreach to schools in the White River Alliance Solid Waste Entity in Eastern/Central, VT. We will be working with two schools in the 2019-2020 school year. Outreach at The Rochester School was completed on Nov. 13 (See CLUB News above). Stockbridge Central School will be scheduled when schools reopen.

School outreach consists of four classroom workshops and two technical assistance trainings. These are being paid for by the Alliance so there is no cost to the schools.

Alliance communities include:  Barnard, Bethel, Granville, Hancock, Pittsfield, Rochester, Royalton and Stockbridge.

For more information, please contact The CLUB at


Rutland County SWAC SWIP Outreach

Ramping Up for 2019-2020

Vermont – On behalf of the Rutland County Solid Waste Alliance Communities (RCSWAC), NRRA is providing school outreach to assist with Act 148, Universal Recycling compliance.

School outreach was completed for the 2018-2019 school year.  Programming consisted of an NRRA Star Assessment and ANR School Recycling Scorecard.  There was no cost to the schools thanks to RCSWAC grant funding.

We are currently in the proposal phase for our second round of outreach.

RCSWAC Member towns include:  Benson, Chittenden, Fair Haven, Middletown Springs, Pawlet, Rutland Town, Shrewsbury, Sudbury, Tinmouth and West Haven.

For more information, please contact The CLUB at




Gearing Up for Earth Day

From Earth Day Network President Kathleen Rogers 3-17-20

Digital Earth Day Announced


On April 22nd, we mobilize—digitally.

At Earth Day Network, the health and safety of volunteers and participants in Earth Day events is our top concern. Amid the recent COVID-19 outbreak, we encourage people to rise up but to do so safely and responsibly—in many cases, that means using our voices to drive action online rather than in person.

With this in mind, Earth Day Network is postponing its live 50th anniversary Earth Day event. Instead, April 22 will mark the first Digital Earth Day, a global digital mobilization to address the most urgent threats to people and planet.

Digital Earth Day will use some of the world’s most innovative digital media platforms to mobilize millions in a collective call for climate action. The coordination will deliver an Earth Day unlike any other in history.

In the face of a challenge that unites us all, whether it be coronavirus or our global climate crisis, we cannot shut down. Instead, we must shift our energies and efforts to new ways to mobilize the world to action.

The first Earth Day was the biggest civic engagement demonstration the world had seen. The 50th anniversary of Earth Day will take mobilization to the next level.




From our Friends at Earth Day Network (  

Great Global Cleanup™ Postponed




Due to public health and safety concerns around COVID-19, The Great Global Cleanup, our flagship volunteer program, is being postponed to the fall. The well-being of partners and volunteers is our top priority. We look forward to resuming our cleanup efforts once it’s safe to do so.

It’s a testament to the strength of our coalition that our friends from all over the world are eager to stay in touch and stay active.

That’s why we’ve made changes to encouraging volunteers to undertake individual and socially distanced cleanups where possible.

Our friends from #TrashTag and #Plogging show us that wherever being outside is safe, we all can still do our part to remove litter from our communities, ideally when we are out exercising. I encourage you join in!

Then, pending safe conditions in September, millions of volunteers will be out in full force to clean up our planet. Group cleanups will be organized along with our many partners including Keep America Beautiful. On September 19, we are joining again with World Cleanup Day and National Cleanup Day.

We’re all in this together. Our work continues.

In safe solidarity,

Austin Downs
Great Global Cleanup Coordinator





  From our Friends at Keep America Beautiful 

Earth Day Goes Digital

With the postponement of live public volunteer events during the Great American Cleanup, the Great Global Cleanup, and Earth Day itself, there has been a shift in plans.

In lieu of the postponed live events, Keep America Beautiful invites you to join Earth Day Network on April 22 for the first Digital Earth Day, a global digital mobilization in a collective call for climate action.

Please see additional details about Earth Day Network’s shift to global digital mobilization for the 50th anniversary of Earth Day here:




  From our Friends at NOAA  


In light of the rapidly evolving COVID-19 situation in our schools and communities, March 16 – April 23 campaign has been POSTPONED until Fall 2020. We will be back in touch when new dates have been confirmed.





From Our Friends at



Meet Mr. Trash Wheel

Episode 52: A conversation with the masterminds behind Mr. Trash Wheel, Baltimore’s googly-eyed trash interceptor.

Liz Bothwell | Apr 06, 2020

In this week’s episode of NothingWasted! Podcast, we talked with the masterminds behind Mr. Trash Wheel—John Kellett, founder, Clearwater Mills, and Adam Lindquist, director of Healthy Harbor Initiative, Waterfront Partnership of Baltimore.

CLICK HERE for the whole article.




From our Friends at NOAA and EcoWatch

Meet Denmark’s School Where Education Is All About Sustainability, Ecowatch, Vimeo 


Deutsche Welle

Feb. 19, 2020 11:48AM EST

By James Clasper

A dozen children are sitting in a circle when the bell rings. Instead of rushing to their next class, the children close their eyes.

“Raise your hand when you can no longer hear a sound,” said their teacher, holding a pair of bronze cymbals — the kind you might find in a Buddhist temple. One by one, their hands go up.

At the Green Free School (Den Gronne Friskole), in Copenhagen, educating children for a world affected by climate change begins with putting them in the right frame of mind — literally. Classes here include urban farming and often start with mindfulness training.

To continue reading, go to:





From our Friends at Waste 360


ecomaine Offers Online Recycling Education Resources

Waste360 Staff | Apr 02, 2020

With many Maine schools closed, students learning at home and teachers and parents employing new techniques to educate children, nonprofit ecomaine has unveiled a series of resources for remote learning about recycling, waste management and sustainability.

ecomaine, which normally offers tours and presentations throughout the year to students and adults alike, has temporarily halted public, in-person education due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, its full-time education staff have rolled out a number of videos, activities and webinars specifically designed to provide at-home ways to learn about ecomaine’s operations and commitment to sustainable waste management.

For the whole article, CLICK HERE



Recycling & Environmental Game Links

In our internet travels, we have found several links to recycling and environmental games and activities that students might enjoy:




Think Spring!

Is your school interested in starting a composting program or school garden?  For an overview of composting basics, you can view our recorded webinar (developed through our USDA Town & Gown Grant) located on our Resources page. Just scroll down to Webinar 9.

Don’t forget about our Compost Bin Sale! See NRRA News above.

For more information about scheduling programming for your school, please contact




From our Friends at


Trade Scholarship for HS Seniors


Level up your education with a $2,000 scholarship from Porch.

Growing demand and lack of qualified workers in skilled trades and technology means it’s a great time to go back to school and enter these lucrative and fast-growing industries. To help keep up with demand and assist the next generation of professionals, Porch will award a $2,000 scholarship four times a year to eligible students.

Entries are now being accepted for the Winter scholarship, which runs from January 16-April 16,

For details, go to:




From our Friends at NOAA


Bow Seat Ocean Awareness Competition

The 2020 Ocean Awareness Contest is accepting Visual Art, Film, Music, Poetry, Prose, and Interactive & Multimedia submissions from middle & high school students through June 15, 2020. “Climate Hope: Transforming Crisis” invites teens to learn about climate change and its impact on oceans; discover or imagine solutions at local, national, or global scales; and create work that explores hope in action. For complete details, visit the Ocean Awareness Contest Overview.

Other School Grant Opportunities

  • Youth Services America:  They offer multiple grant opportunities:
  •   Can list on site up to 4 months: Helps classrooms and students in need.
  • offers many ways to earn scholarship money.
  • GrassRoots Grants:
    • Seed grants – grants up to $1,000 to New England community-based groups with newly evolving local projects – apply anytime!
    • Grow grants – grants up to $3,500 to groups working to expand existing projects and broaden their scope – due March 15 & Sept. 15




Earth Day is April 22 – learn about the first Earth Day in 1970, and how EPA’s mission helps protect health and the environment today.
Go to:

From our Friends at Greenworks (NH DES)

A Socially Distant Way to Celebrate the 50th Anniversary of Earth Day

The current public health crisis with the novel coronavirus has been a major disruption to our lives, in ways that could not have been expected as well as some for which most people were not prepared. With so many people working remotely and children learning remotely, the desire for connection is stronger than ever. And with that comes a need to feel like we are doing something positive, while staying socially distant.

The NHDES social media challenge initiated to honor the 50th anniversary of Earth Day on April 22, 2020 is something that can achieve both.

The purpose of the #OneThing4Earth Challenge is for people to record a short video or take photos of themselves doing one thing that is good for Earth, then in the video, challenge their family, friends and others to do their own video. People who accept the challenge should post the videos on any or all of their social media platforms (Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter) and use the hashtag #OneThing4Earth and tag NHDES.

NHDES Commissioner Bob Scott started the challenge by posting his video of his home compost pile and challenging his entire staff to post their videos. Many NHDES employees have accepted the challenge, and now you can answer the question: What’s your one thing? Join us in recognizing the importance of Earth Day by participating in the #OneThing4Earth video challenge! You do not have to be challenged to participate, but remember in your video to challenge your friends, family, coworkers and others to join in.

NHDES has the following social media handles:

  • Instagram: @nhenvironmentalservices
  • Facebook: @NHEnvironmentalServices
  • Twitter: @NHDES

And don’t forget to search for “#OneThing4Earth” on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter to see what has already been posted.

From our Friends at NH Dept. of Environmental Services & NH Fish & Game

Discover Wild NH Day – April 18 – CANCELLED FOR 2020


We hope this great event will return in 2021. To learn more, go to:

From our Friends at NH DES

Let’s Soak Up the Rain

Spring is right around the corner, and so is the rain.  Help eliminate the runoff of winter salt and chemicals into our water table by building a rain garden!

How Do I Build a Rain Garden? To view the video, go to:

EPA’s WasteWise encourages organizations and businesses to achieve sustainability in their practices and reduce select industrial wastes.

WasteWise is part of EPA’s sustainable materials management efforts, which promote the use and reuse of materials more productively over their entire lifecycles.

To learn more, go to WasteWise Fact Sheet.





As part of EPA’s Food Recovery Challenge, organizations pledge to improve their sustainable food management practices and report their results. The FRC is part of EPA’s Sustainable Materials Management Program (SMM). SMM seeks to reduce the environmental impact of materials through their entire life cycle. This includes how they are extracted, manufactured, distributed, used, reused, recycled, and disposed.

To learn more, go to:  EPA FRC




From our Friends at

Upcycled Backpack Rain Covers from Umbrellas

By: Lisa from

“Are you sick of your kids’ (or your own) backpacks getting soaked every time it rains? Repurpose a broken umbrella into a clever backpack rain cover, and you’ll never have a drenched backpack again! It only takes about 15 minutes to sew with minimal sewing skills. You can fold it up into a lightweight and compact package so that you can carry it with you in your bag! This project is perfect for kids who are going to school and also for adults who commute. Make one for each member of your family and for all of your friends!”

Click here for DIY craft

  • Project TypeMake a Project
  • Time to CompleteUnder an hour
  • Sewn byMachine

Materials List

  • Fabric from one umbrella
  • 40″ of 1/8″ wide elastic
  • Jar cap
  • Fine permanent marker or pen
  • Fabric shears
  • Pinking shears
  • Pins
  • Size 70/10 universal sewing needle
  • Tape measure
  • Safety pin
  • Matching polyester thread




From our Friends at Crayola


Crayola Free Coloring Pages

Here’s one for Earth Day! To download, go to:


For more free coloring pages, go to:







  • 04/22/20 – Earth Day – Celebrating their 50th Anniversary; Join for a digital event!
  • 04/24/20 – Arbor Day – To plan your event, visit
  • 05/02/20 – Vermont Green Up DayPostponed to May 30; For more information, go to:
  • 05/06/20 – Bike to School Day – To register your school event:
  • 05/18 & 19/20 –  OFFICIALLY CANCELLED -NRRA’s 39th Annual Recycling Conference & Expo & School CLUB’s 11th Annual School Recycling Conference (Running concurrently for 2 days each!) Registration assistance available for NH schools through NH the Beautiful.
  • 06/05/20 – World Environment Day – To plan your event, visit
  • 06/08/20 – World Oceans Day – To plan your event, visit



Earth Day 50th Anniversary!

(Let’s Make Every Day Earth Day!)








SHARE YOUR RECYCLING NEWS!  The NRRA School Recycling CLUB loves to hear what its members and other schools are doing to recycle and help the environment, so we can share it through our newsletter. There are so many different things being done, and you are our best source of information about what is working in your school. It can be a new program, a long-term project that’s been proven over time, a field trip, etc. Always feel free to contact me or submit a write-up and pictures and you might just see it in the next School News You Can Use! – Gwen Erley, 1-603-736-4401, Ext. 119