The NRRA School Recycling Club

Northeast Resource Recovery Association

School News You Can Use – August, 2019

Welcome Back, Teachers!

Special Edition for Educators

The Countdown Has Begun!



Click HERE to view PDF





Best Wishes to Sarah McGraw!

This past month we were sad to say goodbye to NRRA School CLUB Special Project Manager, Sarah McGraw.  Sarah did a lot of great work with our School CLUB including outreach to hundreds of NH Schools, workshops, presentations, grant work and research, technical assistance at schools across the state and so much more!

Her field of interest has always been composting, especially since attending the Maine Composting School when she first began her work with NRRA.  This is why it should come as no surprise that Sarah will be moving on to work with Mr. Fox Composting in York, Maine.  We will surely miss Sarah’s hard work and dedication to the recycling education cause but we wish her all the very best in her new endeavor and we know we will be seeing her again!


New Status for Julia Le May!

Some of you may have met or worked with Julia Le May, an educator who has been assisting Gwen Erley, Cindy Sterling and Sarah McGraw in their educational outreach and programming as of late.  We are pleased to announce that we’ve made Julia a temporary NRRA Staff Member to assist us with completing some of the great work that Sarah started.  One of Julia’s targets for this Summer has been visiting Summer Camps across NH & MA to assist them with waste audits and TOLDs (Trash On the Lawn Days).

If your school (or summer camp) is interested in learning more about our educational programming, technical assistance and workshops, please call Gwen Erley at 603-736-4401 or email


Welcome Renewing CLUB Member


Gilford High School


  • Gilford, NH
  • 491 Students
  • Grades 9-12




TOLD Photos & Press Releases


Henry J. McLaughlin MS in Manchester, May 29:


For the Press Release, Click HERE


Maple Wood Elementary in Somersworth, NH, June 4:



For the Press Release, Click HERE



News from CLUB Award Winners


From our Friends at NOAA

Greta Thunberg Collaboration with Band

We have some news on our CLUB Award Winner and Nobel Prize Nominee, Greta Thunberg.  Here is the link to her You Tube video collaboration with British pop rock band, The 1975.

For the whole article, go to:


From our Friend Damion Hickman (Ryan’s Dad)

Ryan’s Recycling has a new video as well.

To view the video, go to:



But Wait! There’s More!

From our Friends at Waste Advantage Magazine


Sand Cloud Announces Partnership with Ryan’s Recycling

Sand Cloud announced a partnership with 10-year-old recycling ambassador Ryan Hickman of Ryan’s Recycling for a children’s t-shirt line made out of 100 percent recycled materials.

Every shirt is made from eight plastic water bottles, and 10 percent of proceeds from each shirt is donated directly to grassroots marine conservation organizations. Learn More>





It’s Never Too Early to Plan Ahead!


Is your school science class or recycling group or environmental club looking for a fun, educational and environmentally-friendly field trip for next year??

Pre-register before 10/1/19 for our 11th Annual School Recycling Conference in Manchester, NH  and you’ll receive a 10% discount on your total Conference registration fee!

All NH Schools are eligible for free membership in The Club which entitles them a 50% discount on Conference and programming fees thanks to funding from NH the Beautiful.  If you pre-register for the Conference, you will also receive the additional 10% discount!

Our theme this year will be “Think Outside the Bin” emphasizing the 5 Rs of Recycling:  Refuse, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle and Rot.

Our Conference offers fun, educational workshops geared to both teachers and students that address the most current trends and issues in school recycling today; an exhibit hall with fun activities for the kids and vendors who can offer educational insight into the importance of recycling and what happens when you recycle; and a special awards luncheon to recognize outstanding student, school and teacher recyclers.

Start thinking now about potential award winners from your school or about writing a great essay for the NH the Beautiful Recycling Innovation Grant of $500!  It’s never too early!

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

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





Need a Sign?


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 for Fall? Reserve a Can Cage or Recyclemobile!

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.




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:






YIMBY goes to Camp!

Educators Cindy Sterling and Julia Le May held a TOLD (Trash On the Lawn Day) event for the campers at Copper Cannon Camp in Bethlehem, NH on August 6.

Approximately 45 campers and counselors sifted through a sampling of their trash to see what could have been recycled.  The groups were enthusiastic and had lots of questions.

The YIMBY grant is focusing on composting and a TOLD is an excellent way to gauge the volume of food waste that can be diverted from the landfill.

For more on YIMBY, see our Press Release.


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!



Presenting … School HazMat 101!

Are you concerned about your school’s health and safety? NRRA’s School HazMat 101: A Blueprint for Hazardous Materials Management in Schools was written specifically to help the entire school community benefit from addressing hazardous materials use. Funded by the USDA Rural Utilities Program, this manual provides information that improves the school’s ability to employ safe management practices.

For grant reporting purposes, we are asking that schools contact NRRA individually and sign a Terms of Use stating they will not share their password. We want to track interest areas and demographics. Once we receive your signed Terms of Use, we will send you the password and link for School HazMat 101. Please send your signed Terms of Use to





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 will be held this fall at John Fuller Elementary. This fun and educational all-day event allows the students 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.

For more information, please contact Gwen Erley, Programs Coordinator at


Teacher Resources Available for Purchase!

Classic K-12 Recycling Activities with 21st Century Standards


Thanks to grant funding through USDA-Rural Development, NRRA’s School Recycling CLUB is proud to offer the newest editions of their school curricula 3R’s of the Common Core: A Teacher’s Resource Guide to Solid Waste and Recycling and Teaching Toxics: Creating Solutions to Household Pollution.  These references are divided into age appropriate lessons for K-3, 4-6, 7-8 and 9-12. Schools may select from hard copy or PDF versions.

In addition, four classroom workshop modules have been updated and are available in PDF versions only.  They are: Garbage Guerrillas, Back to the Earth, Healthy Home/Clean Waters and Waste=Global Climate Change.

  • For the Pricing Guide, click HERE.
  • For the Terms of Use, click HERE.
  • For the Curricula Descriptions, click HERE.

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




White River Alliance Solid Waste District 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 District in Eastern/Central, VT. We will be working with two schools in the 2019-2020 school year.

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

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




From our Friends at 5 Gyres (and our own Heather Herring)

Goby the Plastic Eating Fish

Here is a little creative idea to clean plastic off of beaches: Goby the plastic eating fish!

For the entire story, go to:



Free Educator Guides


From our Friends at NAMEPA (North American Marine Environment Protection Associates)


An Educator’s Guide to Marine Debris



Click HERE for the PDF








From our Friends at USDA



Understanding Soil Health and Watershed Function – A Teacher’s Manual



Click HERE for the PDF



Attention Teachers – Free Stuff for Your Class!


From our Friends at Ward’s Science/VWR



Free stuff for your class. (It’s easier than you think)

Elementary/Middle School/High School

If you’re like most teachers, you’ve been there: You have a classroom full of impressionable students and a great idea to get them excited about learning. What you don’t have are the materials to pull it off, or the funding to make it happen. Back in 2000, a teacher in the Bronx was faced with the same situation. He wanted to transport the kids in his urban public school district to the American Midwest of the 1800s through the pages of Little House on the Prairie. But he could only get his hands on one copy. As he was making photocopies for students, he thought about all the people in his neighborhood and across America who might be willing to help. Then he sketched out a website that could easily connect teacher requests with willing contributors, and was born. is absolutely free for K-12 teachers in public schools to use and it only takes about 30 minutes to create a project. Just select the materials you need from Ward’s Science or other vendors, answer a few short questions about your project and, if you meet your funding goal, will order everything for you and ship it straight to your school. All that’s left is for you and your students to thank your donors with notes and project photos.

Get started


From our Friends at NOAA

Resisting Scientific Misinformation – Secondary Curriculum

In conjunction with WGBH’s NOVA, Andy Zucker and Penny Noyce have created a one-week unit for grades 6-12 called “Resisting Scientific Misinformation,” available on this website free of charge. Help students examine claims that seem to be based on science but often are not. These classroom-tested materials—a Teacher Guide and four short videos—make it easy.




From our Friends at NOAA


NOAA Photo Library

Did you know that most of NOAA photos and slides are in the public domain and cannot be copyrighted. NOAA asks only that credit be given to NOAA and the photographer with his/her affiliated organization shown also. Access the NOAA Photo Library 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:


Is your school a recycling star? 

For a complete review of your school’s recycling program, please consider The CLUB’s Star of Sustainability Assessment. For an overview, you can view our recorded webinar (developed through our USDA Town & Gown Grant) located on our Resources page. Just scroll down to Webinar 12.

For more information about scheduling an evaluation for your school, please contact




Huddle Up! It’s Football Season!

From our Friends at Youth Service America, and the NFL


Huddle Up to Play It Forward


Pick up at least 10 items of litter to create cleaner places to play this summer. You could win one of two $2,500 scholarships, as well as other great NFL prizes through the #NFLHuddlefor100 #sweepstakes!

Read more at:


From our Friends at NOAA


NOAA’s Office of Marine Sanctuaries Photo Contest 2019 

Now in its 5th year, the “Get Into Your Sanctuary Photo Contest 2019″ helps raise awareness about marine sanctuaries in a fun and informative way. Contrary to popular misconception, marine sanctuaries are not, “hands off,” regions, but rather places where all kinds of activities including fishing, diving and boating are encouraged. Check out this photo contest, learn more about marine sanctuaries, and help spread the word about what marine sanctuaries are all about. The contest ends on September 2.   Find out more. 


From our Friends at National Wildlife Federation


The Second Annual Garden for Wildlife Contest has Started!

The Garden for Wildlife Photo Contest is back and we want to see photos of you and your wildlife garden! We are looking for photos of YOU, birds, butterflies, bees and other backyard wildlife for a chance to win cash and garden themed prizes — including a $1000 Grand Prize!

Photographs may be submitted in one of the following five categories:

  • People in the wildlife garden
  • Close-up native plants and their wildlife visitors
  • Wildlife observed where people live, work, play, learn, and worship
  • Certified wildlife habitat landscapes
  • Young habitat photographers *new for 2019!

Contest ends October 11th, get started now! Go to:



From our Friends at Youth Service America


Coca-Cola Scholars Program – Deadline: October 31

150 high school seniors are selected each year to receive this $20,000 scholarship. Students are recognized for their capacity to lead and serve, as well as their commitment to making a significant impact on their schools and communities.

Read more


From our Friends at Youth Service America (


Target Field Trip Grants – Deadline: October 1

It’s become increasingly difficult for schools to fund learning opportunities outside the classroom. To help them out, Target stores award field trip grants to K-12 schools nationwide.

Each grant is valued at $700 for trips after January 1, 2020.

Read more

(CLUB Note:  This might be useful for the School Recycling Conference!)


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




From our Friends at EPA

EPA Administrator Wheeler and White House CEQ Chairman Neumayr Honor over 200 U.S. Teachers and Students at Presidential Environmental Youth Awards Ceremony. “The Presidential Environmental Education Awards Ceremony is a day I look forward to each year because it is a time when we honor some of the best and brightest in environmental education and stewardship,” said EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler. From across the country, 19 educators and 200 students were recognized for their remarkable efforts that promote environmental education and stewardship. Eleven educators received the Presidential Innovation Award for Environmental Educators, and eight educators were recognized with an honorable mention distinction. Additionally, the 200 student award recipients – who worked as a team or individually on 17 projects – received the President’s Environmental Youth Award. Altogether, EPA received 162 project applications from 26 states.

For all the details, go to:


From our Friends at EPA

National and Regional WasteWise Winners Announced


On June 25, EPA announced the 2018 winners of the national WasteWise awards. The work conducted by the 10 winning organizations collectively prevented and diverted over 356,000 tons of waste from entering landfills and saved the organizations over $19.6 million in avoided landfill fees. EPA also recognized 2018 regional winners.

To see the awardees and learn about their accomplishments, visit:





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


Milk Jug First Aid Kit

By: A Spoonful of Sugar

Updated April 23, 2019

Do you have an old milk jug taking up room in your recycling bin? Turn it into a handy first aid kit with this Milk Jug First Aid Kit tutorial. Great for college kids and traveling, this kit can hold everything you need so you’re always prepared. And it’s environmentally friendly, so it’s nice to Mother Earth, as well. Create a couple of these first aid kits and keep one in the car and one in your suitcase so you’re always prepared no matter what happens. This kit also makes a great gift for someone living on their own for the first time.

Primary Technique: Green Crafting


  • Plastic milk jug/juice container
  • 1 snap closure and a snap setting tool
  • Small scrap of colored vinyl or contact paper

For all the instructions, go to:





09/02/19 – Green Apple Day of Service Registration OpensTo register, visit

10/02/19 – Walk to School Day – To register your school event:

10/11/19 – Students for Zero Waste6th Annual “Students for Zero Waste” Conference, University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, PA, October 11, 12 & 13, 2019.  For more info:

11/01/19 – Y.E.S. Summit –  The Vermont Youth Environmental Summit for grades 6-12 held at the Barre Civic Center. To learn more and register, contact:

11/15/19 – America Recycles Day – An initiative of Keep America Beautiful (KAB), America Recycles Day is the only nationally-recognized day dedicated to promoting and celebrating recycling in the U.S. For ideas, contact

03/18/20 – Global Recycling Day – The third annual celebration from the Bureau of International Recycling!  For more information, visit:

03/22/20 – World Water DayTo plan your event, visit

04/22/20 – Earth DayTo plan your event, see future newsletters and visit

04/24/20 – Arbor Day – To plan your event, visit

05/06/20 – Bike to School Day – To register your school event:

05/??/19 – NRRA’s 39th Annual Recycling Conference & Expo

05/??/19 – School CLUB’s 11th Annual School Recycling Conference (the Conference within the Conference); Registration assistance available for NH schools through NH the Beautiful. 10% discount if your school confirms by 10/01/19!

06/05/19 – World Environment Day – To plan your event, visit

06/08/19 – World Oceans Day – To plan your event, visit




The Countdown Has Begun to the Start of a New School Year!




mailboxWHAT IS YOUR SCHOOL CLUB UP TO? The NRRA School Recycling CLUB always 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 something and you may see it in the next School News You Can Use! – Gwen Erley, 1-603-736-4401, Ext. 19