The NRRA School Recycling Club

Northeast Resource Recovery Association

School News You Can Use – December, 2017

Happy Holidays to All!



  • 2018 Conference News – Speaker Abstracts Due 12/22/17!
  • CLUB News – CLUB Receives NERC Sustainability Award; Welcome New Member – Indian River MS; Two TOLDs are Better than One:  Elm St. MS & Milford MS; Free HP Printer Cartridges!
  • Grant & SWIP News –  USDA RD Town & Gown Grant
  • In The News – Repair Cafe; Kennett MS Recycle Bike Club; What to Do with Old Toys?
  • Contests, Scholarships & Fundraisers – Capt. Planet Foundation ecoSolutions Grants; Eco-Schools Young Reporter Challenge
  • NHDES & EPA News – EPA Grant Money at Work
  • Activity – Ornaments & Bows

Click HERE to view PDF





Call for Conference Speakers!

It’s time!

We’re lining up our speakers and workshops for the Conference next May. We are also looking for a Keynote Student Speaker for our Awards Luncheon.

Does your school have an outstanding recycling program? Would you be interested in sharing it with other schools? We’d love to hear your ideas!

We are also looking for a Student Keynote Speaker.  Allie Campbell did such an excellent job last year, we would like to give another outstanding student recycler an opportunity to share their unique perspective and energy with our attendees.

For consideration, send us an abstract of your workshop presentation by 12/22/17.

For details on abstract submissions, click  HERE.

Questions?  Just call or email Gwen Erley at 603-736-4401 X19 or


Conference Discounts Available Until 12/31/17!

Lock in at the 2017 rate by booking your group now!

Don’t Forget:  Grants are available thanks to New Hampshire the Beautiful!

Register NOW for the 2018 NRRA School Recycling Conference on May 22, 2018.  Discount applicable for all registrations received prior to 01/01/18.

Contact Gwen Erley or Sarah McGraw TODAY to schedule any of the above items.  603-736-4401 ext. 19 OR




The CLUB Receives Sustainability Award


NERC Announces Environmental Sustainability Leadership Award Winners


Earlier this year the Northeast Recycling Council (NERC) inaugurated a new recognition program – the Environmental Sustainability Leadership Awards.  Lynn Rubinstein, NERC Executive Director explained that “this is an exciting new initiative that we are delighted to launch in conjunction with our 30th anniversary.”

Award winners were announced yesterday, at NERC’s 30th Anniversary Celebration in Amherst, Massachusetts.  NERC is honored to recognize the award recipients for their work consistent with NERC’s mission to promote sustainable materials management by supporting traditional and innovative solid waste best practices, focusing on waste prevention, toxics reduction, reuse, recycling and organics recovery.

. . . NERC also acknowledged the excellent work and contributions of:

  • Samsung
  • The Carton Council
  • Ray Dube, Sustainability Manager, Coca-Cola Bottling Company of Northern New England
  • Keurig Green Mountain
  • Stephen Greene, Lowell Folk Festival, Massachusetts
  • NRRA School CLUB, New Hampshire
  • Dominick Cingari, Grade A Shop Rite, Connecticut

To see all the winners, click here for the full Press Release


Welcome New Member:


Indian River Middle School

  • Where:  W. Canaan, NH
  • Grades:  5-8
  • Students:  480




Elm Street Middle School Holds Court on Recycling


Elm Street Middle School welcomed us into their courtyard which allowed us to not only train students, but to have other classes observe through the windows.  Honored Guest Sally Hyland, Recycling Coordinator for the City of Nashua, hosted a display on recycling and especially composting.  Here are some pictures:

For the full Press Release, click HERE!


Milford Middle School T.O.L.D. Their Students

We were pleased to visit Milford Middle School again this year. Their Recycling Club was invaluable in setting up, during the event and cleanup!  Here are some pictures from that beautiful day:

For the full Press Release, click HERE!

HP Cartridges Free to Good Home!

At one of our T.O.L.D. events, we came across a whole bag of new HP Ink Cartridges.  Evidently, the school upgraded their printers and these were old supplies.

We thought there might be a school (or teacher) out there that could use these cartridges.

For a look at the inventory, click HERE!

Contact Gwen if you are interested at

More Recognition for C.R.A.P.

Campbell High School received a letter of recognition from Representative Ann McLane Kuster for their excellent recycling program – Campbell Advocacy Recycling Program.

To read the letter, click HERE.



Sarah Answers Your FAQs

Special Project Manager Sarah McGraw has done quite a few Star Assessments all over the region.  She has run into some common situations at many schools and thought our readers would like to hear the answers to some Frequently Asked Questions:


Q. Should single stream recycling be bagged before it goes into the recycling dumpster?

A: Generally waste haulers do not accept plastic bags because it clogs machinery

Plastic bags wrapped around recycling equipment (Photo courtesy of

during the sorting process. Bagged recycling slows down the process as waste haulers and single stream facilities would have to tear open each bag before it goes to the sorting line. General rule of them is, unless instructed to bag anything, keep recycling loose. To learn more about how plastic bags are tricky but can be reused and/or recycled check out this Business Insider article

FYI: Plastic bags can be brought to some major grocery and retail stores (Hannaford, Market basket, Shaw’s, Target, Lowes, and Walmart). Find one that is closest or most convenient to use

If you have a question for Sarah, just email her at  You might just see your question in the next newsletter!




If your school would like to schedule a free Star Assessment, contact Sarah before 12/31/17 at





USDA Town & Gown Grant Awarded to NRRA

NRRA is pleased to announce that we have been awarded another grant through USDA Rural Development to assist in building alliances between municipal transfer stations (NH), waste management districts (VT) and their associated schools.  We will be searching for communities in select counties of NH and VT to receive free training in the coming months.

For the list of eligible communities in NH & VT, click HERE.

For the full Press Release, click HERE.

If you would like more information about grant participation please contact Gwen Erley 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:

  1. Garbage Guerrillas
  2. Back to the Earth
  3. Healthy Home/Clean Waters
  4. Waste = Global Climate Change

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

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

White River Alliance Solid Waste District School Outreach Continues for 2017-18 School Year

Workshops and Technical Assistance Available

Vermont – We are beginning our second round of outreach to schools in the White River Alliance Solid Waste District in Eastern/Central, VT.

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

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

For more information, please contact The CLUB at

Rutland County SWAC SWIP Outreach Completed


Vermont – NRRA’s School Recycling CLUB has completed our school outreach efforts for the 2016-2017 School year on behalf of the Rutland County Solid Waste Alliance Communities (RCSWAC). We met with six Rutland County schools in early March. Our goal is to assist with Act 148, Universal Recycling compliance.

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

Outreach will resume in the spring for the 2018 school year.  School outreach consists of an NRRA Star Assessment and ANR School Recycling Scorecard.  There is no cost to the schools thanks to RCSWAC funding.

For more information, please contact The CLUB at




From our Friends at CVSWMD


Repair Café Free Event in Vermont

 ORE & CVSWMD Announce Partnership


What if your beloved broken items could be fixed, for free? The Central Vermont Solid Waste Management District (CVSWMD) and Onion River Exchange (ORE) are partnering to host Vermont’s first community Repair Café.


This free event will take place Saturday, January 20th, 2018 (storm date is Saturday, January 27th, 2018) at First Church in Barre.

“I am so excited to work with CVSWMD to set up Repair Cafés to provide a place where, together, we can learn skills and fix things so that we can reuse instead of throwing away,” said Eric Bachman, Board Member of ORE.

Repair Cafés are free community meeting places where people repair things together. At the event, you’ll find “fixperts,” tools, and materials to help make repairs as needed. Participants can bring broken household items, bikes, clothes, etc., and have them fixed for free, while gleaning resources for future repair projects. If you don’t have anything that needs fixing but are still interested in the event, come hang out, have a coffee, and learn how Repair Cafés promote reuse and recycling in your community.

If you have a repair skill or like to tinker with tools, join us at the first Repair Café.


Students Making a Difference!


From our Friends at the Conway Daily Sun


Kennett Middle School Recycle Bike Club is Changing Lives

Photo courtesy of Conway Daily Sun

by Lloyd Jones, Conway Daily Sun

Oct 19, 2017

CONWAY — Students in the Kennett Middle School’s bike club are making a world of difference in other youngster’s lives.


Recycle Bike Club, in its third year and headed by comprehensive technology teacher Ron Gautreau, has revived more than 150 bicycles and given them to children who need a bike in the community.


The club includes 18 seventh-graders and 10 eighth-graders, who spend 45 minutes each day grabbing wrenches, vice grips and cans of WD-40 to bring bikes back to life.


For the entire article and slideshow, click HERE.


What To Do With Those Old Toys?

From our friends at Waste 360

Mallory Szczepanski | Jul 28, 2017



How Toy Libraries are Rescuing Toys from Landfill

Toy libraries provide children with a place to play and learn and families and individuals with a place to donate gently used toys so they don’t end up in landfill.


Toys that once captured childrens’ attentions are now sitting at the bottom of toy bins across the globe, waiting to be sent to landfill. But luckily for those old, unwanted toys, toy libraries are here to give them a second chance.

In the U.S., there are approximately 400 toy libraries that are filled with both new and used toys for families to borrow and take home. The concept is similar to a traditional library, as it promotes learning, teaches responsibility and encourages social interaction. Toy libraries can also be found globally, in countries like Italy and Australia.

“Play is just as valuable and important as reading, and toy libraries provide children with a place to relax and create their own opportunities to learn and grow,” says Judy Iacuzzi, executive director of the USA Toy Library Association. “Toy libraries also offer a place for families and individuals to donate their gently used toys so that they don’t end up in landfill.”

For the full article, CLICK HERE.




From our friends at, about our friends at RightCycle


RightCycle Diverts, Repurposes Nonhazardous Lab Waste


By Arlene Karidis

Kimberly-Clark has created a program enabling its customers to repurpose single-use items like gloves and protective apparel and divert them from landfill.

The company’s RightCycle program has collected 400 tons of gloves and protective apparel from 225 customers since its launch in 2011.





More about RightCycle from Waste360 Daily Wire


RightCycle Program Helps People with Disabilities Find Work Processing Hard-to-Recycle Items

By Cheryl McMullen

Kimberly-Clark Professional, maker of safety and health products through brands like Kleenex, Scott, Kleenguard, and Kimtech, is partnering with a West Virginia nonprofit organization, the Jackson County Developmental Center of Millwood, W.Va., in hopes of making a difference in the lives of people with disabilities.


Green Cleaning Coloring Books


From our Friends at Upper Valley Lake Sunapee Regional Planning Commission




Toxic Products Educational Tools

There are many toxic and dangerous products in our lives. An important and often overlooked component of Hazardous Waste management is teaching people not to purchase or use toxic products in the first place.


Take our Virtual Tours of a Home, a School, and a Grocery Store to learn where to find toxic products and how to handle them safely or not use them at all.


We also have a comic book to teach people about the toxic products in the home:  Clean Green Home.  A second comic book, Toxic Showdown is aimed at the teen population about personal care products. Have a look!

To print out, click the links below.

Clean Green Home

Toxic Showdown

Recycling & Environmental Game Links

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


Interested in a healthy home?

If you would like to host a workshop in your school, please consider The CLUB’s Healthy Home, Clean Waters Workshop. For more information, please contact


Contests, Scholarships & Fundraisers


From our Friends at Captain Planet Foundation



ecoSolution™ Grants (previously called “Small Grants”) have been the defining basis of Captain Planet Foundation’s work over the last 25 years. In that time, we’ve funded over 2,100 projects that have impacted 1.2 million youth around the world – actively fulfilling our mission to build the next generation of environmental stewards and change-agents.

ecoSolution™ Grants range from $500-$2,500 and are intended to support solution-oriented, youth-led projects that result in real environmental outcomes. ecoSolution™ Grants are available to educators working with youth in the United States (international projects are by invitation only).

Please note that ecoSolution™ Grants will only support direct project costs. Support for t-shirts, staff salaries, field trips, scholarships, beautification/ landscaping, etc. will NOT be considered.


CYCLE 1:    OPENS  // July 16       CLOSES  // January 15

CYCLE 2:    OPENS  // January 16      CLOSES  // July 15


For more information, go to:


From our Friends at National Wildlife Federation


Young Reporters for the Environment Competition

Join our team of young reporters from over 30 countries around the world to investigate local environmental issues and propose solutions through dynamic writing, photography and videography.

While entries are not due until March 15, 2018 it’s time to define an issue, set up interviews and develop an overall plan of attack.
Last year the US had 2 students place in the international competition, in their respective age and media categories.

This contest is open to students ages 11-19. Learn more about the competition.

Read the November Newsletter for the
Latest Eco-Schools News, Information and Opportunities.

From our Friends at NH Audubon


Photo by Sara Hiland, Good Life Photography


NH Partnership for Schoolyard Action Grants

Now accepting applications

Deadline: January 15, 2018


Do you have an outdoor classroom you want to expand? Are you considering starting an outdoor classroom? Winter is the time to begin planning for the spring. These grants can support your planning, implementation, and curriculum development for engaging students in nature studies in the schoolyard. The grant period for this opportunity is open December 1 through January 15th for schools teaching pre-K through 12th grade.


[Learn more]





How many aluminum cans can your school round up?

Al the Can wants to see which school can round up the most cans-per-student between America Recycles Day (November 15) and Earth Day (April 22) for the big, $5,000 prize!

Schools (pre-K-12) that registered by April 28, 2017 are good to go!

For more information, go to:

Hosting school events or sports?  Consider a Can Cage!

The CLUB is offering an opportunity for school recycling clubs to not only preserve the environment by collecting cans, but also to receive revenue on a per pound basis for the cans they collect.  The goal of the program is to increase school recycling funds while increasing aluminum can recycling.  As part of the program, The CLUB will provide participating schools with a large aluminum collection cage that can be parked out doors for easy access.

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

Don’t forget our RecycleMobile is available for events!

The RecycleMobile was developed to help make recycling at special events low-cost, highly visible and efficient. It is a simple to use, eye-catching recycling unit consisting of a fiberglass box with six collection holes (3 per side) that is attached to a 4′ by 6′ trailer and houses six – 32 gallon barrels. You will need a 1-7/8″  ball to tow the RecycleMobile.

The NRRA has three RecycleMobiles available for community groups and organizations to use to provide recycling. 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.

Other School Grant Opportunities

NWF Eco-Schools Newsletter:|#schoolyardhab

itats   Can list on site up to 4 months
Helps classrooms and students in need offers many ways to earn scholarship money.





EPA Grant Money at Work for Schools



Two Rhode Island Groups Awarded EPA Grant to Help Local Environment

BOSTON – Two Rhode Island organizations were among three groups in New England to receive EPA grant awards of $30,000 each, to help communities directly address local environmental concerns. The R.I. awardees, Groundwork Rhode Island, and the Childhood Lead Action Project, were selected for EPA Environmental Justice Small Grant awards.

Groundwork Rhode Island was given the grant for a project in Central Falls, working closely with Central Falls High School, to develop a youth-based environmental program. The project, called Youth-Led Planning for Community Greening, will focus on stormwater management, green infrastructure, public green space, trees, and solid waste disposal. Students will receive training from professionals on design, master planning, and urban sustainability. They will do outreach to Central Falls residents and, based on community input, will design a community greening plan to develop three green infrastructure demonstration projects.

For the full Press Release, click HERE.


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




We found this ornament in a crafting newsletter but thought this could be a great holiday ornament for students to make each year as a family time capsule.


From our friends at Cheap Eats and Thrifty Crafts  via


New Year’s Resolution Time Capsule Ornament

By: Rachel from The Crafted Life

This image courtesy of

Don’t be afraid to incorporate a few traditions into your New Year’s Eve wedding. The New Year’s Resolution Time Capsule Ornament provides a fun and unique way for you and your guests to keep up with one of the oldest New Year’s traditions. Use them as a wedding table decoration with enough for you and each of your guests. Have everyone write down a New Year’s resolution or two and seal up the ornaments. At the end of the night, you’ll take them home and store them away with the rest of your Christmas decorations. When the holiday season comes around again, you can decorate your tree with your DIY Christmas ornaments as you wait for the countdown to open your mini time capsule. If you enjoy it the first time, this may be the craft that becomes a tradition.

New Year’s Resolution Time Capsule Ornament

Click Here for Wedding Project

  • Time to complete: Under an hour
  • Estimated Cost: Under $10
  • Occasion/Theme: Winter


Speaking of Ornaments …


From our Friends at


This image courtesy of

Phone Book DIY Ornaments

By: Michelle from

Whimsical DIY Christmas Ornaments

Transform old, unused phone books into something you actually want to show off with this Christmas craft idea. Christmas decoupage ornaments are a classy and unique way to spruce up your Christmas spruce. This tutorial will teach you how to make professional Phone book DIY Ornaments that will steal the show on your Christmas tree. Don’t let those underappreciated phone books in your cabinet go neglected for another moment. They can find new life in the form of these recycled crafts. The sky’s the limit with the amazing designs you create. This tutorial will give you some wonderful ideas.



Click here for DIY craft.

  • Estimated Cost: $11-$20
  • Time to Complete: In an evening
  • Materials: Recycled Materials
  • Primary Technique: Green Crafting
  • Skill Level: Intermediate

From our Friends at


Yellow Pages Gift Bow


By: Jessica Jones from


This image courtesy of

A big bow on top of a present is like icing on the cake; your gift wrapping wouldn’t be complete without it! But why spend good money on wrapping paper adornments when you can easily make your own out of readily available supplies? This Yellow Pages Gift Bow is one of our favorites because it uses the pages of a phone book to create a festive present topper!



  • Estimated Cost: Under $10
  • Time to complete: In an evening
  • Primary Technique: Paper Crafts
  • Difficulty Level: Easy


Click here for the Christmas craft





03/18/18 – Global Recycling Day – The first celebration of its kind from the Bureau of International Recycling!  For more information, visit:

03/22/18 – World Water Day – To plan your event, visit

04/22/18 – Earth Day – To plan your event, see future newsletters and visit

04/27/18 – Arbor Day – To plan your event, visit

05/09/18 – Bike to School Day – To register your school event:

05/21/18 – NRRA’s 36th Annual Recycling Conference & Expo

05/22/18 – School CLUB’s 8th Annual School Recycling Conference (the Conference within the Conference); Registration assistance available for NH schools through NH the Beautiful.

06/05/18 – World Environment Day – To plan your event, visit

06/08/18 – World Oceans Day – To plan your event, visit


Wishing You All a

Safe and Happy Holiday Recycling Season!




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