The NRRA School Recycling Club

Northeast Resource Recovery Association

School News You Can Use – February, 2018

Happy Valentine’s Day to All!




  • 2018 Conference News – Call for Award Nominations! Registration Forms Are Here! Keynote Surprise!
  • NRRA Grant News –  USDA RD Town & Gown Grant-Still Time to Take our School Indoor Air Quality Survey!
  • CLUB News – Farm to School Report; Last Call-Free HP Printer Cartridges! Sarah Answers Your FAQs!
  • NRRA SWIP News – White River Alliance SWD and Rutland SWAC SWIP Work Continues
  • In The News – Free Composting Workshops in VT; Amazing Trash Animal Sculptures
  • Contests, Scholarships & Fundraisers – NRRA’s Compost Bin Sale is Back! SWANA Scholarships; KAB Bin Grants; NWF Photo Contest; and a few more!
  • Government News (NHDES & EPA & USDA) – Go Ahead! Play With Your Food!; PEYA Award Nominations Needed
  • Activity – Unique Paper Roll Masks

Click HERE to view PDF




Call for Award Nominations!


This year’s Conference theme is Recycling Rules! We’re looking for nominees that Rule at Recycling!


Does your school have an individual, group, program or event that deserves special recognition for outstanding work in recycling?  Here are just a few of the award categories to be considered.  Choose one of ours, or come up with your own category.


Winners will be announced and recognized at our School Recycling Conference Awards Luncheon on May 22, 2018 at the Radisson in Manchester.


Please follow this link to the School Award Nomination Form.  Entries are due by March 16, 2018. Winners (+1 guest) will receive free registration for the Conference & Awards Luncheon.


Registration Forms Are Here!

Our Registration Form is now available.

If you should have any questions, contact








Workshops are Lining Up for May 22!

That’s right!  We have a great line-up of speakers and presentations – from worm composting to share tables to ocean plastics and more! Attendees can choose from six workshops available.  Also, we’ll have lots of activities – from the Scavenger Hunt to the Obstacle Course. Plan on a great day of educational fun!

Keynote Surprise

We are finalizing the arrangements for a special Keynote Surprise! Watch for details on our 2018 Conference Page!






USDA Town & Gown Grant Awarded to NRRA












NRRA is pleased to announce that we have been awarded another grant through USDA Rural Development.  Town & Gown – Taking the Wall Down will 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

There’s Still Time for Schools to Take Our Quick 10-Question IAQ Survey!

As part of our USDA Town & Gown Grant, we will be looking at Indoor Air Quality and Green Cleaning in K-12 schools.

If you haven’t received our Constant Contact Survey Request, please feel free to take our 10-question survey about Indoor Air Quality!

In return, you will receive a FREE set of Green Cleaning Recipe Books (Student, Teacher and Personal Care)!

To complete our survey, click HERE!

Or go to:

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.




From our Friend Wendy Berkeley, Somersworth Farm to School Coordinator


Somersworth Middle School makes some delicious maple syrup!







Want to know more about Somersworth Farm to School? Get on their email list by contacting Wendy at  Learn about upcoming meetings, volunteer opportunities and events.

Last Call! 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.

There are over 50 different cartridges available! For a look at the inventory, click HERE!

Contact Gwen immediately if you are interested at We will be recycling these cartridges very soon!


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. Do we have to scrape all food off of recyclables?


A: It’s a good idea to get as much food as possible off recycling before setting it in the bin. The main concern with food in recycling bins is contamination of other materials such as paper. If your recycling gets picked up by a major waste hauling company, chances are it is headed to a recycling facility where recyclables are sorted and possibly cleaned.  The short answer is doing your best to get the majority of the gunk out but don’t agonize over every little crumb and gallons of water rinsing.

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




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 grant funding.

For more information, please contact The CLUB at




From our Friends at Central Vermont Solid Waste Management District


Host a Backyard Composting Workshop in 2018


The Central Vermont Solid Waste Management District (CVSWMD) is excited to announce we are holding six more backyard composting workshops in 2018. We invite you to host a workshop in your community. This is a free opportunity for community education about backyard composting.

Host sites provide a space and a volunteer or staff person to be on site during the workshop. There is no fee for hosting, but we request that you help get the word out to your community. CVSWMD provides experienced master-composter trained staff who will do the rest. We’ll be advertising, presenting the workshop, and bringing in teaching materials and demo compost equipment. We also have funding to provide reduced-price composting equipment to workshop participants. Workshops typically run 90 minutes – two hours.

The ideal host site has space for 15 or more attendees, and space for a presentation projector and screen. Outdoor composting space on site is great but not necessary.

CVSWMD member towns: Barre City, Barre Town, Berlin, Bradford, Calais, Chelsea, Duxbury, East Montpelier, Fairlee, Hardwick, Middlesex, Montpelier, Orange, Plainfield, Tunbridge, Walden, Washington, Williamstown, and Woodbury

Click here to go to their registration page:


 From our Friends at Waste Advantage Magazine


Waste Collection: A New Frontier For The Fashion Industry?


Many consumers are unaware that a large chunk of their wardrobe is essentially plastic. More than 60% of the global fiber  market is polyester, a carbon-intensive petroleum product which has been refined to the point of doing almost anything we ask of it.



Read full story


Prepare to be Amazed!

From our Friends at Waste360


Artist’s Trash Animals Series Helps Raise Awareness About Waste Production

Mallory Szczepanski | Aug 11, 2017


To raise awareness around the world’s current waste production crisis and its effect on the planet, Lisbon-based artist Bordalo II has created Trash Animals, a series of artworks built with end-of-life materials. The idea for the series is “to depict nature itself, in this case, animals, out of materials that are responsible for its destruction.”

For the complete article, click HERE.

Start Slideshow ›



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


Back by Popular Demand!


UPDATE! Compost Bin Participation Deadline Extended to February 16! Don’t Delay!


From our Friends at Keep America Beautiful


Grants for Free Recycling Bins to Parks, Athletic Fields, Waterfront Parks


Keep America Beautiful is pleased to announce the 2018 Park Recycling Infrastructure Grant program in partnership with Dr Pepper Snapple Group. Local governments, non-profit organizations and other community groups are eligible to receive recycling bins to collect cans and bottles. For those communities selected to receive a grant, Keep America Beautiful will arrange to have the bins delivered directly to their facility.

The grants are intended to help communities increase access to recycling in a range of “on-the-go” settings, including:

  • Neighborhood parks
  • Public waterfronts or beaches
  • Urban parks
  • Public athletic fields
  • Regional parks and nature trails
  • Outdoor public recreational facilities

View the selection of available recycling bins

Grants are awarded competitively based on the potential to collect a large quantity of recyclables and expand public access to recycling opportunities among other criteria.

Visit for complete details and to submit an online application.

The deadline to apply is Friday, February 16.



From our Friends at SWANA (Solid Waste Association of North America)


The Northern New England Chapter (NNE) of the Solid Waste Association of North America (SWANA) is announcing the availability of a scholarship for current high school seniors, undergraduates and graduate students in the State of Maine, New Hampshire or Vermont who have been accepted into a program committed to a degree closely tied to Solid Waste Management, Environmental Science, Engineering or a related field of study. SWANA sponsorship is not required.

The award is offered in remembrance of Steve Parker, a founding member of the SWANA Northern New England Chapter. Application must be returned no later than March 16, 2018. Please mail completed application to Kevin Roche @ ecomaine, 64 Blueberry Road, Portland ME 04102.

For the Steve Parker Scholarship, click HERE.

In addition to this scholarship offered by the Northern New England Chapter, SWANA National also has a scholarship opportunity:

Category I: Grant H. Flint Scholarship
Category II: Grant H. Flint Scholarship
Category III: Robert P. Stearns/SCS Engineering Scholarship

We have included an application and instructions for your convenience. Application deadline for Categories I, II & III is May 1, 2018. Application should be mailed to Kevin Roche, President Northern New England Chapter Scholarship Committee, ecomaine, 64 Blueberry Road, Portland, ME 04102. Additional information for this scholarship opportunity can be found on the SWANA National website at





From our Friends at National Wildlife Federation


Welcome to the 47th annual National Wildlife Photo Contest

The National Wildlife® Photo Contest, which began more than four decades ago, celebrates the power of photography to advance conservation and connect both photographers and viewers with wildlife and the outdoors. The most compelling nature images can help protect wildlife in profound ways. Please register or login to enter and share your work.

This year’s contest has seven different categories:

  • Baby Animals: Portraits and behavior of young animals of any species
  • Backyard Habitats: Wild creatures, native plants and natural settings in backyards
  • Birds: Portraits and behavior
  • Landscapes and Plants: Scenic views and native plants in wild settings
  • Mammals: Portraits and behavior
  • Other Wildlife: Portraits and behavior (includes underwater life, reptiles, amphibians, insects, spiders and more)
  • People in Nature: People enjoying the outdoors or connecting with nature and wildlife

Entry Fee: Enter up to ten photos for $20. No limit to the total number of images. Your fee helps support the National Wildlife Federation’s work to protect wildlife and wild places

  • Grand Prize: $5,000
  • First Place: $500 for the winner in each category
  • Second Place: $250 for the winner in each category
  • Honorable Mentions: Each will receive a National Wildlife Federation calendar

Opens: January 8, 2018

Closes: March 16, 2018

NWF anticipates notifying winners by mid October 2018

For a look at last year’s winners, go to:




From our Friends at Action For Nature



International Eco-Hero awards for YOUNG Environmentalists

Every year since 2003, Action For Nature (AFN), a U.S.-based non-profit, has sought to recognize and reward young people who are taking action to solve the world’s tough environmental problems.

We are proud to honor the work of young people between the ages of 8 and 16 all over the globe who have done creative environmental projects with a cash prize, certificate of achievement, and public recognition.

Applications for 2018 run through February 28th, 2018.

To apply, click HERE!



From our Friends at the


Gloria Barron Prize for Young Heroes


The Gloria Barron Prize for Young Heroes celebrates inspiring, public-spirited young people from diverse backgrounds all across North America. Established in 2001 by author T.A. Barron, the Barron Prize annually honors 25 outstanding young leaders ages 8 to 18 who have made a significant positive impact on people, their communities, and the environment.

The Barron Prize welcomes applications from public-spirited young people who are, on our April 15 deadline:

  • between the ages of 8 and 18 (not yet age 19)
  • permanent residents of and currently residing in the U.S.A. or Canada
  • currently working on an inspiring service project or have done so within the past 12 months
  • working as an individual to lead their service work. The Barron Prize does not accept applications from large groups of young people.

The Barron Prize does not discriminate against its applicants based on race, color, ethnicity, national origin, creed, religion, gender, sexual orientation, or disability.

You may download a sample application to use in planning and organizing your application.

Remember, applications are accepted online ONLY. Applications sent via mail or by any method other than our online system will be deemed ineligible.




Crayola Grant Program

Champion Creatively Alive Children

Creative Leadership Grants 2018

The 2018 program provides grants for innovative, creative leadership team building within elementary/middle schools. Beginning December 1, 2018, submit your application for the opportunity to receive a grant to help build your school’s creative capacity. Each grant-winning school (up to 20 grants awarded) receives $2,500 and Crayola products valued at $1,000.

In collaboration with the National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP), Crayola offers up to 20 grants for schools in the United States or Canada. The applications will only be accepted from principals who are members of NAESP. If you are not the principal, please collaborate with your school’s leader to develop the plan. The National Art Education Association encourages their members to partner with their school’s principal and colleagues to generate grant proposals.

Actual product assortment may vary.

Schools who received this grant in 2017 will not be eligible to apply for a 2018-209 grant. Instead, we urge those grant winners to become judges to help score new proposals. 2017 winners may apply again in 2019.

Applications should be sent to or faxed to 610-515-8781, Attn: Heather Loney. Applications will be accepted until 12:00 Midnight ET Friday, June 22, 2018.

Download your application today!

For more information about this program, click HERE!

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 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.



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

Youth Services America:  They offer multiple 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.





From our Friends at USDA MyPlate





Winter Food Fun for Kids of All Ages

Posted by Sasha Bard, MS, RD (Nutritionist, Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion) in Food and Nutrition

Dec 16, 2014

You’re never too old to play with your food! This winter, while the kids are home from school and family and friends gather together, you can experiment with ways to make healthy foods festive and fun. This blog shows how we created a snowy scene using foods from all five of the MyPlate food groups.

For all the steps and instructions, click HERE!

From Our Friends at NH DES


Still Receiving Phone Books?
It’s Time to Opt Out

Fifteen years ago, phone books were a valuable source of information. Today, however, an increasing number of Americans are turning to online search engines while their phone books sit unused. Unfortunately, the companies that produce yellow pages haven’t kept up with this trend – most residents continue to receive phone books on their doorsteps, sometimes multiple times per year.

Nearly 70 percent of adults “rarely or never” use a phone book, yet 650,000 tons of these bulky books are delivered to households each year. Imagine the ink and paper (and trees!) used.

These directories are not only a nuisance, but a significant waste of resources:

  • Each year the phone book industry uses up an estimated 4.68 million trees worth of wood fiber, or 14 football fields’ worth of forest per day.
  • The process of printing and delivering that unwanted phone book to your doorstep produces greenhouse gases equal to burning 8.8 pounds of coal – and that’s per book.
  • Directories are a burden on local governments, who pay nearly $60 million annually in recycling and disposal fees for unwanted phone books.
  • In fact, every 100 unwanted phone books removed from printing and distribution reduces greenhouse gas emissions equal to nearly 2,000 miles driven by a passenger vehicle.

Do you use your yellow pages directory? If not, do your part to save trees – the New Hampshire Pollution Prevention Program is encouraging you to take 3 minutes to opt out of getting a phone book.

Here’s how you can opt out today:

  1. Visit us/go
  2. Enter your ZIP code and create an account.
  3. After completing registration, click “opt out of or order directories.”
  4. Choose “opt out of all” option, then “save changes” and hit CONFIRM.



Apply Now for Teacher and Student Awards

Applications are now being accepted for teacher and student awards. Applications are due March 1, 2018.

President’s Environmental Youth Award (PEYA) (

The PEYA program recognizes outstanding environmental projects by K-12 youth. Each year the PEYA program honors a wide variety of projects developed by young individuals, school classes (kindergarten through high school), summer camps, public interest groups, and youth organizations to promote environmental awareness. Recent award-winning student projects included forming recycling programs for pencils and books, starting an environmental news YouTube channel, and creating a better method to protect migratory birds from airplanes.

Projects need an adult sponsor. Talk to your students today about submitting their work.

Presidential Innovation Award for Environmental Educators (PIAEE) (

The PIAEE program recognizes outstanding K-12 teachers who employ innovative approaches to environmental education and use the environment as a context for learning for their students.

PIAEE’s winners will be awarded up to $2,500 to be used to further their professional development in environmental education. The teacher’s local education agency will also receive up to $2,500 to fund environmental education activities and programs.

Contact or for questions.



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 Pinterest


Toilet Paper Roll Masks

Published August 14, 2012 Written by Richard Darell

We thought we had seen it all with leftover toilet paper rolls but these masks just blew us away with their simplicity and style! See for yourself at:

Want to try it?  Pinterest had another link that offered instructions:






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

Groundhog or Not … Spring is Right Around the Corner!

Photo & Tracks Courtesy of Boy Scout Troop 102 in Emilie, PA













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