The NRRA School Recycling Club

Northeast Resource Recovery Association

School News You Can Use – February, 2020

Groundhog says  .  .  .


Spring in New England!

We’re going to have an Early Spring!


and wishes everyone a


Happy Valentine’s Day!







Click HERE to view PDF



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


Francestown Elementary School


  • Francestown, NH
  • 53 Students
  • K-4

Rochester School, VT Examines Green Cleaning

As part of our school outreach efforts on behalf of the White River Alliance Solid Waste Entity, programming was completed at Rochester School on November 13.  Here is the link to their PRESS RELEASE.  Below are pictures from the event.
For more information about White River Alliance in VT, see NRRA SWIP/MMP (Solid Waste Implementation Plan/Materials Management Plan) News below.

Big Doings at Maple Street School


Maple Street School in Contoocook, NH held their first TOLD last October and have been VERY busy since then.

Ted Wells, 6th Grade Math Teacher, sent the following email to our Executive Director, Reagan Bissonnette:

“Hi Reagan,

After our TOLD, we did the following:

  1. Started a 6th Grade Green Club.
  2. We meet on Thursday at recess.
  3. We started sending “Lunch trash monitors” to 4th and 5th grade lunches for the final 10 min 3 or 4 days a week for about 2 months to make announcements and stand by the trash, recycling, and liquid waste bins to help younger kids.
  4. Took over recycling from our custodian. 2 to 3 days a week before school at 7:30 teams of 2 or 3 kids collect our single stream recycling. We have a bin in each classroom and office in school of about 200 kids.
  5. An assistant teacher and 1 student dump this larger bin in our Waste Management dumpster on these days after lunch.
  6. Then we started our big Nov/Dec project – planning a whole school assembly about recycling:  One student made a slide show to organize our many parts; another led a singalong about recycling to “Row, Row, Row Your Boat;” TOLD time lapse video and summary; story of how we started; facts we found about recycling; a dance to a recycling rap song we liked from YouTube (we wanted to write our own rap, but ran out of time); a discussion with whole school about what goes in recycling and what goes in trash; kicked off a 4th and 5th grade poster contest for our school bins; a student-written ski “The Son’s Choice” about Recycling Fairies and an evil Trash Dad – the best part of assembly! It was awesome! (I could send you script).
  7. We judged the 4th and 5th grade poster contest – we now have winners and will color copy, laminate, etc. to put on all bins

Future project ideas:

  1. Now we’re working on redoing a large sign that’s been above lunchroom trash area for the past 10 years. 
  2. In spring we’re hoping to help 6th grade science teacher set up a composting system for school (we just got $4,000 grant!)
  3. We might make video teaching community about that our PTA is trying to set up with school
  4. We may introduce steel silverware to replace our plasticware
  5. I’m working to get all 3 schools to paperless report cards (high school does, but not others…but it’s looking good)
  6. Hmmm….”


When Reagan asked about pictures to share, Ted responded: 

“I do have the attached photos from recess this past Thur. We’re redoing a display behind cafeteria trash/recycling/etc. bins that have been there for 20 years. Long overdue.”  -Ted


Way to go, Maple Street School! 






Renew Your School CLUB Membership for Conference Discounts

  It’s easy to do using our Online Membership Application.  

Mark your calendars for May 18 & 19, 2020 for the combined NRRA Recycling Conference & Expo and the School Recycling Conference!

We will be offering school recycling workshops and activities throughout the entire length of the Conference this year!

Attention NH Schools: You are eligible for free membership in The CLUB which entitles you to a 50% discount on Conference fees thanks to funding from NH the Beautiful.  You must be a current CLUB member to receive this discount.  To sign up or renew your CLUB membership, go to our online Membership Application.

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

Conference workshops will be designated in one of the 5 R categories and will

Kermit & Friends

address current trends and issues in school recycling today.  The exhibit hall will host some fun activities for the kids and vendors who can offer educational insight into the importance of recycling and what happens when you recycle. The School Awards Luncheon on Tuesday will recognize outstanding student, school and teacher recyclers.

Awards – 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 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 Do Better!

Have you attended a sporting event at your local recreational field and cringed at all the soda cans, Gatorade and water bottles in the trash? Or, how about peeking into the trash cans at the county fair where paper food boats are mixed with cans, bottles, cotton candy cones, plastic cups and heaps of food wasted? A limited study of venues showed an average waste generation range of one-half pound to one and a half pounds of discarded material per day for each attendee. Contemplate the number of sporting events, concerts, performing arts, community festivals, parades, farmers’ markets, and weddings that happen in your town.

Do you crave the opportunity to appropriately sort your waste at a local venue facility or special event (rather than carrying it back home)? Thankfully, funding from the Rural Development Office of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) is affording NRRA the opportunity to bring the community together through public spaces. Our intention is to provide the necessary education and support to promote and improve recycling and waste reduction at special events from Earth Day through America’s Recycle Day. This means NRRA will be reaching out to communities and schools in rural Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Vermont in an effort to support parks and recreation recycling and event recycling (small and large). All with the goal of planning ahead so that waste can be minimized and recycling can be maximized.

PRAPSE is an acronym for Promoting Recycling at Public Spaces & Events. In addition to introducing event organizers to the appropriate collections systems already available at NRRA (including NRRA’s RecycleMobile program, Can Cage fundraiser, and options including ClearStream™ collectors and other recycling bins) with an understanding of the type and number of containers needed for trash and recycling, NRRA will provide basic training on the best management practices for your special event waste. Part of this training includes NRRA’s luminary technical assistance programs – Star of Sustainability (#12) and Indoor Air Quality (#13). Under the PRAPSE program, these two CLUB technical assistance programs are FREE to eligible schools and event organizers.

A tremendous amount of waste is generated, much of it recyclable, when the community comes together. Have we piqued your interest? If so, contact Cindy Sterling ( or Gwen Erley ( by email or at 603-736-4401 for more information.

CLUB NOTE: For more information on RecycleMobiles and Can Cages, see NRRA Member News and Services above!



Attention School Nurses!


PRAPSE School Nurse Survey & Roundtable Event in NH


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:


The first of several medical waste roundtables is scheduled for:

  • March 4 – 9 am to 11 am
  • Pease Public Library (The Community Room)
  • 1 Russell St.
  • Plymouth, NH 03264

To register, go to:

We hope you can join us!




YIMBY presents … the TOLD Tool Kit!

(I’ll Have a TOLD to Go, Please!)





Everyone benefits from being TOLD what it is. NRRA’s Trash On the Lawn Day does just that. It is a thought-provoking service-learning project that assesses a school’s waste stream. It fosters student leadership as waste management issues and opportunities for improvement are explored and discussed. Under the NRRA School Recycling CLUB’s guidance, student leaders organize a waste sort of an entire day’s worth of trash. This tool for positive change examines waste management practices, purchasing policies, hauling agreements and diversion opportunities.

Advantages for Schools:  The TOLD technical assistance program is in high demand. It can be challenging for a school to schedule at TOLD for a set date. It is for this reason that NRRA recently created then piloted three TOLD Tool Kits (TOLD to Go Kit) utilizing funds provided by the USDA Rural Development, Rural Utilities Service. Schools can set their own date and have the flexibility to reschedule their event due to weather concerns or scheduling conflicts. The TOLD Tool Kit will be available for rent at a very affordable rate and will be shipped 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 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! The purpose of the TOLD Tool Kit is to increase the number of TOLDs without having to depend on NRRA staff to be on-site. 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. A TOLD consists of envisioning and audit planning, the audit, and presentation of the results and action plan. TOLDs often draw media attention and can become an annual event to track progress toward sustainable, cost-effective methods of school waste management. Isn’t it time you fostered student leadership by being TOLD how it is? Contact Gwen Erley at for details to reserve your TOLD 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 is Symonds Elementary, where we will be presenting our Garbage Guerrillas workshops.

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 is pending.

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.  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




From our Friends at NH Audubon



For more information, go to:




From our Friends at UNH Cooperative Extension  

UNH Cooperative Extension Master Gardener Training

UNH Cooperative Extension will offer a 12-week Master Gardener training in Peterborough, NH starting in February 2020. The Master Gardener Program is part of a national effort to train people who are passionate about gardening so that they can become volunteers who share science-based horticultural knowledge with the public. The training will be held at the headquarters of the Cornucopia Project each Thursday, 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. from February 27 through May 14.

Weekly sessions will cover topics such as basic botany and plant physiology, soil science and ecology, entomology, plant pathology, horticultural research, and various gardening techniques. In addition, trainees receive instruction in adult learning, project management, and public speaking. After the 12-week training, participants are expected to complete a 55-hour internship to become a Master Gardener. As a Master Gardener, a commitment of 20 hours of volunteer time and 10 hours of continuing education are required annually. Volunteers fulfill that commitment in various ways such as, responding to questions through the UNH Extension Education Center Infoline, providing garden-related talks to community groups or working on educational gardens in schools, nature centers, museums, community gardens, health care facilities and more.

Participants must submit an application and be interviewed before being accepted into the program. Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis, until the program is full. Space is limited, early application is recommended. To apply, visit: A $300 fee will be charged to all accepted participants. Scholarships are available. To view the flyer, CLICK HERE. For questions, contact UNH Extension Master Gardener Coordinator, Ruth Smith at    


From our Friends at Northeast Kingdom Waste Management District

NEK-Has anyone ever had experience with the Give Back Box®? It’s a program that allows you to refill any box (like the one your Amazon delivery comes in) with quality used items like clothing, shoes, or small household items, and ship the items for donation free of charge.




For details, go to:




Invitation to Host VT Workshop in 2020


From our Friends at Central Vermont Solid Waste Management District (CVSWMD)

Schedule a Free Workshop in 2020!

Do you want to know more about recycling, composting, or how to manage (and reduce!) household hazardous materials? We’re seeking hosts for our presentations and workshops in 2020, and invite you to contact us if you’re interested.

Let us help you figure out how to manage food scraps, recyclables and potentially hazardous household chemicals, with a free presentation.

2020 workshop offerings include:

  • Recycle Right
  • Don’t Flush That! How to manage chemicals, pills and other toxics that don’t belong down the drain.
  • Compost Basics (for new or veteran composters)
  • Neighborhood Compost Tour
  • Combo: overview of Vermont Universal Recycling Law with abridged info about both composting and recycling (ideal for workplace “lunch ‘n learns”).

For details, send an email to:



From our Friends at NOAA



NOAA’s National Marine Sanctuaries invites K-12 schools to participate in Students for Zero Waste Week: 3/16/20 – 4/24/20.

Students for Zero Waste Week is a school-driven campaign to reduce waste on school campuses and in local communities with the intention of moving towards zero waste.

Register 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.

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




From our Friends at Youth Service America


Arbola Foundation Tree Planting Grants – Deadline: Feb. 28


The Arbola Foundation will engage 10 million children to plant one million trees. Schools, child-friendly non-profits, or veteran non-profits can apply for $500 grants to plant trees on April 22, Earth Day. Download application:

Read more



From our Friends at ecomaine

ecomaine #upcycle2020 Challenge


To commemorate Maine’s Bicentennial in 2020, ecomaine is holding an “upcycling challenge” for students to compete for a $2,020 prize for their school’s green team or project graduation. Inventions should incorporate a significant amount of material that would otherwise have been recycled or put in the trash. Students will have until March 13, 2020 to unveil their upcycled inventions, either by sending their submission as a document, photo, or video to or by tagging it with #upcycle2020 and their school info on FacebookTwitter, or Instagram.
Schools are required to be in (or serve students from) an ecomaine member community. Visit for more information – and good luck!


From our Friends at


Carton 2 Garden Contest



Repurpose your school’s milk or juice cartons into a garden project to win one of FIFTEEN prizes, including a $5,000 grand prize! 
Evergreen Packaging and KidsGardening are proud to present the 2019-2020 Carton 2 Garden Contest. Carton 2 Garden is open to all K-12 public and private schools in the United States. Your school does not need a garden to participate. Register your interest in the Carton 2 Garden Contest to access a special collection of online lesson plans inspired by previous Carton 2 Garden winners. You will also receive periodic tips and reminders from KidsGardening to help keep your project on track.
Entries are due April 1, 2020, but are accepted on a rolling basis. We can’t wait to see what your students create! To learn more, CLICK HERE!
From our Friends at NH Audubon

The Audubon Photography Awards Are Back


Red-winged Blackbird. Photo: Kathrin Swoboda/Audubon Photography Awards

The Audubon Photography Awards are officially open for entries! Celebrating outstanding bird photography from around the world, judges will award six prizes, including a Grand Prize of $5,000 which, last year, went to the exceptional Red-winged Blackbird photo above.

Submit your photos now for early bird entry fees of $15 per image from today until March 30, 2020, when fees increase to $20 per image until the contest ends on April 6, 2020. Photographers between the age of 13 and 17 may enter for free. For official contest rules and eligibility, click here.

From our Friends at NH Science Teachers’ Association

Announcing Two NHSTA Recognition Award Opportunities 
(due date is April 15, 2020)

The New Hampshire Science Teachers’ Association is pleased to announce two award opportunities for teachers of science in New Hampshire.

A Novice Science Teacher award is offered for an educator in his/her first through fifth year of teaching and an Experienced Science Teacher award for an educator who has taught for six or more years.  Both awards will be presented at the NHSTA 2020 Spring Science Conference to be held at Pinkerton Academy, Derry, NH on Saturday, May 9, 2020.

The criteria and nomination forms are available through the link below.  The NHSTA Board of Directors looks forward to honoring our exemplary science educators.  Nominations have a deadline of April 15, 2020.

Links to both forms are found at:
CLUB Note:  We had difficulty linking to this site. You could try:

From our Friends at Youth Service America

Gloria Barron Prize for Young Heroes – Deadline: April 15

The Barron Prize annually honors 25 outstanding young leaders ages 8 to 18 who have made a significant positive difference to people and the environment. Fifteen top winners each receive $10,000 to support their service work or higher education.

Read more


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 and MA Farm to School

Webinar: 12/18/19 School-wide Composting & Curricular Tie-ins, recording available

Massachusetts Farm to School recently produced a webinar on School-Wide Composting and Curricular Tie-ins. The webinar slides were posted to their website along with a recording of the webinar.


From our Friends at EPA

State Specific Food Waste Fact Sheets

Food Law and Policy Clinic (FLPC)’s state specific guides on food waste are now available on a single web page, making it easy to learn about how different states have used law and policy to address food waste and to compare responses across various jurisdictions. These fact sheets are developed at the request of FLPC’s on-the-ground partners, seeking information about a myriad of food waste-related issues, including: the legal landscapes or liability protection for food donors, feeding food scraps to animals, tax incentives for food donation, and/or expiration date label requirements. View State fact sheets, including all six New England states:

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 National Wildlife Federation



Identifying Wildlife Tracks

Whether the ground is covered in snow where you live, or it’s just wet and muddy out, looking for tracks is a great way to discover your wildlife neighbors.

Find out how to identify tracks of some common backyard wildlife.



Winter Animal Track Games


From our Friends at Pinterest







Here’s a matching card game:














Also from our Friends at Pinterest




Here are some printable Animal Tracks Explorer ID Cards:












  • 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 50th Anniversary 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:
  • 05/18 & 19/19 – 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.
  • 06/05/19 – World Environment Day – To plan your event, visit
  • 06/08/19 – World Oceans Day – To plan your event, visit



Happy Leap Day on Feb. 29!




WHAT 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. 119