The NRRA School Recycling Club

Northeast Resource Recovery Association

School News You Can Use – January, 2015



Courtesy of NH Audubon Society

Courtesy of NH Audubon Society

  • CLUB News – Newbury Elementary TOLD
  • CLUB Conference Update – Call for Speakers; Award Nominations
  • In The News – Annual NRRA Compost Bin Fundraiser Announced
  • EPA News – Shelf Life
  • Activity – Recycle Your Old Calendars
  • Green Calendar

Click here to view PDF


       CLUB NEWS


Newbury Elementary Students Hold T.O.L.D.

Newbury, VT –Newbury Elementary School held a Trash On the Lawn Day (T.O.L.D.) on Oct. 31. Two group presentations trained approximately 165 K-6 students how to identify recyclables from actual trash and helped educate the school on how to be compliant with Vermont’s Act 148 – Universal Recycling.

Newbury 2 - NEK's Marcus Berry prepares for sorting

NEK WMD Special Guest Marcus Berry prepares trash for sorting.

Special Guest Marcus Berry, of Northeast Kingdom Solid Waste Management District, provided an overview of available District resources during the question and answer period.

Using typical school trash, NRRA School CLUB Instructor Marc Morgan went through the process of how to identify recycling, composting and trash categories. Each group was given a bag of trash which was then sorted and recycled or reused until all the items were identified.


During the sorting process, Mr. Morgan explained where resources come from, what makes “landfills forever” and how to reduce the amount of waste generated.



Newbury 1-Students assist Marc Morgan with sorting

Newbury Elementary students assist CLUB Educator Marc Morgan with sorting recycling from trash.

Approximately 75 lbs. of trash was sorted during the two sessions. The school recently began a composting program. In one month, they diverted more than a ton of food waste to composting. This is a great example of what even a small school can accomplish.


The students asked lots of questions and learned that diverting recyclables would save energy, the environment and landfill space. Overall, Newbury Elementary is doing a very good job at diverting its waste.


Special thanks to School Principal Chance Lindsley, who was especially helpful.






CLUB Coordinator Tours Award-Winning New Boston Facilities


NRRA CLUB Coordinator, Gwen Erley, recently had the pleasure of touring the New Boston TrNew Boston-Station HQansfer Station and the New Boston Central School on December 8. Transfer Station Manager Gerry Cornett was kind enough to include her in a tour he hosted for a student working on her Senior Project.


Taylor Duckworth, a senior at the Academy for Science and Design, chose recycling in the school as her focus project. Accompanied by her mentor, AnDrew French, a TSA Advisor and Teacher at her school, Taylor took notes and asked questions about setting up an initial program and how the recycling system works as a partnership between town and school. Taylor hopes to develop a similar recycling program for her school.


The importance of signage when “Recycling by the Number.”

The importance of signage when “Recycling by the Number.”



Manager Gerry Cornett gave a very thorough tour of the transfer station, pointing out the importance of clear, well-placed signage, to encourage recycling of over 10 different household items. The transfer station also takes old appliances and electronics, has a compost area, heats with recycled oil and runs a swap shop to benefit their residents.




From there, the group journeyed over to the Central School and were welcomed by the staff and given a

Gerry Cornett, Taylor Duckworth and AnDrew French prepare for New Boston Central School recycling tour.

Gerry Cornett, Taylor Duckworth and AnDrew French prepare for New Boston Central School recycling tour.

tour of the school. Each classroom has a recycling bin and students help with the daily collections. Gerry told the story of how he located, purchased and delegated ownership of the “Green Machine” recycling truck to the students. By partnering with the transfer station, the school not only reduced their waste disposal expense, they actually made money from their recycling efforts. The students vote on how to use the funds – the most recent surplus going to fixing a drinking fountain.




New Boston Central Signage

The importance of signage in the Central School cafeteria.


The New Boston model of cooperation between town and school has been featured on both the NRRA and CLUB webpages for their award winning program. To see their video, go to: and scroll down to “New Boston Central School Award Winning Recycling Program Video” for a summary of their efforts.





The New Boston Central School “Green Machine”

The New Boston Central School “Green Machine”













question mark

Trivia Question from our Director:

QUESTION:  What Recycling Bin do we see every day but never notice?   (Answer at the end of the newsletter!)



2015 School Conference GraphicCall for Conference Speakers

Can you believe the 2015 School CLUB Conference is coming up already?  That’s right – the date is set for June 9, 2015 and we are looking for your input and ideas. If you, or someone your know, is interested in presenting to educators and students at our conference, please check out the details at this link:

2015 School Conference Call for Speakers

Just keep in mind, the deadline for Presentation Proposals is January 30th, 2015, so don’t delay.

For your presentation to be considered, please email your proposal to Gwen Erley at and copy the email to or contact Gwen Erley at 1- 800-223-0150 x.19.



Award Nominations Being Taken


The School blue_ribbonRecycling CLUB’s 6th Annual Conference will be held at the Radisson in Manchester on June 9, 2015. This year’s theme is “Real Challenges-Real Solutions.”  Registration forms will be available shortly.

The CLUB is now accepting Award Nominations in a number of categories.  The awards will be presented at the 2015 Conference.  If you know of a worthy individual, school or group, please follow this link to the nomination form.  Deadline for nominations is April 1, 2015.






NRRA CLUB applergclipped

Would you like to host a TOLD, Garbage Guerillas or another Workshop at your school? Let the CLUB Help!

  • Improves academic performance, especially in science and math
  • Can lead to financial savings for schools
  • Decreases the school’s carbon footprint through practical solutions that reduce energy and water consumption
  • Reduces school waste and conserves natural resources
  • Encourages student environmental awareness and stewardship
  • Increases parental involvement
  • Helps students and teachers develop stronger relationships with their communities

Previous EPA EE-funded research at over 200 New England schools completed by the NRRA School Recycling CLUB (the CLUB) found that the single most challenging area for school recycling programs was in providing curriculum integrations that brought recycling and sustainability into classrooms to be used as the subject matter for meeting state and local curriculum standards.  The intention of the CLUB programs is to address just that issue in schools across all six New England states. Our goal is to use the CLUB’s workshops and technical assistance programs, all experiential and hands on, as a tool for educating K-12 students about consumption, proper diversion of waste, the resulting impacts on climate change and what they can do to change it.  Through these offerings, we are also afforded the opportunity to link these priorities to curriculum standards.  In addition, these workshops will model, for educators or community leaders, exemplary ways of teaching in creative, effective, and efficient methods about human health threats from environmental pollution as well as how to minimize human exposure to preserve good health. Click here to learn more or contact us at or call 1.603.736.4401 ext. 19




NRRA Annual Compost Bin Sale – Register NRRA compost binsNow for this Great Fundraising Event


Did you know?
*In 2012, 27.6% of waste sent to landfills consisted of food and yard waste, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. The use of backyard composting systems by residents can divert this waste and help residents benefit from fresh compost.

* It is also possible to conserve municipal water supplies and cut household water bills by up to 40% with backyard rain barrels. Rain water, free from chlorine and water treatment chemicals, is an excellent water source for lawns, plants and gardens.

Now is the time to do your part to help the environment. Participating in NRRA’s annual compost bin sale is a great way to do this! You can either do a straight sale or use this as a fundraiser for your group or organization.
It’s quick and easy. Just go to

1. Download your participation packet (Compost Bin Sale Packet) and send us your participation form. Upon receipt, NRRA will send you a customized order form and poster that you can use to promote your sale.

2. Collect orders until March 13, 2015. Download group order form from the website and send to NRRA no later than 4:00 p.m. on March 13th.

3. Orders will be shipped directly to your group between April 13th and April 17th – in plenty of time to distribute for Earth Day!

Be sure to read the overview of the sale on the website for minimum order requirements, delivery and other important details about the sale.




Great American Can Roundup – Where is NH?

Al the Can Official Logo


Al the Can wishes you, your school and community a CANtastic 2015! May it be filled with laughter, good cheer and great possibilities for your students to demonstrate their green environmental leadership. Step up to the Great American Can Roundup Challenge and win $1,000 offered to the school in each state recycling the most aluminum cans per student. Better yet, become the champion recycling school nationwide and win an additional $5,000.
The GACR School Challenge is wide open with only one or two schools from 15 states submitting receipts. Launch your aluminum can recycling campaign with the College Football Playoff National Championship on January 7, continue the collecting during the Super Bowl on February 1 and then through Earth Day (April 22, 2015). Reach out to the school’s community and businesses to turn up the recycling volume and leave no can un-recycled. There is a total of $56,000 up for grabs in addition to the value of the cans.

Here is a snapshot of the current leader board:
State Schools Submitting Receipts
AL 2
AR 1
CA 1usa map
CO 1
GA 2
ID 1
MD 1
MN 2
NC 1
NE 2
OK 2
OR 1
PA 1
TX 1
WY 2

Fun Idea for Students: Encourage students to research their sister school namesakes in difference states and invite them to join in the Great American Can Roundup School Challenge. Schools become each other’s recycling pen pals/email cheerleaders and exchange ideas. Wouldn’t it be super if all schools with the same name won $1,000, being the top per capita recycling school award winner in their state? Of course, your school will become the champion recycling per capita school in the nation and win an additional $5,000! Your sister namesake schools should register at so they are eligible to compete. While on the website, schools can check out their competition from last year and set goals for their state to win. They also find virtually everything needed for a success roundup and interdisciplinary curriculum too.

Another Great American Can Roundup School Challenge!

Register your school now at for the opportunity to win up to $6,000 plus the value of the cans. The Can Manufacturers Institute will be awarding $1,000 to the school in each state and the District of Columbia that recycles the most aluminum beverage cans per student between America Recycles Day (Nov. 15, 2014) and Earth Day (April 22, 2015). The national champion recycling school will receive an additional $5,000.

Check out your competition at to set your recycling goals and go for the win. Also, there is nothing in the rules to preclude collecting cans now to recycle starting November 15.



scout hand signDoes your school have any Boy or Girl Scouts? We have learned that scouts are recycling and using the proceeds for scouting activities, but would also would like to help the school with its recycling and rally others to catch the recycling spirit. This year, schools and scouts are encouraged to partner. The school can donate to a troop(s) verified pounds recycled during the GACR Scout Council Challenge from Jan. 15 to April 30. The caveat is that the Scouts have to help with the school’s recycling efforts, register for the Scout Council Challenge and the school and scout unit must reference the troop/school on their respective registration accounts. The scouts also can donate their verified pounds of aluminum cans recycled to the school. Sort of double dipping with each benefiting from the proceeds. Another plus for scouts is the time they spend assisting with the school’s Roundup, they can claim those hours as community service hours for their council. Attached is an invitation for the GACR Scout Council Challenge and the School Challenge.




Compost Council Logo

Composting Council Scholarship Deadline February 15

The Composting Council Research and Education Foundation (CCREF) supports initiatives that enhance worms cartoonthe stature and practices of the composting industry by supporting scientific research, increasing awareness, and educating the public to advance environmentally and economically sustainable organics recycling.

The goal of the CCREF Sustainable Student Scholarship Award is to award a $1,000 scholarship to encourage students interested in composting research. This helps recruit tomorrow’s generation of industry experts and researchers!

Who should apply:
High school seniors with a keen interest in the compost industry.

• Two letters of recommendation
• An essay outlining your experience with compost and how this impacts your choice of a major at a college or university
• Email your submission to:  Leanne Spaulding, Development Officer, Composting Council Research and Education Foundation

Here is the application form:  Apply for Scholarship

Thank you to the CCREF scholarship sponsor! Print

Filtrexx Sustainable Technologies









Xmas light mess

Recycle Your Old Lights

From Earth 911

First, check to see if your local hazardous waste collection site accepts Christmas lights. If not, you can mail in broken or obsolete lights to a number of retailers, including Christmas Light Source in Fort Worth, Texas and in Jackson, Mich.

The Christmas Light Source sells your old incandescent lights to a local recycling facility and donates the proceeds to the Marine Toys for Tots foundation. will recycle your old LED lights for you, and will reward your eco-friendly efforts with a discount on your next purchase.

Check out’s Recycling Database to learn about other mail-in programs and find your local recycling facility.





 On the brighter side …


 NWF Logo12 Wins for Wildlife in 2014 That YOU Made Possible

from Wildlife Promise, Blogs From Around the Federation
By Collin O’Mara, President & CEO of National Wildlife Federation

Sometimes it’s hard to see how one small act can make a difference in this world. How can signing a petition or casting a vote or making a donation save a species?  Let me show you.

In 2014, friends like you joined together with the National Wildlife Federation and our great state affiliates to defend nature’s gifts – our wildlife, our waterways, our treasured natural lands — for now and for generations to come.

And we won! We won victories for bison and bears and meadowlark and mountain lions, and so much more. We won because supporters like you stood up, showed up, spoke up and signed up.
Let’s celebrate these victories together. Here are just a sampling of the inspiring wins for wildlife your support made possible this year. Gallery of Wildlife Wins
We are profoundly grateful for your passion and commitment to wildlife.

For more information on the National Wildlife Federation, go to:






2014WasteWise logo_color_voluntary

EPA Food Waste – Shelf Life

Food Waste Reduction Tip: Save More by Knowing Your Food’s Shelf Life, LeanPath December 2014 newsletter
Food expiration dates have been getting a lot of attention lately, especially since the National Resource Defense Council released their detailed report on the often-confusing metric in September 2013. While it’s great to see light being shed on the facts surrounding food date labels, it can still be tough to know what exactly to do now that we know date labels are not the end-all-be-all of food freshness or safety.

bunch of vegetablesFortunately, the folks behind StillTasty have set out to make it easier than ever to find out exactly how long you can save food items. The website is a searchable database of food items, letting you get very specific with the food item you’re looking up, even giving you different shelf lifes depending on storage method. The site also has a useful blog and answers common questions about food expiration and storage. Visit and get tips on keeping your food fresh, safe, and tasty!

View the entire LeanPath December 2014 newsletter here.






Recycle Your Old CalendarCalendar Project End Pic




By Susie Delaney, eHow Contributor

Are you a crafter that saves every little bit or scrap of paper for that ultimate craft or a rainy day? I am totally guilty of this, and I love saving old calendars. I even have calendars from my childhood that feature teddy bears! I bet you have an old or free calendar lurking in a pile on your desk right now. Go grab it and we can give it a new life.

Things You’ll Need
• Calendar
• Envelope or envelope template
• Scissors
• Pencil
• Glue (or double sided tape)
• Bone folder (optional)
• Washi tape (optional)

Step 1:Calendar Project Step 1

If your are using an envelope you already have as your template, carefully take it apart. You want it intact to trace so try not to rip it on the edges.



Step 2:Calendar Project Step 2

Lay your envelope template on the backside of the calendar and trace. I played with the positioning a bit to try to get the best parts of the photo in the center of my envelope.



Step 3:Calendar Project Step 3

Cut out with your envelope design using your template. You’ll want to trace and cut accurately because if it is uneven the envelope won’t lay flat or seal properly.



Step 4:Calendar Project Step 4

Fold in the sides and bottom of the envelope, then crease the top. I used a bone folder here to make the creases sharp and even.



Step 5:Calendar Project Step 5

Glue (or tape) the bottom flap over the two side flaps. Leave the top flap unglued.



Step 6:Calendar Project Step 6

Your envelope is complete. Since this doesn’t have the adhesive on the top flap you will need to glue or tape the top down when you have put your letter inside. Maybe use some awesome glitter stickers or decorative washi tape.

Step 7:Calendar Project Step 7

BONUS – Don’t waste those scraps! For those who really don’t like to waste, or who never have gift tags around this is a perfect way to use the last bits of your calendar. Just trim your scrap pieces into a small tag and punch a hole for your ribbon. Easy!





question mark

Trivia Question from our Director:

QUESTION:  What Recycling Bin do we see every day but never notice?

ANSWER: The Recycling Bin on the computer!

Recycle Bin



03/22/15 – World Water Day – To plan your event, see future newsletters and visit

04/22/15 – Earth Day – To plan your event, see future newsletters and visit

04/24/15 – Arbor Day – To plan your event, see future newsletters and visit

06/05/15 – World Environment Day – To plan your event, see future newsletters and visit

06/08/15 – World Oceans Day – To plan your event, see future newsletters and visit

06/09/15NRRA School CLUB Conference – The conference within the conference celebrates schools and students with activities and awards. It will be held at the Radisson in Manchester, NH.  See our Conference page for details.  


mailboxWHAT IS YOUR SCHOOL CLUB UP TO? The NRRA School 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