The NRRA School Recycling Club

Northeast Resource Recovery Association

School News You Can Use – January, 2018

Happy New Year!

Rhonda’s Robo-Octopus (Photo courtesy of

(From 2016-Can’t believe we missed this!) Team USA-Vermont won Gold in the 26th annual  International Snow Sculpture Championships with “Rhonda and Her Recycling Robo-Octopus,” a piece that depicted 14-year-old science whiz Rhonda riding inside her invention – the Robo-Octopus – which helps clean the ocean floor. For more information on the Breckenridge (CO) Competition, and a look at some fabulous sculptures, click HERE!




  • 2018 Conference News – Call for Award Nominations! Still Looking for Keynote Speaker
  • NRRA Grant News –  USDA RD Town & Gown Grant-Take our School Indoor Air Quality Survey!
  • CLUB News – Welcome New & Renewing CLUB Members; Farm to School Report; Free HP Printer Cartridges!
  • NRRA SWIP News – White River Alliance SWD  and Rutland SWAC SWIP Work Continues
  • In The News – Green Schools Alliance Celebrates 10 Year Anniversary
  • Contests, Scholarships & Fundraisers – Deadlines Loom for ecomaine Eco-Excellence and The Purpose Challenge
  • NHDES & EPA News – PEYA Award Nominations Needed
  • Activity – Winter Bucket List

Click HERE to view PDF



Call for Award Nominations!


That’s Right! It’s time to start thinking about a deserving student, teacher or staff member for one of our School Recycling Awards!

Use one of our categories or make up your own.  Click here for the Nomination Form!

Entries are due by March 16, 2018. Winners (+1 guest) will receive free registration for the Conference & Awards Luncheon on May 22.



Still Looking for a Keynote Speaker

Yes, we are still looking for a Student Keynote Speaker!

Are you passionate about recycling?

Here’s your chance to spread the word and get public speaking experience in front of your peers!

If you are interested, contact Gwen at



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

Schools Are Invited to Take Our Quick 10-Question 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.





Welcome Idlehurst Elementary & Bow High School!


Idlehurst Elementary School

  • Where:  Somersworth, NH
  • Grades:  K-5
  • Students:  510






Bow High School

  • Where:  Bow, NH
  • Grades:  9-12
  • Students:  660








From our Friend Wendy Berkeley, Somersworth Farm to School Coordinator

What happens in winter for Farm to School?

The gardens are put to bed, so what do we do now?  The Farm to School Team has been busier than ever, applying for the USDA Farm to School grant!  Every year the USDA releases millions of dollars in grant money for Farm to School programming, and this year Somersworth was ready to apply.  With the help of many teachers, administrators, NH Farm to School, the Somersworth DPW, and several local businesses and organizations, SAU 56 submitted its application for nearly $50,000 worth of programming needs in December.  These include Farm to School staffing needs, continued support for composting efforts and school garden needs, SYC Farm to School initiatives, and FTS Professional Development for school staff.  Awards will be announced in June of 2018.

Maple season is just around the corner and we are excited to announce that NH Agriculture in the Classroom (NHAITC) will be helping out with a new evaporator!  As a successful recipient of the NHAITC Maple Equipment Grant, Middle School teacher Daryl Dunbar will be receiving a $200 check towards the purchase of supplies to build the evaporator.

Farm to School will also be presenting to the Jan. 23 School Board meeting.  With several new board members this election cycle, we’re excited to get to know our new public service champions, and invite them into the fold of all that Farm to School has to offer our students.

Want to know more about Somersworth Farm to School? Get on our email list by contacting Wendy at  Learn about upcoming meetings, volunteer opportunities, and events to participate in.  Happy 2018!



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


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. Are Milk cartons allowed?

A: Cartons come in all shapes and sizes. Milk cartons are lined with plastic but mostly made of paper and needs to be separated out when it goes to be recycled. Some paper mills have machinery called a hydro-pulper, where chopped up cartons are mixed with water and the plastic separates from the fibers.  The fibers can be made into products such as office paper.  The remaining plastic is trickier to reuse but sometimes sent to be turned into building materials.

Contact your waste hauler, solid waste management district, or transfer station to find out if they accept cartons.


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



Congratulations to our Friends at the Green Schools Alliance!


Uniting the Collective Strength of Individual Action

Dear Friends,

On World Environment Day 2007, inspired by former Mayor Bloomberg’s initiative to reduce carbon in NYC, the Alliance recognized the leadership role that the education community could play. It started as an idea, a dream, then a possibility. Now, because of every single person who has brought their experience or curiosity to the Green Schools Alliance, this vision has become a reality.

There are an estimated 100 million schools worldwide. As hubs of communities, schools can help to transform markets, policy, education and behavior, increase community resilience, mitigate climate change, and prepare citizens to think and act in new and creative ways. The Alliance recognizes the leadership role that the education community can play, as a critical mass, to help mitigate disaster.

Over the past decade, the Alliance has empowered an unprecedented number of schools worldwide to set and meet their climate and sustainability goals, and measure and report their impact. Today, through exciting new programs and tools developed with input from our members to meet the needs of the next decade, the Alliance continues to turn individual concern into collective action to protect our shared future.

Margaret Howard Watson
Founder and President

To learn more about the Green Schools Alliance, click HERE!



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.



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 these links:

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 ecomaine


Nominate your green superstar today!


ecomaine is now accepting nominations for the 2018 eco-Excellence Awards. Nominate a business, individual, school or non-profit by January 19, 2018.

Awards criteria: Nominees must be located in or serve one of the 73 ecomaine communities.  Nominees can be businesses, schools, nonprofits, or individuals and will be selected based on the effectiveness, increased awareness, community impact, and ease of replication of their sustainability programs or initiatives.

Learn more here.





Calling All High School Seniors


The Purpose Challenge Essay Grant


Deadline: February 1, 2018

Find your purpose at and win up to $25,000 for college! The Purpose Challenge toolkit helps high school seniors explore and identify their purpose – infusing what they learn about themselves into their 2017-2018 college applications. They can enter that essay in a contest; six students will win prizes ranging from $5,000 to $25,000






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 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]

Also from our Friends at NH Audubon


NH Audubon Snowshoe Rentals

Tuesdays through Saturdays, 9am – 2pm

December 1-February 28

Massabesic Center, Auburn


Enjoy nature in winter at the Massabesic Center as you trek the trails on snowshoes! Snowshoes for use on-site only with a minimum of 6” of snow cover. Limited pairs available for little children.  Call to reserve if bringing a large party.

Cost: $8M / $10NM dollars per pair.

[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

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.





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.

From our Friends at EPA

2017 Winners EPA-FRC

2017 Winners Food Recovery Challenge. Congratulations to the 16 winners in EPA’s Food Recovery Challenge. Together, all participants together diverted 740,000 tons of food from being landfilled or incinerated, reducing landfill waste and saving businesses up to $37 million in avoided waste disposal fees. “Food Recovery Challenge award winners serve as role models in their communities and for other organizations,” said EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt. “Their hard work and effective efforts to divert wasted food from landfills is paying off through social, financial, and environmental benefits.” Wasted food is the single largest type of waste discarded each year in our everyday trash, roughly 73 billion pounds.
Read about the 2017 winners:



From our friends at EPA Region I


Food Waste Minimization Toolkit for Iowa Schools

School food service departments are tasked with balancing cost and student participation in school lunches, while at the same time reducing the amount of food waste. To assist Iowa schools in addressing food waste, the Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and the Iowa Department of Education (DOE) partnered to produce this waste minimization toolkit to assist school administrators and nutrition staff in maintaining a sustainable balance in reducing food insecurity and waste.

In 2016 a pilot project included observing, investigating, and documenting areas of reduction.  They also performed onsite waste sorts and assessments at eleven Iowa schools. This toolkit discusses the issues, provides lessons learned from the pilots and provides tips on conducting a waste audit and strategies for waste minimization, and sample templates and scripts.

Website (look for Iowa Schools Food Waste Minimization Toolkit);




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




For a printable PDF, click HERE!




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


It’s Going to be a Great Recycling New Year!





mailboxWHAT IS YOUR SCHOOL CLUB UP TO? The NRRA School Recycling CLUB always loves to hear what its members and other schools are doing to recycle and help the environment so we can share it through our newsletter. There are so many different things being done, and you are our best source of information about what is working in your school. It can be a new program, a long-term project that’s been proven over time, a field trip, etc. Always feel free to contact me or submit something and you may see it in the next School News You Can Use! – Gwen Erley, 1-603-736-4401, Ext. 19