The NRRA School Recycling Club

Northeast Resource Recovery Association

School News You Can Use – January, 2020

Winter is Marching Along




Click HERE to view PDF



Welcome Renewing Member


Woodland Heights School


  • Laconia, NH
  • 352 Students
  • PK-5







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 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!

Speakers Needed! Yes, we are still recruiting school workshop speakers for the 2-day School Recycling Conference. We invite you to share your expertise with your school peers. The speaker deadline has been extended but don’t delay as workshops will fill up fast.  For abstract details, CLICK HERE!


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!  



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. The TOLD technical assistance program is in high demand. It is for this reason that NRRA recently created then piloted three TOLD Tool Kits utilizing funds provided by the USDA Rural Development, Rural Utilities Service. 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

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. Funding for this 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. 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 Youth Service America


2019 TIME Person of the Year: Greta Thunberg

16-year-old climate activist Greta Thunberg is the youngest individual ever to be named TIME’s Person Of The Year. “She is an ordinary teenage girl who, in summoning the courage to speak truth to power, became the icon of a generation.”

Read more





From our Friends at


Ocean Cleanup Device Returns with First Batch of Plastic

The nonprofit is now working with partners to create an infrastructure that can clean, sort and recycle the plastic it collected.

Waste360 Staff | Dec 13, 2019

The 2,000-foot-long floating tube that skims the ocean’s surface to collect plastic pollution has returned after weeks navigating the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. Fast Company reports that after months of “research, failures and reconfigurations,” The Ocean Cleanup’s device brought back 60 1-cubic-meter bags filled with plastic trash.

Now, the next step for the nonprofit is to recycle the materials into new, sustainable products. According to the report, The Ocean Cleanup is working with partners to create an infrastructure that can clean, sort and recycle the plastic it collected. The first batch of products is expected to launch in September 2020.

For the whole article, CLICK HERE!



From our Friends at


6 Incredible Skills Kids Can Learn Through Waste Management At Home

From a young age, children learn to be clean and tidy.

Waste management at home also teaches children some essential things. Learn More>





From our Friends at National Wildlife Federation


NWF Photo Contest Winners


Kindred Spirits

Why take pictures? For most of us, it’s a way to log our memories and share our lives. For wildlife photographers, it’s a passionate mission—to reveal what’s often unseen and ignite human compassion for the natural world we’re all bound to protect.

Look at all of National Wildlife’s 2019 Photo Contest Winners




From our Friends at EPA and MA DEP



THE GREEN TEAM Informational Webinar,

1/29/20 at 3:30pm EST


THE GREEN TEAM is a program of the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection.

Learn more about how your school and classroom can benefit from THE GREEN TEAM resources, including free curricula, lesson plans & activities, composting & idling reduction equipment, and recognition & prizes for your students!





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



Recycling & Environmental Game Links


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




Is your school a recycling star? 

For a complete review of your school’s recycling program, please consider The CLUB’s Star of Sustainability Assessment. For an overview, you can view our recorded webinar (developed through our USDA Town & Gown Grant) located on our Resources page. Just scroll down to Webinar 12.

For more information about scheduling an evaluation for your school, please contact




EPA PEYA Nominations Due Jan. 15


EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler Calls for Nominations for the 2020 Presidential Environmental Youth Awards and Presidential Innovation Awards for Environmental Educators

Applications due by January 15, 2020 WASHINGTON (Nov. 7, 2019) — Today, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Andrew Wheeler announced that EPA’s Office of Environmental Education is now accepting applications for the 2020 Presidential Environmental Youth Awards (PEYA) and Presidential Innovation Awards for Environmental Educators (PIAEE). Winners will be invited to Washington, D.C. in mid-2020 to be honored by the agency and present their work in a poster session. For applications and eligibility, click on the following links:

The Presidential Environmental Youth Awards (PEYA) 

The Presidential Innovation Award for Environmental Educators (PIAEE)               





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 Youth Service America


Bezos Scholars Program – Deadline:  January 31

For high school juniors: The program kicks off with an all-expenses paid trip to the Aspen Ideas Festival With ongoing support and $1,000, 17 Scholars launch local community change projects that align their unique passion with a community need.

Read more




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 Youth Service America


2020 Aim High Grant Program – Deadline: January 24

The Afterschool Alliance invites out-of-school time programs to apply for grants of up to $100,000 to support the ability of afterschool & summer learning programs help their middle school students make a successful transition from 8th to 9th grade.

Read more

From our Friends at



2020 Gro More Good Grassroots Grant

The 2020 Gro More Good Grassroots Grant, presented by The Scotts Miracle-Gro Foundation and KidsGardening, is designed to bring the life-enhancing benefits of youth gardens and greenspaces to communities across the United States. 

This year we will award 175 grants worth a collective total of $100,000! 150 grant recipients will be awarded a check for $500 to support their initiatives. The top 25 programs will receive a check for $1,000.

Applications are due Friday, February 14, 2020. 

Learn more about eligibility requirements for the Gro More Good Grassroots Grant. We look forward to receiving your application!


A few of the 2019 Gro More Good Grassroots Grant awarded programs.


From our Friends at FAMAE


New FAMAE Challenge – Food Innovations

We are thrilled to announce the launch of the world’s largest innovation competition dedicated to food with a €2M prize! 
With 9 billion inhabitants on Earth by 2050, there is a crucial need to act in order to develop solutions that will stop hurting our planet. Food, with nearly 40% of worldwide greenhouse gas emissions, constitutes a formidable challenge to reduce our environmental footprint.

Food For Good Challenge

Develop an innovative and concrete solution from field to fork to deliver fair, sustainable & healthy food, for everybody, everywhere.

Applications closing on February 14, 2020

For all the information, go to:

From our Friends at NH DES

Don’t Delay – Entries are Due Jan. 31!

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 NH Dept. of Environmental Services


Announcing the Winners of the #KingTideNH2019 Photo Contest


Portsmouth, NH – After reviewing 135 incredible submissions, the New Hampshire Coastal Adaptation Workgroup is excited to announce the winners of the #KingTideNH2019 Photo Contest. Now a regular event, the photo contest aims to raise awareness of New Hampshire’s rising tides.

The #KingTideNH2019 judges panel included Seacoast Science Center President Jim Chase; New Hampshire Public Radio Reporter Annie Ropeik; and personal and business brand photographer Raya Al-Hashmi, of Raya on Assignment.

“Judging the photos was interesting and frightening at the same time,” Chase said. “The images gave me a real sense of what we will have to deal with here in the Seacoast as sea levels rise.”

The official judges’ meeting took place on Friday, November 1, 2019, during which they selected contest category winners. The winning photos can be found on the New Hampshire Coastal Adaptation Workgroup photo contest winners page. Contest winners have been notified and will receive fantastic prizes generously donated by Seacoast-area businesses.

An exhibit of select contest photos – donated by Live Free Print & Frame – will be on display at several Seacoast locations throughout the remainder of 2019 and 2020. Exhibit dates and locations will be posted on the New Hampshire Coastal Adaptation Workgroup website.

Please direct all questions to Nathalie Morison, Coastal Resilience Specialist with the NHDES Coastal Program, at or (603) 559-0029.

The New Hampshire Coastal Adaptation Workgroup is a collaboration of 20+ organizations working to ensure that New Hampshire’s coastal watershed communities are resourceful, ready and resilient to extreme weather and long-term climate change. To learn more, visit the New Hampshire Coastal Adaptation Workgroup website.


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:


From our Friends at EPA and WWF


FOOD WASTE WARRIORS:  A deep dive into food waste in US schools, 2019

In the spring of 2019, World Wildlife Fund (WWF), with support from The Kroger Co. Foundation and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Region 4 (Southeast), analyzed food waste in 46 schools in nine cities across eight states including Atlanta, Boulder, Cincinnati, Columbus, Indianapolis, Nashville, Phoenix, Portland, and Seattle.

For the whole report, go to:


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


Snowman Printable Bingo Cards

This image courtesy of


By: Amber from

Updated October 20, 2016

Instead of going out in the cold, stay in and play a game with these Snowman Printable Bingo Cards. You may be able to build a snowman by getting a bingo. Some of the bingo space images including a branch arm, carrot nose, scarf, and top hat. There are also other winter themes, such as snowflakes and Santa’s beard. This printable bingo game is an awesome winter activity for kids and adults alike. After you’ve made these printable bingo cards, you can laminate them so that you can reuse them whenever it’s too chilly outside.

Click here for the free paper project

  • Estimated Cost: Under $10
  • Time to Complete: Under an hour
  • Primary Technique: Paper Crafts



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 Day – To plan your event, visit

04/22/20 – Earth Day – To 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



Spring Could Be Just a Few Short Weeks Away!

Watch for the Groundhog on Feb. 2


Thanks to


(And Valentine’s Day is right around the corner!)



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