The NRRA School Recycling Club

Northeast Resource Recovery Association

School News You Can Use- June 2014

Inside this Issue

*2014 School Awards Presented at Annual Conference

*Farewell to CLUB Coordinator Caitlin Meaney

*Summer Recycling Tips for Kids & Parents

*Contact the CLUB Today for Assistance in the New School Year!



5th Annual School Recycling Conference: A Huge Success!

Eco Tree with environment symbolsThe CLUB, in conjunction with the Annual Northeast Recycling Conference & Expo, hosted the Annual School Recycling Conference on Tuesday June 10th. This conference provided a full day of educational workshops and activities specifically tailored to school issues in recycling and the solid waste industry. The Conference & Expo was a great opportunity for students, teachers and administrators who were interested in learning more about school recycling, expanding their programs, increasing the efficiency of their current program, adding recycling education to their curricula, exchanging ideas, sharing philosophies, and further promoting waste reduction efforts. The Conference & Expo featured six workshops hosted by nationally recognized organizations and speakers, as well as hands-on activities that got the students learning about recycling and waste reduction in a fun interactive way! During lunch, NRRA, and the School CLUB supporter, New Hampshire the Beautiful, presented the School CLUB Recycling Awards in front of the entire conference audience.  To view some of the educational workshop presentations click HERE then scroll down to the 2014 School Work Shop section.  To see pictures of the conference click HERE

Told 1One of  the key events offered was the mini Trash on the Lawn Day (TOLD).  This popular activity involved taking actual trash from the conference facility’s kitchen and sorting through it to remove any items that could have been recycled or composted.  It’s amazing how much “trash” was not trash at all, but you don’t take our word for it.  The results speak for themselves as you can see below.


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Out of a total of 6 trash bags, weighing 70 pounds:

66% of the trash was compostable
7% was paper
7% was steel cans
3% was plastic

The paper, steel cans and plastic could all have been recycled.  Only 17% was actually trash!

Below are some photos of the students enjoying some of the conference events such as “Paint the Can” and an educational obstacle course that helps student learn more about recycling and composting.

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NRRA School CLUB Awards Announced

The 5th Annual School Recycling Conference was sponsored in part by NH the Beautiful. New Hampshire the Beautiful, Inc. (NHtB) has been a longtime supporter of the NRRA School CLUB and environmental education in NH.  The following awards were presented at the 33rd NRRA Annual Recycling Conference in Manchester, NH.  (to see the press release for a specific award, click on the highlighted link):


The future of recycling is in excellent hands thanks to this outstanding group of educators, staff and students!  Congratulations to each of you!

Since the first year of this conference, it has continued to grow; and we expect next year’s to be even bigger and better!  We’ve received a lot of really positive feedback from this years attendees.  If your school is interested in attending next year’s conference, please contact us at so that we can keep you in the loop for information as it becomes available!  Hope to see you there!


NH the Beautiful Presents First Annual Environmental Stewardship Award

Beginning this year, New Hampshire the Beautiful created a new Environmental Stewardship Award to be awarded annually.

The first recipient is Gerry Cornett from New Boston, NH, shown below with John Dumais, Ray Dube, and Larry Melanson from NH the Beautiful, Inc.

DSCN0475Pictured L-R: John Dumais, Ray Dube, Larry Melanson, Mike Durfor, Gerry Cornett

The Environmental Stewardship Award has been created by the NHtB Board to recognize a dedicated transfer facility professional who goes above and beyond their facility recycling responsibilities and engages their entire community in better recycling for a better future.  Most importantly, the NHtB Board wants to recognize that extra and most rewarding effort that reaches out to that community within the community, the local school.  Gerry is the Transfer Station Manager in New Boston, and in 2010 he hatched a plan with Principal Rick Mathews that is run and owned by the school’s students.  The New Boston Central School recycling program is now in its 4th year and continues to be an excellent tool for educating the future generations of recyclers!  The recyclables are processed at the Transfer Station, and revenues generated are paid back to the school for the students to vote on how the funds are spent.  The school recycling rate is in excess of 50%, and the food from the school goes to a local pig farm.  Gerry, with the help of the school’s student council, art students, staff, teachers, facilities and food service, developed a collection program, bought and painted a truck, and started hauling student sorted loads.  Today, the program is self-sustaining, sharing revenues with the transfer station, saving the school hauling costs, developing scholarships for students, and creating a culture that supports recycling and future generations of environmental leaders.  No one better epitomizes the dedication and commitment to future generations of recyclers than New Hampshire the Beautiful’s 2014 Environmental Stewardship Award winner, Gerry Cornett.  Congratulations Gerry!


NRRA’s Outstanding School CLUB Coordinator 2014

2014-06-10 13.07.25The work being done in the NRRA School CLUB Programs throughout New England is phenomenal and inspiring. These Schools, Teachers, Staff, and students have inspired all of us to do our part and do it better.

A special Achievement Award this year recognizes that same spirit of inspiration that is so contagious. With energy and enthusiasm new initiatives like those reflected in the 5th Annual NRRA School Conference happen, and new ideas are allowed to grow. Instrumental in bringing all of this together is Caitlin Meaney.

Without her energy and spirit this school CLUB and this school CLUB conference could not have been able to grow to the level it has achieved and NRRA applauds her for hours of dumpster diving, grant writing, curriculum development, presenting composting workshops, publishing the School News You Can Use, and most importantly doing it all with the brightest smile around. Caitlin is  NRRA’s Outstanding School CLUB Coordinator for 2014.

As you see below Caitlin has been tapped for another position which we  know she will grow into and excel just as hse has with NRRA. All the best to a continuing bright future, and our combined thanks for all her hard work at NRRA.


From Caitlin Meaney’s Desk

Caitlin Meaney (2)Hello. I wanted to take a moment to say goodbye as I have left my position as Programs Coordinator at NRRA and the NRRA School Recycling CLUB.

I have truly enjoyed my tenure here and appreciate having had the opportunity to work with the membership, the Board of Trustees, NH the Beautiful, the staff at NRRA, and all the schools.  Your hard work, passion and dedication has been inspiring.  Thank you for the support, guidance, and encouragement you all have provided me during my time at NRRA and the CLUB.  Words cannot express my gratitude for the last three years I’ve spent here.

Thank you for helping make the 5th Annual School Recycling Conference a success.  I can’t think of a more appropriate close to my time with NRRA.  As you can see in the pictures to come and the press releases for our award winners, the enthusiasm is unwavering.

I look forward to watching the CLUB’s and NRRA’s good work continue and grow as well as the schools around the Northeast progress in areas of recycling and environmental education.

Even though I will miss my colleagues and working at NRRA, I am looking forward to this new challenge and to starting a new phase of my career.  Thank you particularly to the NRRA Staff, NRRA Board of Trustees, the NH the Beautiful Board and my schools; you all make the world a little cleaner and have enriched my life.  Good bye and good luck. Know that your efforts make difference, and keep recycling!

Thank you,



How the Oceans Can Clean Themselves-Boyan Slat

Many of you that attended our conference enjoyed the following video presentation during our closing remarks.  Boyan Slat, a young visionary, combines environmentalism, entrepreneurism, and technology to tackle the global issue of sustainability.  If you missed this intriguing and thought provoking video presentation, or would simply like to view it again, here it is:

If you’re having trouble viewing this video, you can also view it at

To learn more about Boyan’s mission and to find out how his plan is coming along you can visit his website by clicking HERE


Reading Rainbow: How Trash is Recycled with LeVar Burton

Have you ever wondered what happens after your recycling gets picked up?  Reading Rainbow has created a video that shows us the answer:


Summer Recycling Tips for Kids and Parents Alike

summer recycling bins

Summer has officially started! At least for most families. Kids are out of school, and are at home all day. Now this means a lot for parents, but it also means more trash. If you aren’t recycling yet, now is the time to start! Have your children help you out, and it won’t be any different than simply using a trashcan. Recycling can also mean reusing/ repurposing, which makes great activities for kids! We’ve searched the web and found the top eleven tips for recycling/reusing this summer. So step away from your trashcan, and start recycling today!

  1. Set up a recycling center in your kitchen, utility room, or garage. Find out if your recyclables need to be separated, and plan accordingly. You may need one bin, or you may need a few. Be sure to clearly label your bins for easy sorting.
  2. Some communities don’t have a recycling program. Search for recycling centers near your home, and make a field trip out of it with your kids. This could be a great teaching lesson.
  3. Kids mean more drinks; sodas, water bottles, juice boxes, etc. Find out which of these are recyclable and start putting them in the recycling bin immediately. If they aren’t recyclable, see if you can create something out of the containers.
  4. If you are traveling, bring two bags for any trash you might accumulate, one for waste, one for recyclables. There’s a very strong chance you will run into a recycling bin somewhere on your trip.
  5. Kids are always in need of entertaining. Start turning some of your trash into activities. Use tin cans to create a telephone, or decorate tin cans for marker and Tin-Can-Telephonecolored pencil holders. Take a milk carton and make a bird feeder. Let the kids decorate it first. The opportunities are endless for reusing household materials. Search for even more ideas. (
  6. Throwing a pool party or having a bar-b-que? Make sure your recycling bin is clearly labeled, and visible for your guests to use.
  7. Reuse your 6-pack holders for condiments, and silverware for your pool parties or BBQs.
  8. Have your kids clean out their closets. Separate anything you can DIY, then donate the rest.
  9. Summer has a lot of down time. Instead of buying brand new books that will only get read once, have a book swap with your friends and neighbors.
  10. If you have a ton of magazines or old newspapers lying around, use them for mosaics or a paper mache project. This will keep the kids occupied all afternoon!
  11. Use your scraps to start a garden ( Instead of throwing your scraps away, start a garden with your children. You can even go a step further and start your own composting bin, to have beautiful rich soil for your garden.

reycled bird houseDon’t waste anymore time not recycling. Have your kids help. Teach your kids about recycling now, so they will practice it throughout their entire life. It is important to teach our young about the earth, recycling, and landfills. Start this summer with fun activities that will promote recycling, and keep your kids occupied!


 Does Your School Need Assistance with Recycling? 

Let us help.  Contact the CLUB today and be ready when the new school year begins!

NRRA CLUB applergclipped

The CLUB offers a variety of workshops and information that can:

  • improve academic performance, especially in science and math
  • lead to financial savings for schools
  • decrease the school’s carbon footprint through practical solutions that reduce energy and water consumption
  • reduce school waste and conserves natural resources
  • encourage student environmental awareness and stewardship
  • increase parental involvement
  • help 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 about what the CLUB can do for you or contact us at or call 1.603.736.4401 ext. 17



The NRRA School CLUB always loves to hear what its members are doing to recycle and help the environment so we can share it with our other members. There are so many different things being done, and you are our best source of information and 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 us or submit something, and you may see it in the next School News You Can Use.

 Enjoy your summer!