The NRRA School Recycling Club

Northeast Resource Recovery Association

School News You Can Use – June, 2017


Here’s our last newsletter for the 2016-2017 school year!



  • 2017 Conference Wrap-up – Call for Pictures
  • CLUB News – Hampstead GGs; PHS Green Wall; MMS Green Week
  • Grant & SWIP News – Teacher Resources Available
  • In The News – Raven Outsmarts Locked Bin
  • Contests, Scholarships & Fundraisers – Brave New Schools Contest
  • EPA & NHDES News – Water Science Fair Winners
  • Activity – Great Locker Greenout Guide; Summer Activities

Click HERE to view PDF



Attendees from the Henry W. Moore School in Candia spent some quality time with surprise visitor, Kermit the Frog! (Courtesy photo)


More About the School Recycling Conference:

The 8th Annual School Recycling Conference was on Tuesday, May 23rd, 2017. Students and teachers from across NH, MA, VT and even Indiana gave the hall a fun buzz. Students played educational games focused on recycling and composting, as well as attended sessions on Campbell High School’s (Litchfield, NH) successful recycling program, how nature composts,  eliminating food waste in schools, greening your school from the inside, Earth Day celebration ideas and more.  USDA Grant Manager and NRRA School CLUB educator, Cindy Sterling, held a workshop that introduced new school curricula developed by NRRA, The 3 R’s of the Common Core and Teaching Toxins.  Students and teachers also participated in a hands-on activity called a Mini- T.O.L.D. (Trash on the Lawn Day) which took trash from the venue and sorted it out to see how much of it could have been diverted from the waste stream by recycling or composting.

The awards luncheon on Tuesday featured a special keynote speech by Hollis Brookline High School Senior, Allie Campbell.  Ms. Campbell inspired all in attendance with her speech “How One Student can Facilitate Change” which explained how she initiated a plastic film waste program in Hollis.  Following her presentation, Allie was awarded NRRA’s Outstanding Student Recycler of the Year Award.  Eight other NRRA School Recycling CLUB awards were presented to highly deserving students, teachers, school districts and facilities management personnel during the awards luncheon.

Interested in coming to the Conference in 2018?   Schools that sign up NOW or before January, 2018 will get a 10% discount on the 2018 Conference Registration fees! To sign up, contact Gwen at The CLUB.


Stay Tuned! We will be posting our pictures, awards and press releases very soon. Check out our 2017 Conference Page for updates!


Back to the Future’s DeLorean was a big hit at the 2017 Conference.

In keeping with our “Back to the Future for Recycling … It’s Time!” theme, we arranged to have an on-site DeLorean at the Conference!   The proceeds from the pictures went to the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s research. Thanks to all who participated in this great cause!

For more about the Shea DeLorean, go to:






Our 36th Annual NRRA Conference was great!

Please plan to attend in 2018!!








Answer Key for Water Poster Activities


All the students who came to the Conference received a Water ReCycles Poster that had 3 activities printed on the back.


To get the answers, check out the 2017 Conference Page!










Many thanks to New Hampshire the Beautiful for assisting with Conference registration fees for our NH schools!







Sneak Peek at 2018!



Don’t Forget:  Schools that sign up NOW or before January, 2018 will get a 10% discount on the 2018 Conference Registration fees! To sign up, contact Gwen at The CLUB.







Hampstead Central School Hosts Four Garbage Guerrillas Workshops

The CLUB was proud to visit Hampstead Central School (Hampstead, NH)  again this year (May 10) to assist in teaching their entire third grade class (92 students) about recycling.  Four Garbage Guerrillas Workshops were conducted throughout the morning.

Garbage Guerillas is a workshop designed to raise awareness of recycling possibilities by examining the current waste stream.  After a brief indoor presentation,  the classes moved outside where CLUB Educators Gwen Erley, Sarah McGraw and Jake Pipp coached the students on the importance of recycling and how they can each help in the process.  They reviewed the types of recycling and how to sort out compostables from actual trash.  Armed with gloves, the students sorted the bags of waste they generated the day before.  At the end of each presentation, the students had a visual record of how much material could have been recycled from the prior days waste.

Special thanks to Hampstead Central School Principal Dillard Collins and Head Custodian Santos Diaz for their support.  Generous funding from the Hampstead Recycling Committee and New Hampshire the Beautiful made this event possible.

Here are some pictures from the event:





On the Road with Sarah McGraw

Sarah recently toured Portsmouth High School, gathering information for their Star Assessment.  She was very impressed with their ECO-Club’s Green Wall and wanted to share her pictures with our readers.



Here are photos of the Green Wall:







 Milford Middle School Green Week


Milford Middle School hosted a huge Green Week Celebration the week of May 22.  Their agenda included:  band performances, environmental speakers, making a “Climate Quilt,” daily challenge winners in waste pledges, green wardrobe, reuseable beverage and food containers, recycled fashion and recycling tips learned.

Here is just one of their many displays and activities:



Keep up the good work, MMS!



NRRA Member Gets Creative


NRRA Member B.C.E.P. Transfer & Recycling Facility has some creative employees who came up with this ingenious logo:

“Compliments to the creative staff at BCEP, Pittsfield, NH… Tonia & John E. — nice job!!”




Planning a Spring or Summer Event? Consider Using a RecycleMobile!

The RecycleMobile is a unique, mobile recycling trailer created to assist “special event” organizers with collecting recyclables. The RecycleMobile consists of a fiberglass “box” with six collection holes (three per side).  The “box” is attached to a 4′ x 6′ trailer and houses six 32 gallon barrels. Collection signs are attached by two pieces of VelcroTM above the holes and can be changed depending on which materials are being collected!

The RecycleMobile is not only practical, but easy to use, eye catching and educational!  Consider using the RecycleMobile at:

  • Home Comings
  • Sporting Events
  • Fall Harvest Days
  • School/Park Clean Ups
  • Street Festivals/Fairs
  • Earth Day Events

Thanks to the generous sponsorship of NRRA and New Hampshire the Beautiful, Inc. The RecycleMobiles are available for loan to NH municipalities, Schools and community groups for FREE!!!

Visit or call us at 1-800-223-0150 for more information.




3-Ring Binders & School Supplies Exchange

We successfully connected NRRA Member Steve from the North Hampton Transfer Station with Campbell High School to make use of his cases  of gently used 3-ring binders and 2-pocket portfolios. Steve still has some lightly used page protectors and hanging files with metal holders if any of our readers could make use of them.

If your school could use some free supplies, or has some supplies that need a new home, contact Gwen at The CLUB.




“Honest” School Still Needed . . .

Milford Middle School Seeks Honest Kids Pouch Brigade

We received the following request from our friends at Milford Middle School in NH:

They have been collecting Capri Sun drink pouches for years through the drink pouchesTerracycle brigade.  Unfortunately, that program was discontinued on 12/31/16.

Honest Kids has a pouch brigade but there is a waiting list.  Are there any schools in the New England area that are already signed up with the Honest Kids program that would be willing to take Milford’s collection until they can get on the Honest Kids program?

Please contact if you can help!!

Many thanks for helping out and keeping their pouch recycling program going!




Teacher Resources at the Conference!



Classic K-12 Recycling Activities with 21st Century Standards

NRRA’s School Recycling CLUB is pleased to announce that 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 are ready for distribution! Hard copies of these resources were previewed at the Conference.

In addition, four classroom workshop modules have been updated and will be available.  They are:

  1. Garbage Guerrillas
  2. Back to the Earth
  3. Healthy Home/Clean Waters
  4. Waste = Global Climate Change

Everyone who participated in the Train the Teachers program held during the production of the new editions have received their training packets (CLUB classroom workshop modules including TTs and the 3R’s).

Anyone else interested in this program and receiving our revised curricula, please contact NRRA Programs Coordinator, Gwen Erley, at

The deadline is 10/01/17 for qualifying rural communities to receive free materials, so don’t delay!

For the Pricing Guide, click HERE.

For the Terms of Use , click HERE.

For the Curricula Descriptions, click HERE.

Rutland County SWAC SWIP Outreach Completed

Free Star Assessments for Schools

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, Chittendon, Fair Haven, Middletown Springs, Pawlet, Rutland Town, Shrewsbury, Sudbury, Tinmouth and West Haven.

Outreach will resume in the fall for the 2017-2018 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  funding.

For more information, please contact The CLUB at



White River Alliance Solid Waste District SWIP Work Continues

Free School Workshops and Technical Assistance

Vermont – We continue to provide workshops 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






NRRA CLUB applergclipped


Schools who sign up now for a Fall T.O.L.D. (Trash On the Lawn Day) will get a discount.  Contact The CLUB for more information!

Milford Told-EC-Set up pic

The CLUB set-up for T.O.L.D. event (Trash On the Lawn Day)

Trash On the Lawn Day (T.O.L.D.) is a thought-provoking service-learning project that assesses a school’s waste management issues and opportunities for improvement, while fostering student leadership. Under the NRRA School Club’s guidance, student leaders organize a waste sort of an entire days worth of trash. This tool for positive change examines waste management practices, purchasing policies, hauling agreements and diversion opportunities. A T.O.L.D. consists of envisioning and audit planning, the audit event and presentation of the results and an action plan. T.O.L.D.s often draw media attention and can become an annual event to track progress toward sustainable cost-effective methods of school waste management.

Click here to learn more or contact us at or call 1-603-736-4401, Ext. 19.




Think your trash container is secure?  Watch this video!



From our Friends at Waste 360 Daily Wire




Click here for the video:





From our Friends at the National Wildlife Federation


Great American Campout Challenge


Camping helps us all appreciate the wonders of nature and wildlife, inspiring us to protect it for ourselves (and future generations) to enjoy. Plus, it’s FUN! New for 2017, if 150,000 people commit to making the Great American Campout pledge, the National Wildlife Federation will donate 5,000 regionally-specific native trees through its Trees for Wildlife program! Take the pledge to campout today to join in on the celebration of the great outdoors and be entered into win one of two amazing prizes!

To learn more and take the pledge, click HERE!





Mall of the Future?


From our Friends at Container Recycling Institute (CRI), Beverage, Packaging and Recycling News


The World’s First Mall For Recycled Goods

March 30th, 2017 – Last week I wrote about the Edinburgh Remakery, and how they are trying to foster a culture of repair. It’s one of the most shared posts I’ve ever written, and there’s clearly a real interest in this whole idea. Lots of you have been in touch to share similar projects, including this one from Sweden.  

Photo Courtesy of

ReTuna Återbruksgalleria is a mall dedicated entirely to repaired and upcycled goods. It combines a traditional municipal recycling centre with a shopping centre, so that people can drop off goods that they no longer need, and then browse for something new – perhaps stopping off at the cafe in between. It’s the first mall of its kind in Sweden, and as far as they know, the first in the world.

For the complete article and pictures, click HERE!









And Speaking of Repairs . . .


From our friends at Waste Advantage Magazine:


Museum Clinic Repairs Gadgets, Reduces Landfill Waste

Broken vacuums from the 1960s found their place alongside brand new phone chargers and defective water pumps as tinkerers and hobbyists attempted to fix anything and everything they could. Members of The Leonardo museum and the Utah Recycling Alliance worked together to host a “Fix-It Clinic” Saturday for people to bring in busted-up and outdated appliances and learn how to repair them.

Read full story




Please Say Y.E.S.!!! Call for Speakers

Y.E.S. (Youth Environmental Summit) is an annual event for middle and high school students who want to learn about environmental issues and find ways to take action. This year’s Summit will take place on November 2, 2017 at the Barre Civic Center in Barre, Vermont.  They are looking for speakers and workshops on a wide variety of topics revolving around the environment.

To learn more, or submit your proposal, click HERE.






The New Hampshire Science Teachers’ Association Presents ESSI (Elementary Summer Science Institute):

The Lake, The Woods, and the Soil Beneath and Between: Being good Stewards and Tenants

WHEN:  June 28, 29, and 30, 2017

WHERE:  On the campus of Coe Brown Northwood Academy

TIME:  7:30 am to 1:00 pm

The New Hampshire Science Teachers’ Association is pleased to offer to you the 2017 Elementary Summer Science Institute. Taking place on the 200+ acre CBNA campus, participants will explore the Lake, The Woods, and the Soil Beneath and Between. The experiential workshops are designed to highlight good stewardship of our lakes, forests, and soil.

Are you looking for unique methods by which to integrate science activities into  your classroom?

The 2017 ESSI is a three day event designed to provide  field experiences to elementary teachers. What a great way to explore and meet NGSS  benchmarks.

For more information, CLICK HERE.




From our Friends at Resource Recycling News

Keep America Beautiful Launches 2017 Great American Cleanup; Encourages Family, Friends and Neighbors to #cleanYOURblock

Millions of Volunteers Take Action to Clean, Restore and Renew America During Nation’s Largest Community Improvement Program

News provided by /PRNewswire-USNewswire/

Keep America Beautiful

Mar 20, 2017, 09:15 ET

STAMFORD, Conn., March 20, 2017 — Keep America Beautiful, the nation’s leading nonprofit that envisions a country in which every community is a clean, green and beautiful place to live, today announced the official launch of the 2017 Great American Cleanup. Entering its 19th year, Keep America Beautiful’s Great American Cleanup is the nation’s largest community improvement program with an estimated 50,000 events occurring from spring through fall in more than 20,000 communities across the country. Find a local Keep America Beautiful Affiliate at

The Great American Cleanup engages more than 5 million volunteers and participants who take action in their local communities to create positive change and lasting environmental, economic and social impact. Nationally, the Great American Cleanup annually delivers more than $175 million in measurable economic benefits to communities.

Click HERE for the entire article.





From our friends at NH Audubon

Registration Opens Today: Summer Day Camp (June-August)

  • June 26-August 18
  • For children ages 4-12
  • Leaders in Training ages 13-15
  • 9am-4pm, extended care available
  • McLane and Massabesic Centers

Summer Camp is a long standing tradition at NH Audubon and is held at both the McLane Center in Concord and Massabesic Center in Auburn. Camp programs are available to children ranging in age from 4-12 years old. Older participants (ages 13-15) have the opportunity to participate through our Leaders in Training program.

[Registration link and full details]

To see all of the great offerings at NH Audubon, click HERE:

Interested in green cleaning?  If you would like to host a workshop in your school, please consider The CLUB’s Healthy Home, Clean Waters Workshop or our Technical Assistance Training for facilities staff on Green Cleaning & Indoor Air Quality Evaluation & Review.  For more information, please contact


Contests, Scholarships & Fundraisers



2017 “Brave New Schools Competition For Teachers”


2017 “Brave New Schools Competition For Teachers” is available for the Teachers & Nonprofit Leaders. The competition is giving a platform where young people share their poems, stories, and dreams to reimagine public high school. The maximum award amount is $50,000 for the winning candidates.

The application deadline is June 18, 2017.

You can get more information through this link: Brave New Schools Competition For Teachers


Hosting school events or sports this summer?  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



For those with family or friends in college, or heading there . . .

From our Friends at the Compost Foundation


Young Investigator Scholarship 

Now Accepting Applications???????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

Deadline: June 30, 2017

The CCREF Young Investigator Scholarship focuses on supporting undergraduate through PhD students, from a college or university in the United States, conducting research and education in the fields of composting and compost use. More specifically, the ideal candidate will have interest in improving the compost process and the application and the utilization of finished compost to increase drought tolerance, soil nutrient content, reducing erosion and water pollution, and increasing carbon storage in soils to combat climate change.

The goal of the Young Investigator Scholarship is to bring assistance and attention to emerging young professionals in the field of compost research and to spark interest in the future of the composting industry.


  • Downloadable Application here
  • Project Abstract
  • Recommendation from a professor or supervisor
  • Email your submission to:

Questions about the application, contact Beth Simone,, 301-897-2715





Other School Grant Opportunities

(Collected from NWF Eco-Schools Newsletter)|#schoolyardhabitats – Can list on site up to 4 months
Helps classrooms and students in need offers many ways to earn scholarship money.





From our Friends at NH DES



25th Annual NH Fourth Grade Drinking Water Festival & Water Science Fair Winners Announced

Keene, NH – On May 10, 2017, students from Keene, Manchester, Westmoreland, Marlborough, Surrey and Harrisville schools participated in the New Hampshire Fourth Grade Water Science Fair. Finalists brought their impressive water science projects to Keene to compete for top honors. Students presented their research in front of a panel of judges.

Congratulations to:

  • Anna Dumond from Keene, who won first prize;
  • Greyson Ansevin-Allen from Keene, who took second prize;
  • Kyleigh Reiss from Manchester, who took third prize, and
  • Maia Chretien from Keene, who came in fourth place.

Honorable Mentions go out to Oliver Villa from Manchester and Oriah Holmes and Claire Holmes from Keene. Trophies were donated by Hudson Trophy.

Over 330 students from those communities also participated in the 25th annual New Hampshire Fourth Grade Drinking Water Festival. Scientists, engineers, consultants, environmental educators, water operators and artists from a wide variety of organizations and agencies from across the state led hands-on activities to share their expertise with students. Students learned about ways to keep water clean, how to test water quality, how to conserve it, about aquatic insects and animals, and how climate change is affecting water systems. Students also voted on the
best tasting drinking water from a variety of communities. Concord General Services won the coveted Best Tasting Drinking Water Award.

The Science Fair and Festival are sponsored by the New Hampshire Drinking Water Coalition to celebrate National Drinking Water Week and are supported by volunteers and donations from many organizations

To view the entire Press Release, with sponsoring organizations, click HERE.



Also from our Friends at NH DES, May 2017


Finding a Meaningful, Eco-Friendly Teacher’s Gift


Parents of school-age children are probably spending a modicum of their pre-summer planning trying to come up with the traditional end-of-summer-teacher-gift. Unless you are a teacher or know someone who is, you may not know that most elementary school educators already have large collections of coffee mugs, candles and lotions, as well as just about anything with an apple theme from well-meaning parents who don’t realize just how common these gifts are.

This year, consider a gift that will hold a little more meaning – and, bonus, will be a lot less wasteful. Believe it or not, it is possible to give a meaningful teacher gift using items that you already have laying around the house and without creating any unnecessary waste, allowing you to save some green while being green.

Of course, the most meaningful gift for a teacher would be something made by their student. However, thoughtful craft projects inspired by your young inventor and a never-ending Pinterest board can end up being quite costly, and wasteful, when you end up with a cart full of supplies at your local craft store that you may only use once. Instead, take stock of the supplies you already have and then scan your house for any random objects you might be able to incorporate. Get the kids involved, and it won’t take long for an idea to be born. Just be careful not to make something that, good intentions aside, will most likely find its way in the trash heap. A good rule of thumb is to ask yourself: Is this something a teacher could display in the classroom or at home, or that a teacher could hold onto for years?

A few ideas: use the wooden letter tiles from an old Scrabble board to make an acrostic of the word TEACHER, gluing them to a nice background on the back of an old picture frame (if the frame is a little busted, use some glue and paint to give it new life); gather up some of your child’s school work and use the papers to make a small flip book describing your child’s favorite memories from the year (written and drawn by the child, of course).

If you want to give something a little more substantial than your child’s creation, consider one of these zero-waste options (and add a note to their upcycled gift to tell them about it):


  1. It’s hard to go wrong with gift cards, and there are some great options for teachers. If you know the teacher well, you can get specific to what you know they would like: a local coffee shop, their favorite restaurant or retail store. If not, a card for Amazon, Target or other school supply retailers will help them get stocked for next year. Either way, make sure to order online and send the gift card by email, which will save some paper since most people usually dispose of gift cards after using them.


  1. Charity donations made in the name of the teacher are a wonderful way to honor their kindness and patience and pay it forward. It also gets your children into the spirit of giving, which can never start too early. One place to go for ideas is, a database of thousands of classroom project requests across the country. At this site, you can buy a gift card for the teacher, so they can choose which project to donate toward.


  1. Teachers always say they can never have enough books in their classroom. Get some new books, or have your child donate some of their favorites (gently used, of course), and have your child sign them, with love.


If you put a little extra thought into your child’s end of the year gift to their teacher and resist the urge to buy that apple mug, you can have confidence that the gift won’t end up accumulating dust on a teacher’s shelf, or even worse, in the trash.  Plus, the teacher will be happy to receive a unique gift that will surely go to good use.






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.








EPA FRC Rethink logo

 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 MassRecycle

What is the Great Locker Greenout?
More stuff is thrown away at schools during June than any other time of the year. The mission of the Great Locker Greenout project is to redirect as much of this material to your recycling bin, your school’s supply stock or to a local charity. At the end of the year, every student is required to clean out their desk and/or locker. By setting up sorting stations to collect recyclable and reusable material, and enlisting the help of staff, students and parent volunteers, you can turn this necessary task into a feat of resource conservation.

To view all the ideas and procedures, click HERE.






From our Friends at Education World


25 Activities to Keep Kids’ Brains Active in Summer

Education World offers 25 ideas that not only reinforce skills taught during the year, but also to entertain students through the summer months. Share these resources with parents to help them and their children make the most of the lazy, hazy days to come!


  1. Coloring Calendar
  2. Cooking Lessons
  3. Homemade Bubble Solution
  4. Origami
  5. Light Walk


For all 25 activities and links to resources, click HERE!





Have a Great Summer Everyone!!!




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