The NRRA School Recycling Club

Northeast Resource Recovery Association

School News You Can Use – November, 2019

America Recycles Day is Here!








Click HERE to view PDF



It’s Been a Busy Fall! Three Schools Held TOLDs … So Far!

In late September, The CLUB was proud to conduct two TOLD (Trash On the Lawn Day) events in Somersworth.

The first was at Maple Wood Elementary on Sept. 24. Here are some pictures:

Third-graders from Maple Wood Elem. take turns sorting the “trash on the lawn” and monitoring the bins to ensure accuracy for the data report. (NRRA photo)



Maple Wood Elem. student ponders the number of single use plastic bags in the trash.



Click here for the full Press Release.


Our next TOLD was held at Somersworth Middle School on Sept. 30. Here are their pictures:

Somersworth MS Teacher Chris Asbell questions the students about the use of plastic utensils. (NRRA photo)

Somersworth MS students find whole apples in the trash. (NRRA photo)

Click here for the full Press Release.


Our third TOLD was held at Maple Street School in Contoocook, NH. Here are their pictures:

Maple Street School sixth-grade teacher Ted Wells (right) explains the purpose and importance of the school waste audit known as Trash On the Lawn Day. (NRRA photo)

A panoramic view of Trash On the Lawn Day in progress at Maple Street School – weighing, sorting and monitoring. (NRRA photo)

“OK Guys, Who Threw Trash in the Plastics Bin?!” (NRRA photo)

Click here for the Maple Street Press Release.



SMS Students Testify on Recycling

Somersworth Middle School students Jack Welch (seated left) and Lukas Kelly (seated next to Jack) speak to members of the NH Recycling & Solid Waste Study Committee as teacher Chris Asbell (seated far right) proudly looks on. (NRRA photo)

We are proud to report that students from Somersworth Middle School presented testimony to the NH Recycling & Solid Waste Study Committee last month. They made a great impression and they were mentioned in both the Findings and Recommendations of the Committee:

Finding #33: “School solid waste generation, recycling, food packaging, food waste and composting presents particular challenges.  But as evidenced by the Somersworth Middle School’s impressive presentation, students in partnership with supportive school boards and administrations, can save money, accomplish much and learn a great deal working to better manage the solid waste generated.  Their work could be a model for other school districts.”

Recommendation #23: “School districts should consider the model used by the Somersworth Middle School to develop better systems to reduce, reuse, recycle and compost solid waste as a way of educating students, improving the environment and saving money.”

According to SMS 7th Grade Science Teacher, Chris Asbell: “It was an honor to speak with the committee and our pleasure to share the SMS story of sustainability.”

To read the entire report, CLICK HERE!

BIG NEWS! We have decided to extend the School Recycling Conference to 2 days!

Mark your calendars for May 18 & 19, 2020 for the combined NRRA Recycling Conference & Expo and the School Recycling Conference!

Is your school science class, recycling group or environmental club looking for a fun, educational and environmentally-friendly field trip for next year?? Now you have a choice of one or both days.  We will be offering workshops and activities for the entire length of the Conference!

Pre-register before 12/31/19 for our 11th Annual School Recycling Conference in Manchester, NH  and you’ll receive a 10% discount on your total Conference registration fee!

All NH Schools are eligible for free membership in The Club which entitles them a 50% discount on Conference and programming 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.

If you pre-register for the Conference, you will also receive the additional 10% discount!

Our theme this year is “Think Outside the Bin” emphasizing the 5 Rs of Recycling:  Refuse, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle and Rot.

Our Conference offers fun, educational workshops geared to both teachers and students that address the most current trends and issues in school recycling today; an exhibit hall with fun activities for the kids and vendors who can offer educational insight into the importance of recycling and what happens when you recycle; topped off by a special awards luncheon to 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 recruiting school workshop speakers for the 2-day School Recycling Conference. For abstract details, CLICK HERE!

Welcome Renewing Member

Maple Street School   

  • Contoocook, NH
  • 202 Students
  • 4-6




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 for Fall? Reserve a Can Cage or RecycleMobile!


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.




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:



YIMBY presents … the TOLD Tool Kit!



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 link 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.



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!

School HazMat 101!

Are you concerned about your school’s health and safety? NRRA’s School HazMat 101: A Blueprint for Hazardous Materials Management in Schools was written specifically to help the entire school community benefit from addressing hazardous materials use. Funded by the USDA Rural Utilities Program, this manual provides information that improves the school’s ability to employ safe management practices.

For grant reporting purposes, we are asking that schools contact NRRA individually and sign a Terms of Use stating they will not share their password. We want to track interest areas and demographics. Once we receive your signed Terms of Use, we will send you the password and link for School HazMat 101. Please send your signed Terms of Use to

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 (pictures & press release coming). This fun and educational all-day event allowed the students 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.

For more information, please contact Gwen Erley, Programs Coordinator at

School CLUB Curricula

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: Garbage Guerrillas, Back to the Earth, Healthy Home/Clean Waters and Waste=Global Climate Change.

  • For the Pricing Guide, click HERE.
  • For the Terms of Use, click HERE.
  • For the Curricula Descriptions, click HERE.

Anyone else interested in purchasing these resources should contact NRRA Programs Coordinator, Gwen Erley, at



White River Alliance Solid Waste District 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 District in Eastern/Central, VT. We will be working with two schools in the 2019-2020 school year. Outreach at The Rochester School was done on Nov. 12 & 13. Stockbridge Central School is scheduled for Dec. 19 & 20.

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




Happy America Recycles Day!


From our Friends at Keep America Beautiful & America Recycles Day

Are you ready for America Recycles Day?  Go to their website to

  • Register n Event,
  • Organize an Event,
  • Attend an Event, or
  • Take the #BeRecycled Pledge

For more information, go to:

From our Friends at Mr. Fox Composting


Composting & Organic Waste Diversion Video

Mr. Fox Composting picks up organic waste around the Seacoast of New Hampshire and Maine.

Mr. Fox has created a video for schools to learn about diverting food waste at school and what services Mr. Fox has to offer. 



Contact  to learn more about diverting food waste at schools.  




From our Friends at and Plastic Oceans Int’l

New Film Educates Children About Plastic Pollution

Waste360 Staff

Plastic Oceans International, a nonprofit organization working to end global plastic pollution, recently released its new kids film “Earth’s Ekko,” a 20-minute educational tool created for educators and parents to engage, inspire and teach children ages 10 and younger to be part of the solution to the global plastic pollution problem.


From our Friends at


‘The Ocean Cleanup’ Ship Sweeps First Pacific Plastic



October 3, 2019

A project by The Ocean Cleanup, a Dutch non-profit group, involves a supply ship towing a floating boom that corrals marine plastic with the aim of cleaning half of the infamous patch within five years. “Today we announce that our clean-up system in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch has been catching plastic for the first time,” Boyan Slat, the 25-year-old Dutch CEO and founder of The Ocean Cleanup, told a press conference in Rotterdam.

For the entire article, go to:





From our Friends at NOAA

NOAA Marine Debris 2020 Calendar Available Now!

Congratulations to the 13 NOAA Marine Debris Program Art Contest winners for the 2020 Calendar.

Hundreds of entries from kindergarten to eighth-grade students shared messages from around the globe on issues involving marine debris.

The 2020 Marine Debris Calendar is now available for download: 2020 Marine Debris Calendar




From our Friends at EPA Region 1, September Newsletter


Tips for Waste Reduction at Workplace Events


RecyclingWorks in Massachusetts (RecyclingWorks) recently published a new resource, Tips for Waste Reduction at Workplace Events, which offers guidance on how to plan for waste prevention, recycling, and food waste diversion at your next workplace event. This resource describes the essential steps to take before, during, and after an event that will help ensure success.

To access the Tips, go to:

CLUB Note:  We found that these tips equally apply to school activities, especially as we head into the holiday season!




From our Friends at


Carton 2 Garden STEM Winner 


Student gardeners at The Country School (Madison, CT) used the Carton 2 Garden contest to come up with innovative solutions to extend the growing season at their New England school. 

To read the whole story, CLICK HERE.





From our Friends at and The Recycling Partnership

The Recycling Partnership Offers Free Online DIY Signs Tool to Educate about What’s Recyclable


The Recycling Partnership announced the public beta launch of DIYSigns, the debut of a free online resource that anyone can use to help people know what to throw into the recycling.

Whether at home, at the office, at school, at a sports stadium, or anywhere … to learn more, go to:

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



From our Friends at RecycleCT

RecycleCT School Grant

Open to all K-12 schools, with preference for schools registered with the CT Greenleaf Schools program. Maximum gift is $1,500.

School Grant Application & Frequently Asked Questions

We accept proposals by email only. Please email your proposal and any attachments to: Your subject line should state: School Grant Application

The grant application deadline is November 20, 2019 5:00pm EST.

From our Friends at NOAA

Annual Art Contest – Deadline 11-30-19


The artwork featured above was submitted by Massachusetts 5th-grader, Amy H. for the 2020 calendar

Help the Marine Debris Program raise awareness by encouraging your children or students to submit artwork to the contest, open 10/15/19 – 11/30/19.

Winning entries from K-8th grade students will be featured in the 2021 calendar.

Please see the flyer and entry form for further information.




From our Friends at NOAA

2020 Recycling Video/Poster Contest

  “Then, Now, and in the Future” 



K-12 students from the United States and Canada are invited to participate in a recycling contest by creating a video or a poster that imagines what recycling will look like in 50, 75, or even 100 years from now by designing a solution to a current problem.

You could win a trip to the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries’ 2020 Annual Convention and Expo in Las Vegas, Nevada!. Register to participate or learn more here. All entries must be submitted by December 20, 2019.

For all the details, go to:


From our Friends at

Youth Garden Grant Due Dec. 16

We’re thrilled to announce the opening of the 2020 Youth Garden Grant! Since 1982, this grant has supported youth garden projects that enhance the quality of life for kids and their communities.

Any nonprofit organization, public or private school, or youth program in the United States or US Territories planning a new garden program or expanding an established one that serves at least 15 youth between the ages of 3 and 18 is eligible to apply.

Twenty-five programs will be awarded. The selection of winners is based on demonstrated program impact and sustainability. Learn more about the prize packages and applying for the Youth Garden Grant.

The Youth Garden Grant is sponsored by KidsGardening’s generous donor base and our Blossom and Seed Money sponsors.

Applications for the Youth Garden Grant are due December 16, 2019. Winners will be announced January 31, 2020.

To learn more, go to:

From our Friends at the Kittery School District

CAC Assists the Arts in ME/NH

Continuum Arts Collective assists underserved student artists in Maine and New Hampshire by supplying them with musical instruments, art supplies, art and music lessons, and experiential opportunities to perform music, display artwork, and read poetry in public forums.

To Contact CAC:

  • Call the Main Office: 207-251-9196
  • Email to
  • Mail to 76 Lower Main St., North Berwick, ME 03906

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

USDA, EPA, and FDA Announce Partnership with the Food Waste Reduction Alliance

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announces a new partnership with the Food Waste Reduction Alliance, the latest effort in the Winning on Reducing Food Waste Initiative launched by the three federal agencies in 2018.

For details, CLICK HERE!




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



Fun with Fall Leaves

We found several unique ideas for your fall leaves from our friends at Pinterest and



11/15/19 – America Recycles Day – An initiative of Keep America Beautiful (KAB), America Recycles Day is the only nationally-recognized day dedicated to promoting and celebrating recycling in the U.S. For ideas, contact

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 DayTo plan your event, visit

04/22/20 – Earth DayTo plan your 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. 10% discount if your school confirms by 12/31/19!

06/05/19 – World Environment Day – To plan your event, visit

06/08/19 – World Oceans Day – To plan your event, visit



Let’s Make America Recycles Day EVERY Day! photo




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. 19