The NRRA School Recycling Club

Northeast Resource Recovery Association

School News You Can Use – October, 2016

Courtesy of USDA Forest Service

The Olympic National Forest in fall. (Photo Credit: USDA Forest Service.)





  • CLUB News – Welcome Maple Ave. School
  • Grant & SWIP News – Teacher Webinar Link
  • In The News – Recycling Kids
  • Contests, Scholarships & Fundraisers – Whole Kids Garden Grants
  • EPA & NHDES News – Water Conservation Tips
  • Activity – Plastic Bottle Pumpkin & Fall Bucket List


Click here to view PDF







Welcome New CLUB Member!


Maple Avenue Elementary School, Goffstown, NH


Located in Hillsborough County, Maple Avenue Elementary School is one of two elementary schools in Goffstown, NH.


Home of the “Cubs,” they serve over 400 first- through fourth-graders.

Goffstown was incorporated in 1761.

Click HERE for their webpage.










FanCLUB Feedback


We had a request from a reader about where to recycle used markers.  After a little research, we were able to come up with three options:


Crayola Colorcycle:

Prang Power Recycling:

Terracycle & Newell Brands:


If you have questions or more resources, please contact The CLUB and we’ll do our best to find an answer for you. You may just see it in the next newsletter!




Fall Back and Plan Ahead for the School CLUB Conference!


We have a theme:  Back to the Future for Recycling..It’s Time

and we have a date:  Tuesday, May 23

and we have a location:  The Radisson in Manchester, NH


Mark your calendars for this important recycling event and expo!


Remember, NH schools may apply for Conference Registration Grants throughNHtB Logo Green NH the Beautiful!











Free Webinar for Recycling Educators!


Webinar pic

Through generous USDA funding, NRRA has implemented a Train-the-Teacher model that assists economically challenged schools avail themselves of the quality programming NRRA’s School CLUB offers. Once trained, participants will receive the tools to do their own programming and to integrate students and local facility staff into the overall program.

All educators who take part in NRRA’s Train the Teachers webinar program, will receive the corresponding classroom workshop power points and the revised Teaching Toxics (Creating Solutions to Household Pollution) and Teacher’s Resource Guide (3 R’s of the Common Core) curricula that has been aligned with the Common Core Standards. We offer ninety-six (96) positive, fun and hands-on lesson plans and classroom activities about environmental protection, pollution prevention, and stewardship!

By addressing the topic of what is being thrown away with household trash, students in the classroom learn about an integral component of increasing the public’s awareness of hazardous, recyclable, and compostable products. The success in teaching these issues lies in presenting the information in a way that empowers students.

Educators may view the hour-long webinar training at:


NRRA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) prohibits discrimination in all its programs and activities on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, religion, age, disability, political beliefs, sexual orientation, and marital or family status. (Not all prohibited bases apply to all programs.) Persons with disabilities who require alternative means for communication of program information (Braille, large print, audiotape, etc.) should contact USDA’s TARGET Center at (202) 720-2600 (voice and TDD).
To file a complaint of discrimination write, USDA, Director, Office of Civil Rights, Room 326-W, Whitten Building, 14th and Independence Avenue, SW, Washington, DC 20250-9410 or call (202) 720-5964 (voice or TDD). USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.




BCSWA School & Business Outreach


Bennington County Map

BCSWA contracted NRRA and the School CLUB to provide outreach and training to schools and businesses in the Alliance area regarding Vermont’s Universal Recycling Act 148.

We are currently reaching out to Alliance schools to provide this free programming.  Contact BCSWA or the School CLUB if you would like to get on the schedule.

The Bennington County Solid Waste Alliance serves the communities of:  Arlington, Bennington, Dorset, Glastenbury, Manchester, Pownal, Rupert, Sandgate, Searsburg, Shaftsbury, Stamford, Sunderland and Woodford, VT.

Business outreach will resume in 2017.

The Alliance website is up and running and full of useful links. Here is the link to the Alliance Webpage. They also have their own School Newsletter!



Scheduling Now

Free Workshops Available for BCSWA Schools

workshop clipart


Outreach to the Alliance schools continues for this school year. BCSWA schools interested in receiving FREE programming for the next school year should contact: to get on the calendar.










NRRA CLUB applergclipped

Would you like to host a TOLD, Garbage Guerrillas or another Workshop at your school? Let the CLUB Help!




  • Improves academic performance, especially in science and math
  • Can lead to financial savings for schools
  • Decreases the school’s carbon footprint through practical solutions that reduce energy and water consumption
  • Reduces school waste and conserves natural resources
  • Encourages student environmental awareness and stewardship
  • Increases parental involvement
  • Helps students and teachers develop stronger relationships with their communities
Milford Told-EC-Set up pic

School CLUB set up for TOLD event

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 or contact us at or call 1.603.736.4401 ext. 19




From our friends at Waste360


Teen Starts Neighborhood Recycling

Program in Portland, Ore.


Aug 4, 2016 Waste360 Staff | Need to Know

An autistic 18-year-old with a passion for recycling will make collections on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday.

In an effort to protect the environment, James Harris, an autistic 18-year-old with a passion for recycling, is starting his own recycling program entitled James’ Neighborhood Recycling Service in Portland, Ore. This new program will provide residents with recycling services for the materials that the city doesn’t collect curbside, such as plastic bags, batteries and electronics.

Harris’ route will take place on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday mornings, and he will pick up the materials in his mother’s SUV. The cost to enroll in his services is only $12 a month.

KGW-TV has more details on this new recycling program

A new kind of recycling service popped up in Southwest Portland.

It’s called James’ Neighborhood Recycling Service.

James Harris is an 18-year-old who loves recycling, and wants to do his part to protect our environment.

So he, with the help of his mom Kathi Goldman, started a service that allows customers to recycle things the city doesn’t allow you to recycle curbside, such as plastic bags, batteries and electronics.

Read the full story here.

Keely Chalmers, KGW 9:13 AM. PDT August 03, 2016



James’ Neighborhood Recycling Service (KGW Courtesy Photo)


PORTLAND, Ore. — A new kind of recycling service popped up in Southwest Portland.

It’s called James’ Neighborhood Recycling Service.

James Harris is an 18-year-old who loves recycling, and wants to do his part to protect our environment.  So he, with the help of his mom Kathi Goldman, started a service that allows customers to recycle things the city doesn’t allow you to recycle curbside, such as plastic bags, batteries and electronics.  Every Monday, Tuesday and Thursday morning, you’ll find James along the streets of the Bridlemile neighborhood, hopping in and out of his mom’s SUV, collecting buckets full of all sorts of stuff.

Since he was a young kid, James has loved to recycle. So Kathi thought why not make a career out of it.  She knew her son’s options were limited. That’s because James has autism.  “If I wanted him to be self-sufficient, I really didn’t see an opportunity for him to be able to do that with what’s out there,” said Kathi.  Kathi said school was a challenge for James, but when it came to recycling, he was a natural.  “I’ve always liked recycling and always wanted to help in some ways help the Earth,” James explained.

Since he and Kathi started James’ Neighborhood Recycling Service six months ago, it has grown to 50 customers.  James’ goal is to, one day, have 1,000 customers and to earn enough money to be self-sufficient.  It’s a goal his mom and his neighbors have no question he’ll meet.  “He’s doing something I never thought he would do,” said Kathi. “He’s excited about it. It’s growing. He’s learning in so many different ways. It’s great!”

James earns about $600 a month.  He is currently looking for more customers. The service costs only $12 a month.  The only requirement is that you live in the Bridlemile area, since James’ service is still a one-vehicle operation.








From our Friends at the Merrimack NH Transfer Station


Merrimack Girl Scouts Video




Click here to view:






From our Friends at the Candia Transfer Station


A Visit to the Candia Swap Shop




This picture of Kylie Lazaron, age 9, shopping at the swap shop was sent to me (Chuck) from one of our volunteers. Kylie was one of the attendees from the Moore school in Candia to the NRRA’s School part of the Conference this past May. Miss Lazaron is an avid recycler.





From our Friends at



This deserves an end zone dance.

Football is back! And our sports equipment drive with ESPN is already blowing up.

Over 46,864 people have joined the movement to collect sports gear for kids in underserved communities. Join us, and you’ll enter to win a $5,000 scholarship!

Just grab 1 piece of gently-used equipment (a ball, a bat, a glove, whatever) and drop it at a local community center (we’ll provide the address)!

Then dab or salsa or hit the quan or whatever end zone dance fits you best. No penalties for celebrations here.

Click here to DONATE GEAR.







From our friends at Container Recycling Institute


Students in Perry Co., MO use recycle bottle tops to make park benches


Thursday, September 1st 2016, 6:30 pm EDT

Posted by Heartland News


(Source: KFVS)



Students at Perry County Middle School participated in a project that teachers hope will kickstart their interest in recycling.

The students gathered plastic bottle tops to make two park benches.

It takes 10 55-gallon bags full of bottle tops to make one bench.

The entire community is behind the project.

“The community is very excited,” said Cheryl Layton, eighth grade language arts teacher. “We’ve had a lot of phone calls, people willing to sponsor, people willing to collect caps or bring caps in, so I think it is going to go over very well.”

Students hope to gather enough bottle tops to make two benches by the end of the school year.

Copyright 2016 KFVS. All rights reserved.




From our friends at USDA U.S. Forest Service Office of Communication


Fall is perhaps one of the most beautiful times of the year in North America and every year the U.S. Forest Service celebrates with the launch of our Fall Colors Webpage.


The Olympic National Forest in fall. (Photo Credit: US Forest Service.)




Seeing is Believing

Posted by Robert Westover, U.S. Forest Service, Office of Communication, on September 22, 2016 at 1:29 PM



Every year the U.S. Forest Service thinks of a new and fun way to encourage folks to see fall colors on their National Forests and Grasslands.

Fall is perhaps one of the most beautiful times of the year in North America and every year the U.S. Forest Service celebrates with the launch of our Fall Colors Webpage.

The changing myriad of colors on trees from bright reds, brilliant oranges and bold yellows really make for a stunning backdrop to any family photo album. That’s why this year we have created our own road trip photo album with the help of a really cool app called Story Map.






The Deschutes National Forest in fall. (Photo Credit: US Forest Service.)



This is our first year of trying the show and tell technology Story Map which highlights some of the places, all over the country, we hope you might get a chance to visit this fall. So give it a look and start planning that unforgettable road trip with family and friends.

Seeing is believing so even if one of our Story Map forests isn’t near you, chances are there’s a national forest or grasslands nearby were you can take some amazing pictures and create your own road trip story. Our Fall Colors Webpage make this super easy with both a national map of peaking colors for the season and a dropdown menu where you can link to any national forest or grassland in the country.

colorsmapA screen shot of the U.S. Forest Service’s first Fall Colors Story Map illustrates the wide reaching diversity of fall attractions. The Story Map shows just 10 of the 174 National Forest and Grasslands we manage for the public.

Not near enough to the woods or don’t drive? Well, more than likely, you’re very close to an urban park which should have lots of wonderful trees changing colors to look at. You might even impress your loved ones by learning how leaves change colors—something you can study up on our Fall Colors 2016 Webpage!

So just get out there and enjoy one of Mother Nature’s greatest gifts to planet earth: the fall colors of North America.




So … Why do the leaves change color?



From our friends at USDA Forest Service


How does weather affect autumn color?

The amount and brilliance of the colors that develop in any particular autumn season are related to weather conditions that occur before and during the time the chlorophyll in the leaves is dwindling. Temperature and moisture are the main influences.

A succession of warm, sunny days and cool, crisp but not freezing nights seemsusda-leaf to bring about the most spectacular color displays. During these days, lots of sugars are produced in the leaf but the cool nights and the gradual closing of veins going into the leaf prevent these sugars from moving out. These conditions-lots of sugar and lots of light-spur production of the brilliant anthocyanin pigments, which tint reds, purples, and crimson. Because carotenoids are always present in leaves, the yellow and gold colors remain fairly constant from year to year.

The amount of moisture in the soil also affects autumn colors. Like the weather, soil moisture varies greatly from year to year. The countless combinations of these two highly variable factors assure that no two autumns can be exactly alike. A late spring, or a severe summer drought, can delay the onset of fall color by a few weeks. A warm period during fall will also lower the intensity of autumn colors. A warm wet spring, favorable summer weather, and warm sunny fall days with cool nights should produce the most brilliant autumn colors.










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. 





 Contests, Scholarships & Fundraisers


From our Friends at the Whole Kids Foundation



Whole Kids Foundation Garden Grants



US School Gardens

Created in partnership with FoodCorps, the School Garden Grant program provides a $2,000 monetary whole kids logogrant to support an edible educational garden on the grounds of a K-12 school. Schools, or a non-profit organization working in partnership with a school, may apply.

Interested in a garden grant for a non-profit children’s programming organization, not located at a school? Check out our Extended Learning Garden Grant program!

US School Garden Grant Program is  NOW OPEN!

Apply Here

  • Application Open: September 1st, 2016
  • Application Closed: October 31, 2016 at 5pm CST
  • Review Period: Winter 2016
  • Notification to All Applicants: February 15, 2017

This application is meant to be a blueprint for everything you need to start or maintain a successful garden program. As a result, we anticipate that it should take you anywhere from a couple of days to a couple of weeks to fully complete the process.

The application will be an online process but you can see a full copy of the application questions here!

Stay Connected

Please sign up for our newsletter or follow us on Facebook or Twitter to receive updates on our grant availability.


For all of our helpful garden resources, including FAQs, the Garden Resource Center, and success stories, visit our School Gardens landing page.

Email with any questions.






Compost Council Logo



2016-2017 Poster Contest

The Composting Council is hosting a Poster Contest for International Compost Awareness Week (ICAW).  The deadline is November 14, 2016.

For more information, check out the Poster Contest Rules.





Back by popular demand …



TREX film challenge



The plastic film recycling challenge
Every year hundreds of schools across the nation compete against each other to recycle the most plastic film. In addition to providing a better understanding and appreciation for the importance of recycling, Trex will happily donate a Trex Bench pichigh-performance composite bench to the winning school, and bestow honorary awards to every school that participates.

  • The challenge begins each year on America Recycles Day, November 15, and lasts until April 15
  • Trex will provide your school with promotional materials and three recycling bins
  • A volunteer must weigh and report the collected materials every month before delivering them to one of our participating drop-off retailer locations
  • Winners are announced on Earth Day

Recycling challenge information sheet



Calling All Seniors


From our Friends at

While it’s not exactly September any more, here is a useful checklist for those planning to attend college next year.  We’ve narrowed it down by numbered items.  If you want to read the entire article by Elizabeth Hoyt, click HERE. The article contains lots of pointers, links and scholarship information.


September College Prep Checklist for High School Seniors

(Remember, the earlier you begin, the easier it will be.)


Elizabeth Hoyt

August 26, 2016


  1. Start narrowing down your college list.
  1. Register to take or re-take the SAT/ACT exams.
  1. Schedule as many college visits as possible.
  1. Start out – and stay in – great academic shape.
  1. Start evaluating how you’ll pay for school.
  1. Start gathering and preparing your application materials.
  1. Begin your college essays.
  1. Consider if early admissions options are right for you.


For the complete article, click HERE.






 Nashua Recycling Center 2017 Calendar Contest


Once again, students in Nashua, NH will have the opportunity to add their artwork to the annual Recycling Center Calendar.  We are looking for a theme for 2017.  Here are a couple of the past themes to get you thinking:


2014 – Think Outside the Trash … RECYCLEnashua-recycling-center

2015 – Be Smart, Use a Cart … RECYCLE

2016 – Be Cool, Recycle at School

2017 – ????


If you have a great idea, please send it to The CLUB at:

Contest theme and rules to follow in future newsletters.






From our friends at EPA

New application period for PEYA program



PEYA logoApplications are now being accepted for the next round of the President’s Environmental Youth Award ( Applications are due March 1, 2017.

The PEYA program promotes awareness of our nation’s natural resources and encourages positive community involvement, through recognizing outstanding environmental projects by K-12 youth. The award celebrates student leadership in protecting the environment and building a livable, sustainable global community. Recent award winning projects included activities such as:

  • creating a new eco-friendly fertilizer;
  • fighting deforestation;
  • educating communities on the need to protect various animal species;
  • restoring and conserving local habitats;
  • promoting community gardening;
  • promoting recycling and other waste reduction methods in schools and communities;
  • banning polystyrene (Styrofoam);
  • researching the impact of energy consumption methods;
  • analyzing the impact of solar panel installation;
  • inventing a new water pollution mitigation method;
  • educating communities on water conservation; and
  • analyzing storm water flow and flood risk.



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 the EPA:



Water Conservation Tips for Schools


Schools use a tremendous amount of water everyday, and require water for their heating and cooling systems, restrooms, drinking water faucets, locker rooms, cafeteria, laboratories, and outdoor playing fields and lawns. To reduce water use in the school, consider replacing old equipment such as dishwashers with energy-saving devices. Repair water leaks and leaky toilets. Install water aerators and automatic shut-off devices on faucets. Use low-flow shower heads and timer shut-off devices to reduce water use during showers. Install toilet dams on older models.

EPA also offers assistance about ways to reduce health hazards in schools through its Tools for Schools and Toxic Free Schools Programs.

At the request of teachers for additional classroom activities related to ground epa-water-tipswater, the EPA Region 1 New England Office provided grants to the New England Interstate Water Pollution Control Commission to develop classroom activity books for grades K-6 and 7-12. These books, entitled, “That Magnificent Ground Water Connection,” include background information for teachers and several student activities introducing water conservation principles.

To reduce outdoor water use, maximize natural vegetative cover, and limit the amount of lawn area provided. Maintain playing fields using drought-tolerant grasses. Other outdoor water tips follow:

  • Maximize the use of natural vegetation and establish smaller lawns. For portions of your lot where a lawn and landscaping are desired, ask your local nursery for tips about plants with low water demand. Consider planting more trees, shrubs, ground covers, and less grass. Shrubs and ground covers provide greenery for much of the year and usually demand less water. Use native plants in flower beds. Native plants have adapted to rainfall conditions in New England and often provide good wildlife habitat. They also provide learning opportunities for students. Cluster plants that require extra care together to minimize time and save water.
  • When mowing your lawn areas and playing fields, set the mower blades to 2-3 inches high. Longer grass shades the soil improving moisture retention, has more leaf surface to take in sunlight, allowing it to grow thicker and develop a deeper root system. This helps grass survive drought, tolerate inspect damage and fend off disease.
  • Only water the lawn when necessary. If you water your lawn and flower beds, only do it once a week, if rainfall isn’t sufficient. Avoid watering on windy and hot days. Water the lawn and flower beds in the morning or late in the evening to maximize the amount of water which reaches the plant roots (otherwise most of the water will evaporate). Use soaker hoses to water gardens and flower beds. If sprinklers are used, take care to be sure they don’t water walkways and buildings. When you water, put down no more than 1 inch (set out a empty cans to determine how long it takes to water 1 inch) each week. This watering pattern will encourage more healthy, deep grass roots. Over-watering is wasteful, encourages fungal growth and disease, and results in the growth of shallow, compacted root systems that are more susceptible to drought and foot traffic. If an automatic lawn irrigation system is used, be sure it has been properly installed, is programmed to deliver the appropriate amount and rate of water, and has rain shut-off capability.
  • Apply mulch around shrubs and flower beds to reduce evaporation, promote plant growth and control weeds.
  • Add compost or an organic matter to soil as necessary, to improve soil conditions and water retention.
  • Collect rainfall for irrigation in a screened container (to prevent mosquito larvae growth).
  • Always use a broom to clean walkways, driveways, and entrances rather than hosing off these areas.

Other Links








2014WasteWise logo_color_voluntaryEPA’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







Free K-12 Food Recovery Seminar Oct. 20



From our Friends at University of Southern Maine/New England
Environmental Finance Center, supported by an EPA Healthy Communities grant





While we are too late for the Oct. 13 seminar, you can still sign up for the Oct. 20 seminar.  Click HERE to view the details or go to:


To register, click HERE or go to:

For questions, contact:

New England Environmental Finance Center:







From our friends at All Free Kids Crafts



Plastic Bottle Pumpkin


Images courtesy of




By: Lucy from

Updated September 03, 2015

A Plastic Bottle Pumpkin combines the best parts of simplicity and cuteness, making it the perfect fall craft. This darling decoration doubles as a candy container, which means that this is also the perfect homemade gift. Halloween crafts for kids that can be used all autumn are extra special. The best part of recycled crafts for kids like this one is that they’re extremely inexpensive. You can make this fun craft for less than a dollar thanks to reducing, reusing, and recycling.

Materials: Paper Crafts, Nature Crafts, Recycled Crafts

Age Group: Preschool & Kindergarten, Elementary School, Pre-Teens, Teens

Time to complete: Under 30 minutes

Click Here for free kids craft


We like that this can be made into an owl, a candy dish, a pumpkin or an apple!  Here are the photo-steps:













































Fall Bucket List



To go to the Ranger Rick page of the National Wildlife Federation, click HERE!




GREEN CALENDARclipart green calendar


11/02/16 – Y.E.S. Summit –  The Vermont Youth Environmental Summit for grades 7-12. To learn more and register, contact:

11/11/16 – Students for Zero Waste –  3rd Annual “Students for Zero Waste” Conference, Durham, NH, November 11 & 12, 2016.  For more info:  Note there is a small registration fee to attend this event.

11/15/16 – 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

03/22/17 – World Water Day – To plan your event,  visit

04/22/17 – Earth Day – To plan your event, see future newsletters and visit

04/28/17 – Arbor Day – To plan your event,  visit

05/22/17 – NRRA’s 36th Annual Recycling Conference & Expo Begins

05/23/17 – School CLUB’s 8th Annual School Recycling Conference (the Conference within the Conference); Registration assistance available for NH schools through NH the Beautiful.

06/05/17 – World Environment Day – To plan your event,  visit

06/08/16 – World Oceans Day – To plan your event,  visit







mailboxWHAT IS YOUR SCHOOL CLUB UP TO? The NRRA School 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