These are my comments shared at the Board of Education meeting on January 8th 2012
I wanted to share with you that since January 2nd, I implemented comprehensive Recycling Programs in 4 schools. 2 Elementary, 1 Middle and 1 Highschool.
Prior to Roll out, I helped teachers do extensive education around environmental issues, earth projects and recycling. This education was spread into Math, English, Science and Social Studies classes.
I trained lunchroom monitors, and custodians. I set up the Lunchroom Recycling station, as well as building recycling stations. I organized together with B&G the flow of materials. With Foodservice together we found ways to reduce the single use containers.
On roll out day, the Superintendent came to support and to set the tone.
All schools have enthusiastically participating children and supportive adults and are reporting a 90% reduction in garbage.
I am NOT describing New Rochelle's schools.
In June of 2012, following John Quinn's memo, mandating all schools to implement recycling as per NY state law, B&G bought for just under $10,000.00 containers and bins.
I have just been to Barnard and there, the brand new commingled container has not EVER seen a bottle. In fact, it has now 3 inches of water in it, and is quietly rusting. All office paper, which was nicely sorted in the building into clear plastic bags were thrown in the garbage and the paper container only contained cardboard and not a single leaf of classroom or office paper.
Every sports fan knows, that your team is only as good as the coach is.
New Rochelle's does not have a winning recycling team, and we have $10,000 worth of our tax money now rusting away. And we STILL don't have any recycling going on.
Let's change that.
Let's take a school, say... Isaac Young, and document the current situation. We could use Trinity's students that have a full film media lab to do the filming. Let's document the token recycling bin in the corner, the complete lack of recycling, the mountains of trash, the non awareness of environmental issues, the culture of "it's all garbage to me".
And then we can introduce education around environment, earth studies, get guest speakers in, see films, set up recycling stations, and document the transition from the current 32 bags of trash every lunch down to 2. What a celebration that would be.