Your New Rochelle Tax Dollars Can Be Saved By The Garbage Bag


MountainTrashIf you are like most people, you blissfully kiss your kids good bye in the morning, wish them a good day in school and then concentrate on your own day ahead. Well that was me, it never occurred to me to think about what their lunchroom was like, nor did I ever, in a million years thought about the trash that was generated in that lunchroom.

I was yanked into reality when I did an Earth Day project with my kids, cleaning up the woods. Upon finding a large piece of knarly looking Styrofoam, clearly in the woods for ages, I launched into an explanation how bad Styrofoam is for the environment. My son interrupted me by piping up that in the lunchroom they used disposable Styrofoam trays. I was shocked.

I went to the principal to get permission to survey the lunchroom and low and behold, every single day, the school with 1,064 kids generated a mountain of trash. 22 large garbage bags per lunch.

I did an in-depth survey and realized that 90% of that garbage are fully recyclable materials, if they were just sorted out.

Being a woman of action, I devised a recycling station and taught the kids to empty all of their drink and food containers and then sort them into the different recyclable categories, I found ways to recycle Styrofoam, zip lock bags, capri sun pouches and other previously deemed non recyclable materials. And - oh magic- once the recyclables were sorted out we had only 2 bags of garbage left, down from 22!

A 90% reduction. Whow.

Any good fairy tale would stop right here. I saved the world, complied with NY State recycling laws, reduced the cost associated with garbage by 90%, generated money to the county through the valuable recyclable materials and -best of all- created a generation of kids, that learned that their daily CAN make a lasting difference.

Most people don't think about garbage in the context of cost. But rest assured garbage is BIG BUSINESS and very expensive. It costs around $100.00 per ton to dispose of garbage, that does not include the labor, fuel or vehicle cost, just the mere dumping cost. Whereas the communities can dump the recyclables for free, and the County makes its money by sorting, baling and selling these materials back to industry for big money. Plastic Pet1-2 for example sell for $2500,00 per ton.

So having the kids sort out their recyclables is a complete win win situation, no? We save money, we teach kids about sustainability and we save the environment on many different levels. However, change comes only with difficulties to the adults in this situation. Getting administration, custodians, parents and teachers on board is far more difficult then I would have ever thought.

However, brick by brick, the kids will pave the way towards a better, more sustainable way of dealing with School lunch garbage.

If you are interested in learning about how your school can implement this fabulous program, please contact Anna Giordano, at

Download: School Lunch Recycling Flyer

Commenting on this Blog entry is closed.

ConcernedResident on Wed, 10/24/2012 - 00:26

IF slandering is going on here, then I would be vehemently against it.

But once anyone joins a public cause & takes a stand, especially when it involves a city or a county... you are going to get protests. Especially emotionally charged ones.

Politics involves cutting through the conflict & emotion, and focusing on the facts.

And you have focused on your facts, very well.

BUT facts can be questionable. Emotions run high. Then conflict erupts!

I am just curious though... why would anyone have malicious intentions?

Whether or not you are in the public eye, people are going to expose you.
"Shame on you for speaking to my child that way!!"
"Your policy doesnt work, I've got to pay more now!"

Hey, you even exposed one of the commentors here by their first name.

Someone here said that parents were trying to "sabotage recycling"???

OH YES... that is the people's secret agenda here. To EXPOSE..... recycling... that demon!

Come on....

why can't we al... on Thu, 10/18/2012 - 23:35

As an outsider with some experience in implementing a similar school recycling program in a neighboring district, I have a couple of comments.

First, I am appalled at the ugly, downright slanderous comments being made about Ms Giordano. Garbage Nazi, really? Are you all adults? I thought internet bullying only happened with adolescents.

Why are you using this public, yet anonymous forum to "trash"(no pun intended) her? If you have a problem with her and the recycling program, then have the courage to identify yourselves and speak publicly about it to your school officials.

Regarding the whole program, I've implemented this program in 4 schools in my district and I have had not ONE parent complain about it. The children learned the new procedure quickly, and it's going along quite well. Is it a little messy at times? Yes, but the environmental benefit, cost savings, and most importantly the lesson to children that the little things they can do make a difference, in my opinion make it very worthwhile.

Ms Giordano may be a little overzealous for your liking, but she is trying to make a difference. Maybe if you took the time that you're spending trying to sabotage recycling in the schools and pitched in to try to make this work, everyone would benefit.

OldTimerNR on Wed, 10/17/2012 - 01:14

Why are we letting anna giordano get rich from our recycling materials? Jimmy Bonnano and his crew obviously don't have anything to do, so why don't we send them around to sift through everyone's garbage.

Above you all on Wed, 10/24/2012 - 01:23
Title: Get it right

Get it right, "it's Jimmy Bonnano and his puppets"

Anna Giordano's picture
Anna Giordano on Wed, 10/17/2012 - 01:23
Title: yeah

Yup, that is a great idea.

Thanks for the laugh, I needed one. LOL

newrochelledown... on Tue, 10/16/2012 - 23:31

I don't know you...I don't have a personal problem with you except with the way you have spoken to not one but both of my daughters at two different schools. We allll want to make the world a better place but if you continue your nazi patrolling and aggressive talk to the kids the city school district will have a legal problem. Again I ask...which you have not responded to....who are you and who gave you permission to be in the school, talk to the children and BE AGGRESSIVE TOWARDS THEM>>???

NewRochelleUSED... on Wed, 10/17/2012 - 11:18

and her apparent carte blanche ability to use this blog for her grandstanding.

Hey Bob-o, this poster can call the Garbage Nazi on her 'nazi patrolling' but I can't call her a Garbage Nazi? Your censorship wouldn't be selective, would it?

I repeat: parents, when are you going to kick the Garbage Nazi out of your school? What in the heck are you waiting for, the woman is deranged and is guilty of stalking, trespassing, child endangerment, and harassment. I guess the parents and grandparents out there in New Rochelle don't really care about the innocent children.

Anna Giordano's picture
Anna Giordano on Wed, 10/17/2012 - 01:21

Please be more specific, exactly when and where did I "aggressively" talk to your children?

And please also detail what has been relayed to you. Because clearly you were not there.

Has it ever occurred to you that children tend to exaggerate? And that you are possibly blowing things way out of proportions?

Also, I would very much appreciate it if you can have more decorum in your way of talking to me.

And to your question, about who I am, which I have answered before and if you have read the original article, it is outlined there as well.

I am a concerned mother, that has seen a problem in our schools and has decided to do something about it. I have developed this program with the blessing of the administration and of course I have the permission to be in the schools, just like you when you come in to volunteer for the greater good of our kids.

So, let me hand you the olive branch again.


newrochelledown... on Wed, 10/17/2012 - 03:49

My children do not exaggerate... and yes clearly i was not there because I work and I don't loiter in schools around children. Get a job and get away from the kids

BMWCH's picture
BMWCH on Wed, 10/17/2012 - 14:13
Title: In her mind

In her mind - you are the problem. Of course your children aren't up front with you, they're the problem too. How dare you not heed her demands.

Don't you know, she knows what's best for you?
mmmmm sounds alot like some local elected officials pushing their own green ideas.

The green's arrogance knows no bounds...

Ilovenr2 on Wed, 10/17/2012 - 02:51
Title: I was there

I agree with the writer new Rochelle. U keep forgetting I work in one of the schools and see how you communicate with children and staff.

Ilovenr2 on Wed, 10/17/2012 - 02:51
Title: I was there

I agree with the writer new Rochelle. U keep forgetting I work in one of the schools and see how you communicate with children and staff.

ConcernedResident on Mon, 10/15/2012 - 20:12

Recycling should be a POSITIVE initiative, not a negative one.

WHO is against recycling here??

(crickets chirping)

Hello! No one.

Some people may feel that you are policing the children.

How about just teaching these recycling methods in a more fun-loving way? There are several recycling websites that show teachers & parents how to do this. This can be a more positive experience.

It's enough that certain individuals have got to go through "stop & frisk" on the trains.

Or the fact that a store employee criticizes a customer for wanting to double-bag their over-priced items.

It is not okay to litter, but people do so anyway. It is not okay to give money or feed the homeless on the street. Now women are limited from being able to choose baby formula for their newborns in hospitals after they've pains takenly & exhaustingly went through labor.

How parents pack lunches for their kids in the privacy of their homes should be no one's business.

This is why the term "nazi" came up on this thread. TAKING AWAY FREEDOM OF CHOICE. It offended you, as you offended parents or their children.

Of course, everyone knows about the recycling FINES. And we would like to avoid that as much as possible. But address it with the parents. Children can't really help it.

Now, don't tell me you're completely perfect. How would you like it if someone was standing over your shoulder, while you were eating publicly, and some stranger disturbs your peaceful BREAK and says, "UM, sir/m'am you should not be using that while you're eating. It's bad. You should be using something else." That is ridiculous. The next thing people will do is tell you which toilet paper to buy!

Anna Giordano's picture
Anna Giordano on Tue, 10/16/2012 - 13:29

You make a bunch of very good points.

Of course nobody wants to have someone looking over one's shoulder and disturb one's peaceful break. And nobody wants to be told what toilet paper to buy. (but then again, what do you think Marketing and advertising does?)

And I am sure hospitals have the best at heart in what choice they are offering in terms of baby formula to a new baby.

However, the school lunch recycling program has nothing to do with any of your points. This program is about teaching kids to sort and making them care, while complying with the law and saving tons of tax payers money. And the kids have absolutely no problem with that concept. On the contrary, they love it, we have "Recycling Rangers, Lunchroom Keepers" and other student service squats in the schools.

What we have here is one individual that has some serious personal beef with me and is using this public forum to anonymously smear me personally. If you took the time to read the entire long thread of comments, you may have realized that she started out with a bunch of "so called" points against the program and then as each one got answered and proved to be unfounded, stepped away from these arguments. She was at the end left with this ridiculous argument that I was allegedly "mean, disruptive, harassing, abusive, treating people like dirt, garbage nazi".

Just because I have not stooped down to this personal level, won't make these bold faced lies true.
This person is using the same technique as Ahmadinejad. If you just repeat a lie often and loud enough, some idiots will believe it.

Just look at the growth rate of this program, it speaks for itself. 4 entire districts have adopted it, and I have gotten calls from 2 more districts.

Sure, as a parent you can choose what you use to wrap your child's lunch. But think about it, do you think it is fair, that these personal choices should affect all of us in terms of creating cost? Do you think that for the greater good, each person should re-evaluate what he or she is doing.

Does one really gain anything personally to insist publicly on using Aluminum foil to wrap a sandwich?

Think about it, Aluminum foil is a very precious material, that has tremendous energy and environmental costs in the upstream of the material.

Just because industry is not actually mitigating this environmental cost and thus can offer this foil at a reasonable cost, are we smart to support this? Aluminum has so many fabulous applications, long term application, why waste the material on short term applications where the downstream of the material is difficult and is creating cost to a public entity that should be using its fund for its core mission.

BMWCH's picture
BMWCH on Mon, 10/15/2012 - 21:00

By simply accepting recycling you have let the greens and green types in your door. This is how it starts, the lightbulb choices are in play, it will go on and on.

please see below ..... And I Quote:

Ilovenr2 on Sat, 10/13/2012 - 03:36

No one is against recycling, in moderation.

PLus we do not like how our children are spoken to. Why don't some of you see this. Are we too look the other way while she his going about on her own agenda and treat who she wants like dirt. I say no way!! Ask any lunch room employee and see what they have to say

Plus this has nothing to do about tax money. The money that is saved will wind up in someone's pocket, not back in the hands of the tax player's.

BMWCH's picture
BMWCH on Mon, 10/15/2012 - 20:57

Who reaps the Reward from Recycling? The statist do-gooder and obsessed conservationist. Since recycling is now a statist goal the do-gooder and GREENS force the COST OF RECYCLING on the unsuspecting masses by selling it as an psuedo-spiritual activity. In addition to these beneficiaries , there are those who have not considered the FULL COSTS of recycling , but their pshchic benefit is more ephemeral than real. The winners are the companies who do the collecting (transporting) and process the materials , an industry sustained by mandates at the local level.

ktmartelli on Sun, 10/07/2012 - 15:09


I am so very appreciatibve for the work you do on a volunteer basis to inform parents, administrations, staff & children about the opportunities to reduce, reuse & recycle. In additon to the cafeteria recycling at Jefferson, last year we participated in FREE recycling with Terracycle (thanks for the connections) and 5th graders saw their hard work turned into tree donations, saving acres of wildlife, and providing water and school supplies for families without. By connecting us with organizations who successfully "upcycle" our garbage we are able to share with our children the fruits of the recycling labor. For those so doubtful, take a look at what terracycle contributes to this earth & see the opportunities available to educate & inform our youth. I hope to see all New Rochelle schools enforcing the program you helped us establish at Jefferson. Sure, sorting garbage takes time, coordination, thinking, organization. All skills that translate to a positive experience and education for our children.

Thanks once again, Anna, for your hard work & dedication.

BMWCH's picture
BMWCH on Tue, 10/16/2012 - 15:16

The kids are pawns in a larger scheme - wake up!

newrochelledown... on Tue, 10/16/2012 - 23:32

if she goes after my children again I have told them to go the principal and report her.

newrochelledown... on Thu, 10/11/2012 - 21:44

no one has a problem with recycling we have a problem with her bad attitude while speaking to children.

Jeffrey Hastie on Fri, 10/05/2012 - 18:00

Trying to make a difference in your community is always a challenging proposition. It's definitely not for the faint of heart. The beauty of New Rochelle is that it is full of citizens active in their causes of which Anna is one.

The city has adopted a sustainability program, GreeNR, and has a sustainability coordinator. However, the school district hasn't, not from a lacking of trying by Anna.

The majority of us would agree that recycling is beneficial for our planet. Our approach to how we educate our neighbors and children can vary widely. Anna's approach may rub many the wrong way but for the most part we can agree on that recycling and recycling education is important.

So the question is this, how do we achieve our goal with the community engaged?

My challenge to the readers is to find that happy medium.

Robert Cox's picture
Robert Cox on Sat, 10/13/2012 - 16:40


You are conflating issues here. The topic here is recycling.

The Mayor's GreeNR plan is NOT a recycling plan. The City has long had a recycling program well before Noam Bramson was Mayor. I have yet to meet anyone in New Rochelle who opposes the municipal recycling program.

For your edification, GreeNR is actually a local version of the United Nation's Agenda 21 program created under the auspices of ICLEI. ICLEI is part of the UN network of organizations to advance Agenda 21. On its web site it describes itself as a "Local Authorities Major Group Organizing Partner" of the United Nations Commission on Sustainability. ICLEI was created at the UN in 1990 and wrote Ch. 28 of the the UN Agenda 21.

You can read about Agenda 21 on the UN web site; you can read about the local version of Agenda 21 created by ICLEI in 1992 in Chapter 28.

Mayor Bramson has repeatedly asserted that there is no connection between New Rochelle and the United Nations. There is. It is our membership in ICLEI, a topic I addressed to the City Council in May 2012.

Neither GreeNR nor so-called "sustainability" is specifically about recycling or, for that matter, even about the environment. but a comprehensive approach to achieve a set of long-term objectives. ICLEI and the UN have their own way of describing those objectives but I describe them as follows: (1) massive wealth and technology transfers from industrialized nations to underdeveloped nations; (2) population control; (3) the reduction of the standard of living in OECD countries; (4) the creation of a global society.

This is not to say that we are in imminent danger of being ruled by the UN or that black helicopters are on the horizon but these are the long-term goals of the people behind Agenda 21 who view the American suburban lifestyle as the very definition of what is unsustainable. If you own a single-family home with some property with a lawn and two cars in the garage and eat meat and otherwise life the sort of Dick Van Dyke Show lifestyle that defines a good deal of New Rochelle then you are their target.

The good news is that as more people become aware that the environmental movement has been co-opted by the groups advancing Agenda 21, membership in ICLEU-USA has declined -- from a peak of about 650 municipalities to less than 600 day. Westchester County left ICLEI last year.

There are now laws on the books in several States limiting or forbidding the participation and/or funding of local government activities that support Agenda 21.

Recycling. Fine.
Being environmentally aware. Fine.
ICLEI and Agenda 21. Not Fine.

BMWCH's picture
BMWCH on Sat, 10/13/2012 - 22:23

I used 4.5 gallons of water last week in order to prepare the various jars (ever rinse out a peanut butter jar?) , bottles, containers, etc., for the MANDATORY RECYCLING collection. Multiply that figure X 77,000 residents and you get near 350,000 Gallons of Water (Our most precious resource the mantra goes) for 1 week of recycling in New Rochelle. Add the business and commercial users and the amount is mulitlpied further.

A good portion of the collected plastic is broken down into a material utilized by garment producers for outerware which they Brand , Market and Sell at margins of +50%! Others go into composite structural products. These industries get resources at a subsidized rate thanks to our efforts.

The City should attempt to recoup the quantified dollar amount of the water usage as well as the recycled materials from these industries as well as the water suppliers on behalf of the residents and apply it on a pro rated basis to the city fund in order to lessen taxes.

In addition I do not support supplying beneficial resources to industries and receiving no immediate return of benefit to me!

Anna Giordano's picture
Anna Giordano on Sun, 10/14/2012 - 00:04

I commend you for following the recommended guidelines of rinsing the commingled materials. Not sure how you get to 4.5 g of water for that though, unless you left the water running.

Peanut butter jars are difficult, I agree with you. I usually put them in the dishwasher, works like a charm and my dishwasher only uses 1.9 g of water for the entire wash and rinse cycle.

What do you mean, you don't receive an immediate return of benefit for yourself when you recycle?

Do you receive a benefit for sending all your plastics to the incinerator?

The money from the recycled materials goes to Westchester County and of course filters back down to the communities.

BMWCH's picture
BMWCH on Sun, 10/14/2012 - 17:24
Title: Here's How

I had to rinse out dog food and cat food cans my pets food is packaged in. I rinsed the soap out of shampoo and conditioner containers. I sprayed (with hot water) trays of food from a get together I hosted. A few beverage bottles and other take out trays from that night also had to be includedin the recycling bin.

The Gallons add up quickly in order to prepare the recycling material.

My efforts are benefiting other parties - not me. I'd rather not use any water and not spend any time at all for this MANDATORY PROGRAM and toss it all in a big hole.

I was at the Shopping Center - 1 Garbage can, No Recycling bins. I was at Starbucks - 1 Garbage Can, No Recycling bins. Same at the Bus Stop, Same along North Ave., etc., etc.. Why isn't the entire city forced to recycle - Just the residents and now the schoolkids?

Anna Giordano's picture
Anna Giordano on Sun, 10/14/2012 - 18:30

You are making an EXCELLENT point. All businesses, including Starbucks and Shopping Centers should be providing recycling cans, as they are required by law to do. But as you are pointing out yourself, they are slow to catch on.

I did see at Starbucks the first can the other day, but employees are saying that they find lots of non recyclable materials in the bin at the end of the day, and they are not going through the materials to sort out the recyclable materials.

So, where to start to fix this problem? Teaching people to do the right thing? Requiring businesses to put out cans and to go through the content at the end of the day?

I think both needs to take place and it is very very slowly process. This is clearly a change of habit for the masses and it takes time to turn the Titanic around.
Look how long it took to teach people to not litter (and we are not even there yet).

When I was growing up, it was perfectly okay to just open the window and throw out what one didn't need anymore. Clearly, we have come a long way from that.

But we still have a long way to go to catch up with some other Western nations, that have incorporated country wide source separation decades ago.

John K on Sun, 10/14/2012 - 15:10

When you put the jars in the dishwasher
You are expending energy to heat the
water to clean the jars.

Anna Giordano's picture
Anna Giordano on Sun, 10/14/2012 - 18:38

Sure, what is your point? It is not like anybody lets the dishwasher run for just one single jar of peanut butter to be clean for recycling.

Life takes energy, there is no question about it, but I think if we all did what we can to conserve energy and resources, it will make a huge difference.

There is so much one single household can do, and completely pain free, to reduce its impact.

Reducing packaging, temperature requirements, water expenditures
Re-using items instead of buying new, printing both sides,
recycling every possible material
composting food and yard waste instead of carting it away as trash
not idling
combining trips
walking or using the bike when possible

Just imagine we all did that? It would make such a difference.

BMWCH's picture
BMWCH on Sun, 10/14/2012 - 17:19

The city has to send out the Garbage Truck Fleet an Extra Day to collect these materials designated for the recycling program. So more fuel is burned, more motor oil breaks down, more traffic on the streets.

Now the material has to be transported again to the sorting center - lots of energy burned in that facility during processing. Next the sorted material has to be transported AGAIN to the processing plant which uses - what else? - more energy in order to operate and do not forget the additional chemicals needed to process.

Now the processed material has to be transformed into finished goods which uses even more energy in transportation and processing.

Not too efficient and Earth Friendly afterall - is it?!

Anna Giordano's picture
Anna Giordano on Sun, 10/14/2012 - 18:48

Of course recyclables have to be transported too, just like garbage. Look one step further. Where is it transported to and what is being done with it when it gets there.

Garbage goes to Peekskill, 46 miles from us, and it is being incinerated there. Ashes are being landfilled in PA, however there are first attempts to use the ashes as aggregate in concrete.

Recyclables go to Yonkers, 12 miles and is being sorted, baled and sent out to be reused as base materials for other products.

Every material has an UPSTREAM and a DOWNSTREAM expenditure. Both side make up its energy requirement and its environmental impact. Are we in agreement that recycling reduces the upstream and the downstream requirements of both?

BMWCH's picture
BMWCH on Thu, 10/04/2012 - 01:52

80% + of Plastics collected in the US go to landfills with the rest of the garbage. Any product fashioned from recycled material can not be recycled itself.

Seems the school children need not be a part of such antics...

Anna Giordano's picture
Anna Giordano on Thu, 10/04/2012 - 20:47

It is true that recycling is only now starting to gain traction in the US.

There is a major push right now about going green, reducing pollution, reducing greenhouse gases and such.

Recycling is market driven, and markets are driven by oil prices. However recycling rates are steadily increasing as people understand that we cannot continue this linear system of consumption.

Schoolchildren are the future adults, they are the ones that will inherit this Earth. They can play a huge role in the solution, and they want to.

As I said, the kids are doing great, they love it and are recycling with gusto.

BMWCH's picture
BMWCH on Thu, 10/04/2012 - 22:02

What is true is the demand is small and the supply is huge for recyclables. Who cares if it works , let's just do it because it feels good is not logical.

75% of plastic bags alone are made from Natural Gas production byproducts and more and more plastics are able to be produced by the same method. As we are now the Saudi Arabia of Nat. Gas we will be able to enjoy more and more Domestically Produced Natural Gas and more and more plastics at a reduced cost! Hurray for Capitalism!!!

Why not pitch the ideas on the parents - you know the ones who can think like adults - before brainwashing the impressionable children?

Anna Giordano's picture
Anna Giordano on Fri, 10/05/2012 - 02:33

Actually the demand is very high right now, which is reflected in sky rocketing prices for recyclable plastics.

It costs 20% of the energy to use recycled materials then virgin materials. But it takes time to change things around.

The idea of recycling is being pitched to adults, and it's the law, so there is really no brain washing involved here.

newrochelledown... on Sat, 10/06/2012 - 11:58

you are a nasty person while speaking to the children...back off! Stop trying to come off sweet and nice. Everyone that has seen you in action and knows you are a nasty piece of work. Talk to the parents not the kids!


BMWCH's picture
BMWCH on Fri, 10/05/2012 - 14:37

If 80% + of plastics wind up in landfills how can you say 'demand is high'?

You do not acknowledge that with the new technologies being developed using Natural Gas rather than oil (btw we also have large oil supplies which we'll tap into soon) plastics will be available at much cheaper costs. Your entire economic model is FALSE and the public need not be subjected to your feel good antics.

Go help some kid to read or do math, other wise - Hey, Teacher, leve them kids alone!!!

Anna Giordano's picture
Anna Giordano on Fri, 10/05/2012 - 18:09

I am sorry you feel that recycling is a "feel good antics".

Have you seen landfills? Have you been to an incinerator? Do you think it is wise for us to produce materials from non-renewable resources to then dump them to just sit there for the next 500 years? Do you think it is wise, to teach children that everything around them is disposable and they should have no care in the world about what they put in the garbage can?

And as I was saying, use of recycled material is only slowly catching on, but it is catching on. They have just built the first airplane from plastics, the first bridge was built from recycled plastic, Trex is now an established material.

Teaching children to be socially responsible is just as vital for their development as it is for them to read and do math.

And don't get me started on hydro-fracking....

newrochelledown... on Sun, 10/07/2012 - 11:55


BMWCH's picture
BMWCH on Fri, 10/05/2012 - 20:36
Title: All Garbage

I'm sorry you cannot grasp reality. Way to dodge my direct questions. Do you tell the children only a fraction of what they do will be actually used for something - or do you fill their impressionable heads with false goals? It's unfortunate you aren't even correct with your posts here ie the 'plastic airplane' you refer to. It's a plane made from 50% composite material not a 'plastic airplane'.

A product fashioned from recyclables cannot be recycled again - therefore it winds up in the landfills with the rest of the uncycled goods. So in the end 100% of garbage is , in fact, garbage.

Do you think it's wise to produce products from corn and soy rather than eating them? And BTW - the byproducts being utilized from Nat. Gas production are just that, byproducts, which must be removed before Nat Gas can be burned to use for heat and provide electricity so it's actually a free resource being recycled at the source!

Go ahead, keep importing $100 oil from populations that want to recycle you - into dust! Perhaps you can teach them your false harmony with the earth also!

Anna Giordano's picture
Anna Giordano on Fri, 10/05/2012 - 22:57
Title: exactly !

Exactly, I do not want to import more $100 oil. What gives you the idea that I am into sending my money to the middle east for oil?

And it is not true that you cannot recycle materials over and over again. Aluminum can be recycled over and over again, same for pet 1 and 2. All metals and glass are fully recyclable over and over.

Have you been to the MRF to see their plastic sorting line? It is quite something to see optical scanners identify the different plastics and then by either air stream or vacuum pump sorting them into the correct bin. Also, the "We Recycle" plant in Mt Vernon, that specializes in electronics. In goes an entire computer, out come 30 different streams of cleaned, chipped up, sorted metals and plastics. Amazing.

But most recycled plastics are not being reused in food containing packaging at this point.

They are being recycled into all kinds of products, such as Vinyl siding, CD cases, park benches, decking etc, and yes those, one does not recycle per se again, but they are in a far more permanent form then a water bottle.

I think it is by far a much better solution then dumping in a landfill or burning it in the incinerator.

On the plane issue, it is a carbon fiber reinforced plastic that they are using for the new dream liner.

Let's have the conversation about Hydro fracking in a different form, I would be very interested to hear more about your thoughts on that. Please send me a personal email to

On your very good point about producing from Corn or Soy, yes, wouldn't it be great! Those are fast growing renewable resources, but of course nothing is ever as easy as it sounds. Monocultures of unending corn fields have their own set of problems.

I do not claim to have all the answers to our worlds problems, but I feel strongly that introducing sustainability in schools, and not producing huge piles of school garbage is a small step in the right direction.

ConcernedResident on Wed, 10/03/2012 - 05:43

Ms. Giordano, do you see how inappropriate your first response was? You criticized one of your students' PARENTS for incorrect spelling. Then, in pissing the parent off, you asked him/her to MEET with you, after that?? NOW a couple others have started to respond angrily. How is this resolving anything?

I'm a recycling nut myself, but people have the tendency to go too far w/ their tactics in trying to get others to be more "green." Criticizing people for wanting them to do things differently is not the way to go.

If children are getting confused/fearful and parents are getting aggravated/frustrated, then something is obviously wrong with the methods of handling this situation in school.

Children need to worry about getting to class & memorizing things for tests. Lunch should not be a stressful time.

Anna Giordano's picture
Anna Giordano on Thu, 10/04/2012 - 20:20
Title: Thank you

You are right, fighting resolves absolutely nothing and the same is true for name calling.

Let me ask you how you would feel being called those names?

I very much like that you consider yourself a recycling nut. That is wonderful.

This program is now running in 11 schools, with 39 (!) more lined up to be started. It is truly a wonderful program that teaches the kids to do the same in school that you are (most likely) teaching them at home.

Let me explain.

When you are done with dinner, I am certain you are not going to take everything on your table and throw it in the garbage? Instead, you probably empty the left over milk in the sink and then put the glass in the top drawer of your dishwasher, you will empty your left over food either in the garbage or compost (if you have a compost), and then put the large dinner plates on one side of the dishwasher and the salad and desert dishes on the other side of your dish washer. Next your fork, knives and spoons are going in the upright position in the little basket. Depending on the age of your children, that is what you teach them as well, no?

So, the school lunchroom recycling program is about just that. Each item has its proper spot, drinks are poured out to be discarded separately so you won't have a drippy mess in your garbage bin. And each major material has its spot. Once the kids can do that (and they can after a very short time) these materials can then be recycled rather then disposed of. Again, disposing of garbage costs us money, whereas we dispose of recyclables for free.

I have just today started the next school and it was so heart warming to see the kids being eager to help the Earth, to do their part. In every elementary school I see, the kids are happy to do this, they want to help, they want to be involved. I have invited parents to the lunchroom to witness this. It is truly amazing to see a kindergarten student carefully examining sample pictures, matching up the material and then placing it consciously in the correct bin.

This program also teaches them to think about what they have to discard and recycle, they start becoming aware of these things. Just yesterday my 6th grader became aware of the fact, that we as residents have to pay for water. He had never thought of it. Only through these experiences people will change their ways. And how often do we find ourselves only evaluating our habits after being told so by our children.

I do not think that suggesting to find a more environmental friendly way to wrap a sandwich is going too far in trying to get others to be more green.

That parent still has very much the choice to decide if they want to follow that suggestion or not. However they have been made aware of it and then they can decide. How often do we, as parents, find ourselves on autopilot, just doing things as we have always done them. It takes suggestions to evaluate our habits. A suggestion is not a criticism.

However it is truly silly to take a suggestion and then turn around and be really angry about it, or to now do the opposite on purpose to "stick it" to the suggestor.

At the end, it is the kids that are paying for all of this. They are the ones that are put in bigger classes, and loose extra programs because of money restraints. If money is tight, first to go are extra programs.

Why are we not more actively working on cutting cost where it doesn't hurt at all, such as the incredible expense we have with our garbage?

Trust me, lunch is not more or less stressful because of sorting out lunchroom materials. I have seen so many kids coming up to hug me, coming up bunches of time, just to proudly present their material, telling me that they know it is plastic and they know that it gets recycled in that bin. I have had many kids asking me to help and then cheerfully explaining the system to others. Have you ever seen a 2nd grader proudly chirping "thank you for recycling".

This is what I see when I am in the lunchroom.

However sadly, some parents don't see it that way.

Fortunately many do, because whoever I talk to just loves the system and says it is about time that something was done about this problem.

Also the growth rate of the program may speak for itself as well.

newrochelledown... on Tue, 10/02/2012 - 17:01

Anna Giordano WHO ARE YOU??? Are you a professional educator ? What are your credentials?

WHAT GIVES YOU THE RIGHT AND WHO GAVE YOU permission to speak to our children? Are you hired by the school? I never received a memo stating there was someone who was going to speak to our children on a volunteer level or professional educator level about how to recycle.

So the question is...who gave and gives you the permission to police the children? I am serious...I want to know who let you in the school system. I want to know if you have had a background check and your finger prints taken as other people who work closely to the children have had to do?

I demand as a parent and concerned citizen to know who this woman is!!!!

Anna Giordano's picture
Anna Giordano on Thu, 10/04/2012 - 20:24

I am a concerned mom, just like yourself, that has seen a major problem in our schools and decided to do something about it.

So, I am inviting you to have coffee with me to see that I have the best for our children and the world we all live it at heart.

Send me a private email to and we can set up a time. Trust me I don't bite :))

NewRochelleUSED... on Wed, 10/03/2012 - 12:21

I hope you're escalating it. The Boards of Education of Westchester County and New York State might be interested to know there is a non-professional harassing the grade school children of New Rochelle.

Anna Giordano's picture
Anna Giordano on Thu, 10/04/2012 - 20:27

I am not sure how this can escalate like this.

I do take offense to your comment about harassment.

Again, let's meet and talk and maybe you can feel at ease afterwards.

Ilovenr2 on Tue, 10/02/2012 - 12:53
Title: garbage

I just want you to know that I have called the Superintendents Office and so have other parents. But I don't see why this women is still in our schools.

I want you to also know that I too reycle and I feel children should learn, but not the way Ms. Giordano is doing it. These children are so afraid of her!!

I have a child in Albert Leonard and those children just put everything in their bags and throw it away. They also do not want to deal with her.

Parents should call their schools to keep her out. It really hurts me how she is treating everyone from the children and lunch room employees.

Anna Giordano's picture
Anna Giordano on Thu, 10/04/2012 - 20:34

The program at ALMS is fully run by custodians and the school and has been from the very beginning. Dr. Whiteside and Mr. Arthur are stern proponents of recycling and have put it as school policy. All I did was present the program to them.

I am asking you politely to not spread these kinds of completely unfounded insults.

NewRochelleUSED... on Tue, 10/02/2012 - 15:27

or OSHA, or whatever organization monitors harassment of children and the presence of a parent doing administrative work? If she is a volunteer, again report her to the principal and Super's Office again.

Marshal the other parents to get this insanity out of the school.

Cox, whose specious article is this?

"Her vision is to save the world, one school district at a time."

You may as well give Hitler a byline too while you're at it.

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