School Recycling

MANDATORY SCHOOL RECYCLING

Every Private or Public school in Broome County is required to recycle by law as stated in the Broome County Charter and Code Chapter 179.  Failure of any facility to comply can result in a fine. 


Steps for a Successful Recycling Program

  • Organize a team.  Obtain administration support, involve custodial staff, student representative and a teacher representative.  For additional assistance include your local Recycling Coordinator.
  • Evaluate your waste stream.  Look at which recyclables are generated in different areas throughout the school to determine where recycling containers should be placed
    • Administrative offices- cardboard, office paper, toner cartridges
    • Cafeteria- steel cans, glass, cardboard, plastics and aluminum cans
    • Classrooms- mixed paper and bottle and cans
    • Vending areas- bottles and cans (glass, aluminum & plastic)
    • Library- mixed paper, books, magazines, newspaper and cardboard
  • Recycling Containers. Recycling containers should be paired with a garbage can.  Consider containers specified for the material being collected such as round opening for beverage containers and slots for paper.  Make sure containers are well labeled as recycling.
  • Establish a collection and storage system. Discuss with custodial staff to devise a plan that will work for your school.  Collecting recycling separate from the garbage does not increase the amount of material generated.  By handling recycling separate the school may realize an overall cost savings. The school can potentially decrease the size of the current dumpster or the number of pick-ups.
  • Educate.  Set up a program to educate both students and staff.  Provide program updates to students and staff to demonstrate the positive environmental impact the program is having.  This can be done by weighing materials collected and tracking tonnage.  Each month the tonnage of materials can be correlated to water, oil and energy saved in addition to green house gas emissions and the school carbon footprint.

Environmental Programs & Grant Opportunities

The Broome County Division of Solid Waste has a series of educational programs available to schools for free.  Programs are conducted by staff and through a contract with Cornell Cooperative Extension (CCE).  For more information on educational programs, please call 584-5013.
Programs include:

  • Classroom presentations on recycling, waste reduction and composting. Auditorium presentations (conducted by CCE) such as "The Trashman" and "When Trash Comes Back".  For more information on these programs visit:
    http://broome.cce.cornell.edu/environment/school-programs
  • Landfill Tours- Tours can be scheduled Monday through Friday from 7am to 2:45pm. Tours are 45 to 60 minutes in length.  The school must provide transportation.  The tour is a riding tour; no one will depart the bus during the tour for safety reasons.

Green School Challenge- The Green Schools challenge is sponsored by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation to recognize those schools that are working towards responsible solid waste management by developing waste reduction, reuse, recycling, composting and/or buy recycled products and packaging programs. Schools are given special recognition and can be eligible for educational materials and awards totaling $1500 will be distributed to the winning schools to support their recycling/composting initiatives. More information can be found at: http://www.dec.ny.gov/chemical/43349.html 

New York Recycles Day- celebrated on November 15 each year. New York State's public and private school children and youth organizations are invited showcase their artistic talent and their commitment to the environment by participating in the Eighth Annual New York Recycles! Poster Contest sponsored by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) and the New York Recycles! Steering Committee. Twelve (12) New York State winners receive the honor of having their artwork in a calendar which will be distributed throughout the state. The schools with winning entries will also receive a recycled content tote bag filled with educational materials and videos. More information can be found at: http://www.dec.ny.gov/education/32506.html

The Go Green Initiative (GGI) is a National program. The GGI focuses on five basic principles that provide a comprehensive approach to environmental education on school campuses. They are designed to be aligned with existing curriculum so as not to detract from state mandated standards.

1. Generate compost.
2. Recycle everything that cannot be reused and purchase items that can be recycled.
3. Educate students, teachers and parents on environmentally-responsible behavior.
4. Evaluate the environmental impact of every activity.
5. Nationalize the principles of responsible paper consumption.
The program is flexible and does not require a school to implement all five principals to participate.  Often recycling is the easiest one to implement or improve.  For a program guide, sample press releases and spreadsheets to track tonnage/progress visit:http://gogreeninitiative.org

Grant Opportunity

New York State schools that sign up to participate in the GGI are eligible to apply for a grant of up to $500 from the New York State Association of Reduction, Reuse and Recycling.  For a copy of the application please visit: http://www.nysar3.org/page/green-school-grant-program-16.html

Need More Help?

If you would like further assistance with developing or improving a program, locating outlets for materials or educational outreach please contact Debra Smith, Materials Recovery Manager at 778-2397.

The Broome County Division of Solid Waste has a series of educational programs available to schools for free.  Programs are conducted by staff and through a contract with Cornell Cooperative Extension (CCE).  For more information on educational programs, please call 778-2397.
Programs include: