For the first time ever, the NYC Department of Education applied for a grant available to NY school districts under the Department of Environmental Conservation’s Municipal Waste Reduction and Recycling State Assistance program this fall. The grant has been available for 18 years, so we’re thinking it could have something to do with all of the letter writing and phone calls begging our school district apply [do now: stand up, humbly pat self on back].
In the past, the NYC Department of Sanitation has applied and received some of this funding, which helped fuel their Golden Apple program that rewards waste-reduction do-gooders, although with budget cuts those rewards have lost some leg: rewards will be much more intrinsic since cash prizes have been suspended [teaching point: be resourceful by diversifying, apply for other grants].
The DEC grant provides 50% matching grants paid on a reimbursement basis up to a maximum of $2 million for projects that enhance school/municipal recycling or composting programs for: purchasing of equipment used to recycle or compost, reimbursing salaries of recycling coordinators and recycling public education.
Examples of items that may be eligible for school recycling projects are: containers to collect paper or cans/bottles for recycling, roll-off containers or dumpsters (move over trash dumpsters!) to aggregate the recyclables prior to delivery to recycling market, educational materials on waste reduction and recycling, banners and promotional items.
We don’t know what the NYC DOE's grant requested (we would have loved to have been apart of the planning process), but know it can take more than a year for proposals to get funded. So, while we’re waiting for the motherload to befall our recycling container-barren halls, let the DEC give lift to your sustainability spirit now:
Green Schools Challenge
The "Green Schools" Challenge is sponsored by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and the State Department of Education 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.
This website will help you on your journey to become a Green School! The focus of this webpage is a comprehensive solid waste management program; however, here are areas to consider that will help further your transformation to a Green School.
A School Waste Reduction, Reuse, Recycling, Composting and Buy Recycled Resource Book
The purpose of this Resource Book is to provide you with some basic information on a waste reduction, reuse, recycling, composting and buying recycled products and packaging program for your school.
New York Recycles! Poster Contest
New York Recycles! is our way of promoting recycling and buying recycled in New York State. The twelve 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. The 2009 NY Recycles! Poster Contest Rules will be updated soon.
New York Recycles!
Included in this website is a 36 page booklet with New York Recycles! lessons and activities for you to share with your students.
Local Recycling Coordinators
This is a list of local recycling coordinators that can provide you with local recycling information.
This website lists all of DEC’s waste reduction, reuse, recycling, composting and buy recycled educational materials.