LET’S KEEP VERMONT GREEN

School Outreach & Resources

What does Universal Recycling mean for your school?

The Universal Recycling law ensures that all Vermonters have convenient and consistent services for recycling and composting; this includes at school. Schools play a critical role in waste reduction as producers of recyclables and food scraps, but most importantly as educators. Schools serve as models for their communities and can teach students why recycling and composting matter. Behaviors we learn as children become our habits as adults, and the systems schools make today will be second nature for tomorrow’s leaders.

If your school needs help improving your recycling or food scrap collection systems, call ANR at 802-828-1138 or contact us.

Northeast Resource Recovery Association

We are members of the Northeast Resource Recovery Association (NRRA). NRRA provides workshops and technical assistance on recycling, waste-reduction, hazardous waste, and compost for students, teachers, and staff. As part of this membership, SWAC schools are provided with resources and support including:

For more information on NRRA opportunities, please contact us.

TerraCycle

TerraCycle defines itself as “…a social enterprise Eliminating the Idea of Waste®.” They offer the opportunity to recycle many items that are not suitable for “blue bin” recycling, the recycling we practice in our day-to-day lives.

At school, TerraCycle Zero Waste Box programs can capture non-blue bin recyclables, like candy and snack wrappers. For schools where students continue to eat lunch in classrooms, due to the pandemic, the right Zero Waste Box can capture at least some of the additional lunchtime waste being produced, including plastic eating utensils and single-use, black plastic meal trays, neither of which are suitable for blue bin recycling.

Through a TerraCycle Zero Waste Box collection initiative, students are engaged in a very worthwhile project, with measurable, tangible results, while gaining first-hand experience in how to keep harder-to-recycle materials out of the landfill.

TerraCycle Zero Waste Boxes come with a fee, which depends on the size of box purchased. The fee covers shipping for the box and the cost of recycling the materials collected. If school funds are not available, a grant application, requesting funding to purchase of one or more boxes, can be submitted through our School Zero Waste Grant Program. Support is available to complete a grant application; contact John Jose if you need assistance.

This YouTube video by Lucy Biggers of “Now This Earth” provides an excellent overview of what TerraCycle is about and how their Zero Waste Box program works.

State of Vermont Resources

ANR School Requirements

Universal Recycling in Schools: What does it mean for your school?

School Recycling Guide – How to develop and manage school recycling and composting program

School Recycling Scorecard – Quick test to see how well your school is reducing waste and set a baseline for further work

Waste Not Guide Poster of Banned Landfill Materials

Hazardous Waste Management and Reduction in Schools fact sheet 

Agency of Natural Resources Hazardous Waste Management Assistance for Schools

Vaping/E-Cigarette Safety Management for Schools

Food Scraps webpage – How to design and build on-site compost systems, list of food scrap haulers

Food Donation webpages – information on Food Share Tables and how to rescue food for donation

Getting Started with School Composting Guide

On-Site Composting: A School Implementation Guide

Envision Program: Promoting Healthy School Environments – Assisting schools with Indoor Air quality

School Environmental Health Act 125 was passed into law with goals to improve school air quality, reduce hazardous exposures, and helps schools earn the Envision Certificate of Achievement.

Informed Green Solutions: Informed has a grant to work with VT schools on green cleaning and has many resources on their website, including a Toolkit for Green Cleaning and information on Environmentally Preferable Purchasing. They are interested in working with more K-12 schools as well as Early Childcare Facilities.

Lesson Plans

Resources

Stop Waste – A California-based public agency responsible for reducing waste in Alameda County. Excellent information and curriculum materials.

Shelburne Farms provides environmental and sustainability education for children, adults, and educators, both through their website and at their farm.

Keep America Beautiful works to build and sustain communities through education and behavior change. Guidebooks available online are comprehensive, contain excellent overviews on waste-related topics, and have many well-designed classroom lessons.

Cornell Waste Management Institute. Research, outreach, training, and technical assistance, with a focus on organic residuals. Many lesson plans available through their Trash Goes To School program.

The Story of Stuff Project. Short films, lesson plans, podcasts about how we make, use, and throw away Stuff.

Vermont Building and General Service purchasing contracts, for recycling and food scrap collection containers and other supplies

Trash Contract Renegotiation Guide (Produced by Highfields Center for Composting): information for schools and businesses on waste hauling fees, to assist in contract negotiation and cost savings

New England Grassroots Environmental Fund (NEGF) supports community-based environmental projects throughout New England. NEGF provides resources, tools, and trainings, as well as grants to groups and schools beginning or improving environmental projects.

Terra Cycle – The New Earth