Last Thursday, the first Yonkers public school celebrated the roll out of its School Lunch Recycling Program. Program Coordinator Anna Giordano helped Foxfire school to transform into a practically waste free facility.
Principal Don Solimene, a stern proponent of recycling, got the entire school staff involved in the process.
So Yonkers Superintendent of Schools Bernard Pierorazio , Commissioner of DPW Thomas Meier, Town Council man Michael Sabatino and other central administration executives were treated to a wonderful celebration of Caring for our Earth.
Don Solimene asked the teachers to involve the children. As result, the walls in the cafeteria were covered with the most fabulous posters, poems, and songs created by the children. 15 Children were asked to present their work in front of everybody. They were very excited when they realized that Channel 12 was filming them and they would be on TV.
The school lunch recycling program consists of teaching the children to sort all their lunchroom waste into the different recyclable categories. Foxfire usually generated around 20 large bags of garbage every lunch, but with the School lunch recycling program in action, garbage output has dropped to one single bag for the entire school. And that bag is mainly organic food waste, as almost all packing material is fully recyclable.
Foxfire has been doing Worm Composting for years and we are hoping to incorporate conventional compost into this School lunch recycling program soon, which would cut the lunch garbage output to maybe a few handful of actual garbage such as straws, really soiled plastic wrappers and single use ketchup or yogurt pouches.
It was heartwarming to see how excited the students were when they realized that their actions made this incredible positive change. We had student helpers from day 1 and the lunchroom monitors have now organized a schedule so everybody gets a turn.
One school after the other, Yonkers, the 4th largest city in New York, will transform its schools into green, waste free facilities, making a real difference and sending out 24,000 children home to their parents with the new found knowledge that their actions can make a real difference.
New Rochelle is still working on getting all of its schools on line. Just recently Isaac Young’s principal Dr Bongo agreed to implement the program. He and his staff are now in the preparation phases.
Maybe we can also invite the Superintendent and Commissioner of DPW to celebrate this with us?