Press Release: School Recycling Awards Announced

The Northeast Resource Recovery Association (NRRA) has announced the recipients of its 2019-2020 School Recycling Club Awards. The award winners are: 

  • School Recycler of the Year Award – Maple Street Elementary School, Contoocook, NH
  • Teacher Recycler of the Year Award – Chris Asbell, Somersworth Middle School, Somersworth, NH
  • Student Recyclers of the Year Award – Girl Scout Troop 11305, Fuller Elementary School, Keene, NH

NRRA’s School Recycling Club (the Club) is a program for all schools in New England (and beyond). Designed for students and teachers in grades K-12, the Club enables schools to become more active in the world of recycling. Through its workshops, technical assistance, and recycling curricula, the Club is a fun and innovative way to give students encouragement, direction and networking opportunities to enhance school recycling programs.  The Club is supported in part by New Hampshire the Beautiful, a non-profit funded by food and beverage companies.   

School Recycler of the Year Award – Maple Street Elementary School, Contoocook, NH

Maple Street Elementary illustrates the effectiveness of teaching basic sustainability lessons to even the youngest elementary students. With the encouragement and support of the Superintendent of Schools, Maple Street’s Principal, teachers and staff partnered with members of the Hopkinton Recycling Committee, to provide recycling programming in the form of an all-day waste audit.

The school already had a “full circle” recycling program that combined a school garden, chickens and food waste composting. NRRA’s Trash On the Lawn Day (TOLD) event, held in October of 2019, provided a visual lesson of steps the students could take to improve recycling in their school. The ultimate goal of the TOLD was to encourage MSE students to carry their recycling lessons on to middle and high school.

Thanks to grants from both NH the Beautiful and the Hopkinton Recycling Committee, the waste audit was free to the school.  When schools and municipalities combine their resources, recycling is reinforced throughout the entire community.

Maple St. TOLD

Students at Maple Street Elementary School hold their first Trash On the Lawn Day (TOLD) school waste audit. Maple Street Elementary was awarded the 2019-2020 School Recycler of the Year by NRRA for their full circle of recycling from garden to cafeteria to compost. (NRRA Photo)

 

Teacher Recycler of the Year Award – Chris Asbell, Somersworth Middle School, Somersworth, NH

In his role as 7th grade Science Teacher, Chris helped his students take a closer look at their waste, quantify it and reinforce the everyday choices they can all make to facilitate environmental change.

Chris’s enthusiastic participation in NRRA’s Trash On the Lawn Day (TOLD) events in May and September of 2019 led to the creation of scientific graphs, charts and tables in the classroom.  He encouraged his students to present their TOLD findings to the Somersworth School Board. He even accompanied two of his students to the NH State House to testify on their findings.  In the final report of the NH Recycling & Solid Waste Study Committee, the students’ recommendations were reflected in two of their findings.  His students will carry his lessons forward into their lives and careers.

Chris is now the Assistant Principal at Rochester Middle School and NRRA is certain he will continue to foster green leadership with his students.

SMS Students Testify

2019-2020 Teacher Recycler of the Year Award Winner Chris Asbell (right), Science Teacher at Somersworth Middle School, proudly looks on as two of his students testify in front of the NH Legislature about the benefits of recycling. Chris encouraged his students to quantify and present the results of their waste audits. (NRRA Photo)

 

Student Recyclers of the Year Award – Girl Scout Troop 11305, Fuller Elementary School, Keene, NH

Girl Scout Troop 11305 of Fuller Elementary first caught the attention of Northeast Resource Recovery Association in September of 2018 when the entire troop participated in learning how to conduct NRRA’s proprietary Star of Sustainability Assessment.  The Star provides a baseline analysis of a school’s current recycling habits and offers recommendations for future improvement.  The Scouts were coached on how and where to collect the data as they toured Symonds Elementary. Their commitment to recycling and sustainability carried over to the following year.

When funding became available in October of 2019 to conduct a school waste audit at Fuller Elementary, the Girl Scouts again stepped forward to assist with their NRRA Trash On the Lawn Day (TOLD). NRRA acknowledges their Troop Leader Thais Frost for her encouragement and focus on keeping recycling alive within her Girl Scout Troop.

Thanks to funding provided by the Joint Procurement Initiative between the City of Keene and the Keene School District, this technical assistance training was free to the school. NRRA promotes and encourages school and town partnerships to reinforce recycling throughout the community.

Keene Girl Scouts

Girl Scout Troop 11305 of Fuller Elementary was recognized as NRRA’s 2019-2020 Student Recyclers of the Year for their assistance with a Trash On the Lawn Day event as well as their participation in a Star of Sustainability Training. (NRRA Photo)

 

Congratulations to all the award winners.