Press Release: Waste Audit at John Fuller Elementary

Keene, NH –The skies were overcast but spirits were bright on Oct. 29, as students at John H. Fuller Elementary School conducted a school waste audit, known as Trash On the Lawn Day (TOLD). NRRA Education Manager Heather Herring from NRRA’s School Recycling Club, trained 120 fourth and fifth grade students how to identify and pull recyclables from a sampling of typical school trash.

Outfitted with recyclable gloves, each group of students was given several bags of trash which were weighed, sorted into bins, then weighed again producing volume data for a final report. When sorting was completed the students had a visual and quantifiable record of how much of their “trash” could have been diverted from the landfill. Grades K-3 classes came by to observe and ask thoughtful questions.

The students saw opportunities to improve their recycling efforts. They are already collecting highlighters and markers for recycling. Food waste was a big surprise which led to a discussion of how to reduce or reuse organic waste. The students were instructed about the impact of recycling on natural resources and landfill space.

Special guests were available throughout the day to assist with this fun and educational event. They included: Joe Martino from the Keene Recycling Facility, High School volunteer Mia Plaskiewicz, Hallie Snow of the Fuller Recycling Club, Mrs. Frost’s Girl Scout Troop and John Kennedy and Phil Roberts from Facilities Services. This event would not have been possible without the enthusiastic support of Executive Administrative Assistant and Girl Scout Troop Leader, Thais Frost, Music Teacher Ellen Jahos and Principal Katherine Moaratty.

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.