We have a 2018 Recycle Rally winner!

Students pose for the camera in the hallway behind a woman holding a large trophy.

Last year, CSWD held the first-ever Recycle Rally – a friendly inter-school competition that empowers students, raises awareness about resource recovery and conservation, and unites school communities around a common goal: Recycle right! After a successful first year, Recycle Rally went on to see six schools compete in 2018 to see who could be the rock star recyclers of Chittenden County. And the winner is… C.P. Smith! Located in the…

Best in (trash) class: How does your school measure up?

A few years ago, a waste study in Minnesota found that every day, schools were throwing away about half a pound of trash per student. Even for a small school of 100 students, that adds up to more than 9 tons of stuff each year that’s heading straight for the landfill. The crazy part? They discovered that 78% of that “trash” could have been composted or recycled. “Well,” you’re probably…

For students in Milton, sorting school trash is a rite of passage

On a balmy spring day in the middle of May, a group of students gathered excitedly on the lawn at Milton High School. Though they were standing just a stone’s throw away from Duke’s Creemees, no one made a move for the Moose Tracks. Instead, they donned rubber gloves…and promptly dumped an entire day’s worth of their own waste onto the lawn. No, this wasn’t a case of disgruntled student…

Talkin’ trash at Allen Brook School

Young student holds up an apple for his classmates to see.

In October 2016, a new bunch of Kindergartners at Allen Brook School (ABS) in Williston were eager to learn how they can do their part to help the earth be a happier, healthier place. How do they do that? By practicing the 3 R’s with Recycle Rhonda (that’s me), of course! Each year for the past 2 years, Allen Brook School kindergarten teachers have invited me into their classrooms for…

Zero waste lunches: A little lighter in the sack

The average student sends 68 pounds of lunchbox trash to the landfill each year—and that’s just single-use wrappers, juice boxes, bags, utensils, cups, bowls, and the like. Multiply that by thousands of students and 180 days a year, and…well, where’s a 6th grader when I need one? Let’s just say this: It adds up pretty darn fast. Simple changes like these can make a huge difference in your wallet and…

Forget shopping. This is Back-to-School Swapping!

Hotdog, it is time for back-to-school shopping! Or as I prefer it: Back-to-School Swapping. When I was a kid, August was the only time I was allowed to get one new outfit for school (I was the youngest of 4), the rest of my duds were hand me downs. I admit, I wasn’t fond of having to wear my older siblings’ clothes but for my family it was a financial…

Recycling iPhone app created by South Burlington students

A team of young Vermont students called the Green Mountain Gears presented their app at the 2016 FIRST Lego League Global Innovation Award, organized by X Prize. The app, called “Sorta Scrappy,” is no longer available for download. This quick, cute game takes you on a journey along the waste stream, as the background progresses from your home to the transfer station to the landfill. Sort materials into their correct…

Brewster-Pierce: Small School, Big Impact

Brewster-Pierce Memorial School (BPMS) maybe be small in size but wallops a punch when it comes to reducing, reusing, and recycling. And I have had the privilege of being a part of some of their incredible efforts over the past year. Reduce Most recently, spearheaded by maintenance maven Sandy Heyman, BPMS held their first Zero Waste Day. The entire school participated in trying their hardest to NOT produce any trash,…

New: Hazardous Materials Management Guide for Schools

We recently published a new guide to hazardous materials management for Chittenden County schools, in collaboration with area teachers, administrators, janitors, and state policymakers. The guide is written primarily for maintenance and custodial staff, including Facilities Directors at the district level as well as those handling hazardous materials on a daily basis. How does a brochure like this come into being? Well, it doesn’t write itself—that’s for sure. After circulating…

Hazardous Waste in Schools: An Interview with CVU Maintenance Director

Kurt Proulx is the Director of Maintenance at Champlain Valley Union High School. We recently asked him a few questions about how he helps keep students and staff safer by using nontoxic products. How did/does CVU determine what cleaning products to use?  We purchase our products through the Facilities Maintenance Directors Association, which was created to save every school in Vermont money and that only allows the purchase of friendly…