The RecycleCT Foundation has awarded more than $17,000 in grants to 16 Connecticut schools as part of the RecycleCT School Grant program and in support of its mission to promote the importance of recycling and to encourage people, government, businesses and organizations to adopt recycling as part of their lives and everyday operations.
The RecycleCT School Grants will fund projects in schools across the state and include linking food sharing tables, installing water bottle filling stations, reducing single-use items in the cafeteria, collecting food scraps and milk cartons, expanding worm composting education and operations, and posting signage to strengthen or expand recycling efforts.
“Recycling awareness starts in the classroom and educators are great partners and champions for this work. We had so many wonderful applications this year, many of which included initiatives designed to reduce food waste and single bottle use, as well as encourage recycling and composting,” said Katie Dykes, Department of Energy and Environmental Protection Commissioner and RecycleCT Chair.
“This program is important to not only engage our students in this civic activity, but to help them as they develop incredible programs to reduce, reuse and recycle waste at their schools,” said Diane Lauricella, a RecycleCT Board member and waste management consultant in Norwalk.
The RecycleCT Foundation received 24 applications in the 2019-2020 application cycle seeking over $32,000 in grants. Since 2016, the foundation has distributed $51,284 to schools and $175,635 to non-profit organizations and municipalities. All Connecticut-based K-12 schools, including public, charter and magnet schools that are exempt from federal taxation under the Internal Revenue Code Section 501, were eligible to apply. Preference is giving to registered CT Green LEAF Schools. Grant recipients included:
- Bethany - *Bethany Community School, $1,500 – food waste reduction, food sharing composting
- East Hartford - *CT River Academy, $250 – research school waste and create a showcase to promote to school and general public
- Easton - Samuel Staples Elementary, $1,000 – Waste reduction promotion, assembly, water bottle filling station
- Fairfield - *Osborn Hill Elementary School, $1,480 – “zero waste lunch” awareness program
- Fairfield - *Burr Elementary, $500 – Reduce paper consumption with early dismissal software
- Glastonbury - *Glastonbury/East Hartford Magnet School, $1,300 – cafeteria collection station, liquid separation and food recovery fridge
- Greenwich - *Parkway school, $575 – worm composting in classrooms; make garden structures from upcycled materials; expand outdoor compost system to additional classrooms
- Mansfield – Goodwin Elementary/Mansfield Middle School and Southeast Elementary School, $2,500 – reduce cartons, straws and single use cups; milk dispensers and reusable tumblers and portion cups.
- Middletown - Middletown High School, $250 – improve food scrap collection; recycling education video
- New Haven - *Common Ground High School, $750 – improve food scrap collection for on-site composting, institute biennial audits; student training
- New Haven - *Bernard Environmental Studies Magnet, $1,500 – collect food scraps for off-site composting; recover shareable food
- New London - The LEARN Transition Academy, $1,400 - expand their WormED project; vocational training of vermicomposting
- Southport - *Mill Hill Elementary, $1,500 – form RecycleClub; workshops, books, carton recycling
- Weston - *Weston High School & Weston School District, $800 – signage, bin stickers, posters, educational video
- Westport - Staples High School, $750 – food scrap collection bins; signage
- Woodbridge - *Beech Road School, $1,000 - water bottle filling station, reusable water bottle campaign
The RecycleCT Foundation was created as a result of legislation in 2014 to raise public awareness and participation in recycling. The legislation also called for the recycling diversion rate to increase to 60 percent by 2024.
*Connecticut Green LEAF School