Boston Schools Implementing New Single-Stream Recycling Program

Boston students, teachers and administrators are using National Green Week this year (Feb. 4th to 8th) to set up single stream recycling

Single stream recycling means paper, glass, plastic and metal can all be recycled together. The items are then sorted at a recycling center, which makes it simpler for residents to collect recycle materials and avoids excess waste being sent to landfills.

Through and extended day program offered by City Year, 322 students at the Blackstone, Hennigan, Holland, Marshall, Mattahunt, Orchard Gardens and Tobin schools will participate in Green Week lessons, activities and games to prepare them for successful single stream recycling at home and at school, according to Boston Public Schools.

The curriculum was selected by Green Education Foundation and Boston Public Schools to address concepts and themes such as hands on exploration, social equity, community leadership, physical activity, creativity, literacy and math.

 “In the Boston Public Schools, our teachers aim to empower today’s students to become tomorrow’s leaders,” said Superintendent Carol R. Johnson.  “We are excited that our students are working in partnership with City Year for a cleaner, greener environment so they can share these important lessons with their classmates, parents and friends and create a sustainable city.”

The students from Boston are participating in the national kickoff of Green Week, joining students from across the nation already signed up to participate between February 4 and April 30. Schools, classrooms and youth groups join Green Week, GEF’s flagship program, in an effort to spotlight sustainability education and initiatives for one week of the school year. 

The switch to single stream recyling in all schools is part of the city’s Greenovate Boston initiative. Greenovate Boston aims to encourage sustainable behavior by Boston residents and businesses in order to meet greenhouse gas emission reduction goals of 25 percent by 2020.
“Our partnership with City Year and the Green Education Foundation goes to the heart of Greenovate Boston,” Mayor Thomas Menino said.  “We’re working to engage residents of all ages and backgrounds to understand the importance of actions like recycling, and to see that making sustainability a priority for our young people impacts the entire City of Boston in a positive way, now and in the future.”

On Feb. 5th at Blackstone Elementary in the South End, National Grid president for Massachusetts, Marcy Reed, and Green Education Foundation’s CEO, Victoria Waters, will meet up for a visit during the school’s after school programming to participate with students and observe as National Green Week curriculum is implemented by City Year’s extended day coordinators. National Grid is a sponsor of both Green Education Foundation and City Year.

“We couldn’t be more pleased with our partnership with City Year around National Green Week in Boston,” said Victoria Waters, CEO at Green Education Foundation. “Together, we’re able to offer a fun and engaging curriculum set for the week that will be delivered to students by City Year’s AmeriCorps members. The impact on students and their schools’ efforts around single stream recycling and the connection the kids will make to social justice issues in their community will be tremendous and long lasting.”

What do you think of BPS’ plan to have curbside single stream reycling throughout the district? What do your local schools do for recycling right now?  

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