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Past DCPS Recycles! Announcements

6/13/2016 – End of the School Year Updates & Actions

Happy end of the school year! Congratulations to DCPS for all its recycling progress in SY15-16! Here are some actions you can take before the end of the school year and to prepare for the summer.

5/31/2016 – Purchase Clear Liners for Recycling for SY16-17

For SY16-17, in order to avoid the haulers refusing to empty your recycling dumpster and carts, make sure to follow the below protocol:

  • For recycling bins (blue), save money by using NO liners if staff and students are sorting correctly. This also reduces issues at the recycling facility with plastic bags getting tangled in the machinery. However, if liners are necessary, purchase and use ONLY clear liners for recycling bins (blue). Schools are responsible for purchasing clear liners. DGS does NOT provide clear liners.
  • For organics bins (yellow), use ONLY compostable liners (green-tinted clear), provided by DGS. DO NOT use compostable liners for trash, paper or mixed recycling. DGS provides compostable liners ONLY for those schools participating in organics recycling. 
  • For trash bins (black or gray), use black or clear liners.  Schools are responsible for purchasing all black or clear liners. DGS does NOT provide clear or black liners.

View the DCPS Recycles! Guidelines for Liner Use for more liner purchasing guidance.

5/26/2016 – DCPS Maintenance Staff take a Boat Tour of the Anacostia River

In May 2016, DCPS maintenance employees and the DCPS Recycles! team went on a boat tour of the Anacostia River guided by the Anacostia Watershed Society and in partnership with the Department of Energy & Environment (DOEE). We discussed the history of the Anacostia river and its abundant wildlife and plant life. We also talked about the litter and pollution problems the river faces and what is being done to clean up the river, including wetland restoration, litter prevention, and stormwater management. The boat tour emphasized the important role that recycling and waste management, both inside and outside our school buildings, play in keeping our waterways clean for recreation, fishing, wildlife habitat and more. Check out pictures from the boat, including osprey, ducks & ducklings, and the bald eagle that flew directly above our boat. 

Learn more about stormwater pollution prevention at schools by reading DOEE’s Preventing Stormwater Pollution for School Facility Staff.

The Anacostia Watershed Society is hosting recreation activities every Thursday evening and the first Saturday of every month from May 26th – Oct. 1st. Read more and register for these events at www.anacostiaws.org/get-involved/recreation/anacostia-river-discovery-series.

4/25/2016 – Celebrate the DCPS Recycles Honor Roll 2016!

During this last week of Earth Month, please join us in celebrating the 47 schools that have made the DCPS Recycles! Honor Roll 2016 through consistent, school-wide participation in recycling throughout the school year!

Here are actions you can take as follow up to Earth Day 2016:

  • Celebrate! Read the press release for the complete list of DCPS Recycles! Honor Roll 2016 schools! Also, read our blog to learn from Van Ness Elementary School’s exemplary recycling efforts.
  • Reinvigorate! If your school didn’t make it on the list, there is still time! Schools that are still working on rolling out their recycling programs have until May 30th to fill out the DCPS Recycles Honor Roll 2016 Application.
  • Initiate! If your school does not have an active recycling program, this is the time to start thinking about next year. Look out for an announcement next week about designating recycling contacts, signing up for organics recycling, and ordering supplies.
  • Educate! There are a lot of environmental education opportunities and programs out there. One such program is the EcoRise Youth Innovation’s grant opportunity for standards-aligned sustainability projects (deadline: May 16th). See more below.
  • Get Recognition! Schools all across the district celebrated Earth Day last week with a range of activities including field trips, litter clean-ups, fairs, and build days. A special shout-out goes to the following schools for holding Earth Month events: Janney ES, Ketcham ES, Lafayette ES, McKinley Tech HS, Noyes ES, Powell ES, Randle Highlands ES, School Without Walls @ Francis-Stevens, Seaton ES, Tyler ES, and Woodrow Wilson HS. If you haven’t already, let us know about your school’s Earth Day or Earth Month event.

3/21/2016 - DCPS Recycles! Earth Month Prep - Things to Look Forward to in April!
Attention DCPS Recyclers! Here are 3 things you can do in April to celebrate Earth Month:

  1. Get recognized for your school’s Earth Month event – and walk the talk by recycling at your event : Is your school hosting an event around Earth Day (April 22)? Fill out this form to get recognized by registering your Earth Month event with us. If we know about your event we can highlight your school in future success stories! To learn how to manage your waste at your event, check out our new resource, Best Practices Guide for Recycling at Events in DCPS Buildings.
  2. Collect waste data at your event and share it with the DCPS Recycles! team : After managing your event’s waste, share your data with DCPS Recycles! so that we can celebrate and learn from your success. Complete the DCPS Recycles! Waste Datasheet with the estimated volume (in gallons) and weight (in lbs, this is optional but recommended if you have access to a scale) of the different waste streams from your event.
  3. Register to be part of the 28th Annual Potomac River Watershed Cleanup : The Annual Potomac River Watershed Cleanup gathers people from all over the region to clean up litter from the Potomac watershed. In 2015, nearly 24,000 volunteers collected over 1.2 pounds of litter. Register your school as a clean-up site.

We look forward to a wonderful Earth Month!

2/10/2016 - The DC Reduce First Challenge – Lunch Edition
Did you know that 20 to 30 percent of waste from a typical DCPS school cafeteria is actually whole uneaten and unopened items?  The DCPS Recycles! program is excited to launch the D.C. Reduce First Challenge - Lunch Edition, the first-ever collaborative effort to reduce food waste (not just compost it) from school lunches in DC.

During the challenge, schools will conduct simple surveys to count whole uneaten and unopened food items per student lunch, and then take actions to reduce wasted items. A total of 24 schools – both DCPS and public charter – have signed up to participate in the Challenge. The Challenge will run from Tuesday, February 16, 2016 to Friday, March 11, 2016.

Sign up by February 16th. Read the packet of instructions that tells you everything you need to know to participate. If you cannot participate in the Challenge in February and March, you can conduct the Challenge activity at any time during the school year.
Read the Challenge Instructions and Resources

1/11/2016 – DCPS Recycles! Program Newsletter – January 2016
Happy new year! Congratulations to DCPS for all its recycling progress in 2015! Here are some actions you can take in the new year:

  • Sign up to reduce food waste! Sign up for the D.C. Reduce First Challenge – Lunch Edition – taking place next month, February 2016, to reduce food waste in DCPS cafeterias. Read more about the competition and sign up by Friday, January 22!
  • Give feedback! Fill out this feedback form by Friday, January 22 to help improve the DCPS Recycles! program.
  • Apply for recognition! Fill out the DCPS Recycles Honor Roll 2016 Application by Friday, February 19 to get your school recognized on Earth Day.
  • Check services! Check the updated list of schools participating in organics recycling. Read an update on the organics recycling program.
  • Look out for supplies! Schools that ordered supplies in November 2015 should expect supplies by February 2016.
  • Request a school walkthrough! For those schools that did not submit the supply order form in November, request a school walkthrough to identify exactly what recycling supplies you need—email [email protected].
  • Share photos! Share photos on social media that celebrate recycling in your school - #DCPSRecycles @DCDGS. You can also send us your pictures to share on our new Flickr page.

Read the FULL program newsletter for more program updates, replicable school recycling success stories, new resources, and recycling news.

11/10/2015 – DCPS Maintenance Staff Visits Composting Facility

On October 27, DCPS maintenance employees and the DCPS Recycles! team toured the Western Branch Composting Facility in Upper Marlboro, MD, where DCPS sends its organic waste. It was an opportunity for maintenance employees to see where DCPS organic waste is composted and learn about the composting process. As a result of the tour, the maintenance employees who attended are better equipped to be leaders in their schools by advocating for why organics recycling is important in DCPS schools. Check out pictures from the tour!

If you would like to set up a tour of the composting facility for students, contact Steven Birchfield of Maryland Environmental Services at [email protected]. Tours are free and typically last about an hour.

Are you interested in compost for your school garden? D.C. Public Schools get a discounted price for LeafGro™ compost. The minimum volume of compost available for pickup is 5 cubic yards. Contact Cara Blumenthal at [email protected] to find out how to get your reduced price compost!

11/3/2015 – DGS Congratulates the 2015 D.C. “Recycle Right!” Competition Participants and Winners

The Department of General Services (DGS) congratulates the 21 schools that participated in the D.C. Recycle Right! Competition, part of OSSE’s Growing Healthy Schools Month October celebration. The goal of the competition was to reward participants for “recycling right,” not recycling more, which is more in line with the Sustainable DC goal of zero waste by 2032. If you did not get a chance to participate in the competition, your school can participate in the bin survey activity at any time of the year to encourage and improve classroom recycling. You can find instructions on the Conduct a Waste Study page. Read more about the competition.

Check out pictures from the competition and awards ceremony!

8/17/2015 - DCPS Recycles! Back to School Actions

Welcome back! Here are the first steps school staff can take to get started right on recycling this year: