This year, PS165 Robert E Simon School is one of the first 100 schools in Manhattan and Brooklyn to be a Zero Waste School. This is a partnership between Department of Sanitation (DSNY), Department of Education (DOE) and GrowNYC’s Recycling Champions Program (RCP). Zero Waste Schools will be set up as models for recycling and organics collection with the goal to identify best practices for diverting waste from landfills that can be expanded citywide.

PS165 will receive free education and outreach programs from RCP. From assemblies for students to professional development for faculty and staff, all levels of stakeholders will be empowered to recycle more and waste less.  Schools will also receive free uniform recycling bins and signage. Partners at GrowNYC, DOE and DSNY will provide institutional support for improving recycling practices.

Zero Waste starts at home! Recycling is a habit just like brushing your teeth or washing your hands. All it takes to succeed is time and practice. Establishing Zero Waste practices at home will help your child develop good habits that will be beneficial at school and beyond. The following activities can be used to kick start your own Zero Waste week at home:

·        Choose bulk items over single-serve. Bulk items are cheaper, can be packed in durable containers, and create less waste.

·        Try it! Use durable lunch bags and reusable snack bags instead of disposable bags and plastic wrappers to pack your child’s food. It saves money and creates less waste.

·        Didn’t finish the lunch? Compost it! This is a great way to turn your leftover food scraps into a valuable fertilizer. Bring leftover food scraps to one of our many food waste drop-off sites. To find a site near you, visit

·        For more information on the Zero Waste Schools program, visit

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