Rewiring students to sort their cafeteria waste

 The Friday before Earth Day, the John Jay High School’s Sustainability Club was a welcoming presence in the cafeteria throughout all lunch periods.

They offered students the opportunity to decorate an Earth Cookie and to sign an Earth Day! Make the Pledge poster while watching a student-made video featuring earth-reflections from the John Jay community.

At the beginning of each new lunch period, Kim Piccolino, Assistant Principal of John Jay High School introduced Hailey Ivey, a member of the Sustainability Club, who spoke to the students about the cafeteria's new green compost receptacle and how to use it.

This is Project Create—JJHS’s Sustainability Club’s project for Bedford 2020’s Greenlight Award. The theme this year is Solid Waste. John Jay’s club choose organic waste; in particular, an awareness campaign to rewire students to sort their cafeteria waste into recycling and compost. 

This project addresses the issue of solid waste by informing and encouraging others to incorporate responsible waste management practices into their own lives, as well as making composting more accessible and feasible for Katonah-Lewisboro schools, proposed John Jay's Sustainability Club in their application to Bedford 2020 Greenlight Award.

  “Students at KLSD grow up composting now,” said Ivey, a junior. “Our elementary and middle schools started doing composting just after we graduated. It’s not second nature for many of us yet.”

JJHS’s Sustainability Club will also work with operations and maintenance to evaluate, measure, and mass the total amount of composted material they actually acquire.  


Sustainability at KLSD

 KLSD is committed to sustainability. The Board of Education appointed Sustainability Committee has helped KLSD reduced paper use by about 40%, and reduce its greenhouse gas by 24%. It also worked with the transportation department to pass an anti-idling law for buses and cars, and upgrade district buses to clean diesel. The district now fertilizes fields with a compost tea rather than chemicals and has replaced many water fountains with water bottle filling stations. The district-wide composting program has received Green Awards from the Town of Bedford, an Earth Day Recognition Award from Westchester County, and two grants from the New York State Association for Reduction, Reuse & Recycling.