Tuesday, July 7, 2009

DOE Triples Number of School Recycling Coordinators after Requests from De Blasio

The Eagle received this press release:

Councilmember Bill de Blasio today applauded the new and improved recycling programs in New York City public schools that will dramatically increase recycling efforts in the City’s education system. The Department of Education (DOE) has tripled the number of School Recycling Coordinators and provided recycling training for public schools, following aggressive lobbying from de Blasio.

“The best way to save our environment is to make our children invested in the future of our planet. Throwing paper into the garbage can or using designated recycling bins for regular trash sends a bad message to our children, yet for years New York City public schools have operated this way. Creating effective recycling programs in public schools will cut down on unnecessary waste and educate our children at the same time. I commend the Department of Education for taking these important steps which will not only help our planet, but also encourage our children to become responsible stewards of the environment,” said Councilmember Bill de Blasio.

Last June, the City Council's Education and Sanitation Committees held a joint hearing at the request of Councilmember de Blasio to examine school recycling policies. At the time, the DOE acknowledged that there were significant shortcomings with the state of recycling in the school system, and the agency further noted that only 372 out of the City's more than 1,400 schools had School Recycling Coordinators in place.

Following the hearing, the DOE immediately began to revamp school recycling policies and procedures. The DOE revised the Chancellor's Regulations on recycling to bring them up to date with the current school organizational structure. The DOE also issued multiple directives to school principals instructing them to designate school recycling coordinators for the start of the 2008-2009 school year.

De Blasio has praised these initial improvements, after exercising continuous oversight on school recycling over the past year. In February, de Blasio wrote to the DOE to request information about progress in increasing the number of School Recycling Coordinators, and the level of training provided to School Recycling Coordinators.

Since this time, the DOE has announced three very important achievements with regard to improving School Recycling:

1) The number of School Recycling Coordinators has more than tripled since one year ago at the Council's oversight hearing, called by de Blasio. There are now Recycling Coordinators in 1,223 schools, up from only 372.

2) The DOE has created a Sustainability Committee that includes the Division of School Facilities, City agency representatives and labor representatives to increase sustainable practices in schools.

3) School Recycling Coordinators are now provided with training to ensure that they have the support to create more environmentally friendly practices in schools. The DOE has already held training sessions in Staten Island and Brooklyn.

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Brooklyn Bowl Opens Tonight!

Beginning tonight at 6 p.m., green bowling alley Brooklyn Bowl (at 61 Wythe Ave in Williamsburg) is open for business in a soft launch capacity. During this time, operating hours will be Sunday, Tuesday - Thursday from 6 p.m. to 2 a.m., and Friday and Saturdays from 6 p.m. to 4 a.m. It won't be open on Mondays and will only serve to a 21+ crowd.

As for food, a small snack menu will be served from July 10 through the 20th and an expanded "preview" menu will begin on the 21st. The full menu by Blue Ribbon will debut on August 4.

Live music performances, advance lane reservations and extended hours (including child-friendly weekend days) will begin in late summer.

Photo by Adam Macchia

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