2023-2024 School Year

March 12, 2024 The Cohasset Anchor
Recycling Project Turns Plastic Bags Into Park Benches

The Town of Cohasset has collected over 1,600 single use plastic bags to be transformed into park benches. The Town’s Sustainability Planner and Grant Coordinator, Montanna Cassel, teamed up with the Cohasset school Green Teams and NexTrex to turn trash into treasure.

December 5, 2023 Waste Advantage Magazine
New Bedford, MA Schools Succeeding in Their Efforts to Reduce Waste

New Bedford Public Schools (NBPS) are doing their part to reduce waste. In one grant funded project, the school district has eliminated the use of more than 1.6 million Styrofoam meal trays annually. In another project, several schools are diverting food waste from the trash to be composted. Reducing waste is important since the Crapo Hill Landfill has limited remaining capacity.

If you have questions about composting, recycling, or waste reduction, contact the Greater New Bedford Regional Refuse Management District by email at Marissa@gnbrrmdistrict.org or by phone at (508) 979-1493.

Learn more about new programs helping New Bedford businesses reduce waste here.


2022-2023 School Year

April 18, 2023 City of Melrose
Winthrop School Kindergarteners & First Graders Decorate 200 Shaw’s Supermarket Bags for Earth Day

As part of a collaboration between the Melrose Department of Public Works (DPW), Melrose Shaw’s Supermarket, and Winthrop Elementary Art Teacher Kendra Robertson, Winthrop School kindergarteners and first graders decorated 200 recyclable Shaw’s grocery bags with environmental messages and drawings to raise awareness of Earth Day.

April 20, 2023 WCVB
Massachusetts high school students trying to relieve trash trouble: Forecasting Our Future

Melrose High School students are doing their part to reduce waste and improve their community’s composting system. Check out the student-led pilot program they started this year!

January 7, 2023 Gloucester Daily Times
Middle schoolers participate in recycling challenge

The Gloucester Daily Times recently highlighted how Manchester Essex Regional Middle School’s Green Team in Manchester participated in the Trex Plastic Film Recycling Challenge.

October 2, 2022 Ask This Old House
How to Build a Classroom Compost Bin

Hosmer Elementary School in Watertown was recently featured in the season premiere of PBS’s Ask This Old House. Carpenter Nathan Gilbert and landscape contractor Jenn Nawada teamed up with Elizabeth Kaplan, K-7 Math and Science Coordinator, to teach students about composting and build a new compost bin for the school gardens.

July 25, 2022 The Daily Hampshire Gazette
Easthampton foundation, Mass Audubon team up to provide students with outdoor education

Starting this fall, sixth, seventh, and eighth grade students in Easthampton will partake in an outdoor environmental curriculum made possible by a $25,000 grant from the Easthampton Learning Foundation, as well as educators from the Massachusetts Audubon Society’s Arcadia Wildlife Sanctuary and the new Mountain View School. As reported by the Daily Hampshire Gazette, the proposal includes in-service training for teachers, outdoor lessons for students, and student-led culminating projects. 


2021-2022 School Year

June 10, 2022 John Guilfoil Public Relations
Students at Hull’s Memorial Middle School Replace Fallen Tree Through Green Team Program

Green Team students at Memorial Middle School in Hull helped replant a fallen tree, as reported by John Guilfoil, Public Relations. Scarlett Arevalo, a green team student, led her peers in contacting town committees to ask permission to plant trees and their requests were met with support. Students worked with the town’s tree warden to prepare the area and successfully plant the new tree, which they raised funds for at band and chorus concert bake sales.

June 7, 2022 WHAV News
Marigold Montessori and Robert Frost Middle Schools Receive State ‘Green Team’ Recognition

WHAV News recently highlighted how Marigold Montessori in Haverhill and Robert Frost Middle School in Lawrence were recognized by MassDEP for their Green Team environmental activities. Projects included planting seeds and using compost made from food scraps from their own cafeterias in their school vegetable and fruit garden.

June 7, 2022 iBerkshires.com
MassDEP Recognizes ‘Green Teams’ in Berkshire County​

In Berkshire County, Hoosac Valley High School students, the Youth Center Inc., and Wahconah Regional High School students were awarded prizes for environmental activities as reported by iberkshires.com. Green Team projects included collecting textiles for donation and recycling, promoting water conservation, and repurposing and reusing materials to make “new” items.

March 28, 2022 John Guilfoil Public Relations
Students at Hull’s Memorial Middle School Promote Environmental Causes at Scituate St. Patrick’s Day Parade

Green Team students from Hull Memorial Middle School participated in the Town of Scituate’s St. Patrick’s Day parade by using the ‘green’ theme to raise awareness about youth environmental action and commitment. The students created banners and signs promoting ways to live more sustainably. They received many cheers of solidarity from spectators.

January 3, 2022  Arlington Advocate
Ottoson students relaunch lunch composting program

As reported by the Arlington Advocate, the Ottoson Middle School Green Team in Arlington restarted the school’s lunch composting program which had been on hold during the COVID-19 pandemic. The students presented their ideas to the assistant principal and made posters for the school hallways. An important part of the program is the opportunity for students to become Lunch Leaders to help their peers properly sort their waste. The Green Team contacted local businesses to encourage them to support the program with coupons that were given to Lunch Leaders for working the sorting stations. The separated food scraps are turned into finished compost for local farms instead of going for disposal.

December 2, 2021 The Boston Globe
Ipswich’s ‘Green Team’ hopes to grow neighborhood fridges in other communities

The Boston Globe recently highlighted Ipswich’s Green Team’s plan to expand their local food access project to other communities. In 2020 the Ipswich Middle and High School Green Team started a project called “Hello Neighbor Fridge” to improve local access to healthy fresh food during the pandemic. Weekly, team members stocked publicly accessible mini refrigerators with food for people in need to pick-up for free. Now the Green Team is looking to help other communities implement similar programs. With the help of two local nonprofit partners, they are offering to donate two mini-refrigerators and provide guidance for setting up the program. Three Sisters Garden Project and The Open Door Ipswich Community Food Pantry offered to provide produce at no cost. The Green Team also donates produce grown in the school garden. Ava Borgman, co-adult mentor of the Green Team, said the stocked fridges are almost entirely empty at the end of each week, which shows the program is meeting a need.

For those who are not able to view the whole article and want to learn more, visit sustainableipswich.org or email sustainable.ipswich@gmail.com.

November 8, 2021 The City of Melrose
Melrose High School Senior, Kate Sikkema, Launches Composting Video and Educational Material for her Eagle Scout Project

The City of Melrose recently wrote about Kate Sikkema, a senior at Melrose High School and member of BSA Troop 635. For her Eagle Scout project, Kate developed an educational video to increase awareness about wasted food composting. With contributions from fellow scouts, friends, the Melrose DPW, Zero Waste Melrose, MMTV, and Mayor Brodeur, the video describes why we should compost, what materials can be composted, and how to compost efficiently.

October 4, 2021 Arlington Patch
Town of Arlington: Pumpkin Recycling with Arlington Green Teams

Arlington Patch highlighted Arlington Public Schools in a press release about their pumpkin recycling event. Each year, Arlington Green Teams collect pumpkins just after Halloween. The schools partner with food scrap companies that haul the pumpkins to a local farm where they are made into compost. The article also points out that if the gourd or pumpkin has paint on it, it must be thrown in the trash.

July 29, 2021 Ipswich Local News
Ipswich Green Team recognized by state officials

In July 2021, Environmental Affairs Secretary Kathleen Theoharides recognized students at Ipswich Middle and High School for their “UseOne” campaign. As reported by Ipswich Local News, the Green Team received the 26th Annual Secretary’s Award for Excellence in Energy and Environmental Communication.


2020-2021 School Year

June 22, 2021 The Greenfield Recorder
Mohawk Trail Regional School Eighth Grade Policy Summit connects students to local issues

The Greenfield Recorder recently highlighted students at Mohawk Trail Regional School, located in Buckland, in an article about their focus on local environmental policy issues for their Eighth Grade Policy Summit. Topics included water pollution, littering, trash cleanup, chemical spills, community gardens, and aiding local food banks.

June 7, 2021 22News
State “Green Team” award recognizes student efforts in environmental stewardship

22News featured an article about the GREEN TEAM 2020-2021 prize winners and their projects. The article highlighted the impressive number of students and schools who participated despite the COVID-19 pandemic, and emphasized the hard work they did to reduce pollution and protect the environment.

May 26, 2021 yourArlington.com
Why You Should Recycle Textiles

YourArlington.com recently published a blog post on textile recycling, written by Julia Wallace, a student at Arlington High School. Julia is the spring 2021 intern for the Arlington Department of Public Works (DPW). The post highlights worrisome stats surrounding textile waste, outlines what kinds of textiles can be recycled, and urges folks to donate textiles instead of sending them for disposal.

April 1, 2021 WesternMassNews.com
Springfield high school students taking action against climate change

WesternMassNews.com recently highlighted Shante Morris, a tenth grader at Springfield High School of Science and Technology, who worked in collaboration with Cooler Communities to reduce carbon footprints in Springfield. Her project proposal focuses on water conservation and plastic waste reduction.

February 25, 2021 The Berkshire Eagle
Mount Everett students with a passion for environment shape series that debuts Friday

The Berkshire Eagle recently highlighted Isabella Cardinali Kemp, a student from Mount Everett Regional High School in an article about the creation of a virtual event on sustainability. Isabella is a senior who is passionate about reducing food waste, composting, and recycling. Her passion fueled her to put together the virtual event, “Sustainable Speaker Series — Our Relationship to Land and Water: Conversations with Local and National Sustainability Leaders.” The event features six speakers and will run through June. To register for the free event, click here.

September 9, 2020 Leominster Champion
Fifth-graders at Johnny Appleseed Elementary win ‘Green Team’ award

The Leominster Champion featured an article on the fifth grade class at Johnny Appleseed Elementary School. Students were recognized for their outstanding environmental actions as members of THE GREEN TEAM.

August 13, 2020 Wicked Local Cohasset
Cohasset class honored in Green Team awards

Wicked Local Cohasset featured an article on the Cohasset High School Green Team and their accomplishments this past year. The school’s Green Team has grown in their first three years to 65 students and they continue to make a noticeable impact on the school. This year, the school received a grant from the Cohasset Education Foundation to purchase composting, recycling, and trash receptacles for the cafeteria. The school also decided to trade Styrofoam trays for a compostable alternative, and now much of the waste from lunchtime is being composted. The school was recognized for their efforts by receiving a GREEN TEAM award and attending a virtual Recycling Show.

July 11, 2020 Homenewshere
Students create non-profit Stem4Free to help rescue wasted, consumable food

Homenewshere featured a story on Nicole Jo and Arnav Bhakta, students from Phillips Academy in
Andover, who created the non-profit Stem4Free to help rescue wasted, consumable food in their communities and around the world. Students were inspired to create the non-profit when they saw their fellow students throwing out large amounts of uneaten food in their cafeteria. When the boarding school closed in March, students returned to their homes in cities across the world and started Stem4Free to rescue food in their communities. The nonprofit has since expanded to over 10 branches, including in California, India, and Hong Kong, and rescued over 40,000 meals!


2019-2020 School Year

June 23, 2020 Wicked Local
Arlington Green Team receives state awards

Wicked Local Arlington shared that Thompson Elementary School, Gibbs School, and Ottoson Middle School all received awards from THE GREEN TEAM this year. The schools were invited to attend a virtual environmental performance, and Thompson was also awarded equipment for their school garden. This school year, Thompson Elementary’s Green Team expanded beyond the school’s students to include a larger network of people of all ages in their community. The Gibbs School Green Team held an invasive plant removal and water testing day at their local pond. They also created educational videos to share ways to make an environmental impact. The Ottoson Middle School Green Team participated in climate change rallies and created podcasts and video’s for Arlington’s EcoWeek. All of the Arlington Green Teams are excited for continued environmental action and learning in the coming school years.

April 16, 2020 Wicked Local
Giant Whale Visits Thompson’s Science EXPLO

The Arlington Wicked Local online publication shared that before schools closed, Thompson Elementary School hosted a Science EXPLO interactive community event on February 29. As part of the event, Ottoson Middle School Green Team students educated fellow students and the school community about whales and protecting marine wildlife. Students gave a tour of a 45-foot inflated North Atlantic humpback whale replica that visited the EXPLO, thanks to folks at the Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary. The Green Team also led a station where students and families could write postcards to legislators urging them to preserve ocean habitats and to take the steps necessary to curb pollution.

April 4, 2020 iberkshires.com
Hoosac Valley Students Learn Composting for Gardening Program

iBerkshire.com featured an article about a new garden and composting program happening at Hoosac Valley High School in Cheshire. Last year, the school was awarded a $25,000 grant from the Henry P. Kendall Foundation. The grant will help fund infrastructure for an outdoor classroom and garden that all students will have access to. The Green Team and other school clubs and programs will manage the compost and school garden, and the food they grow will be used in the school’s cafeteria and sold at local farmers markets. Lindsay McGinnis, a teacher and the program’s organizer, hopes that students will benefit by having access to healthy and fresh food and have a strong understanding of where food comes from.

January 6, 2020 patch.com
Lexington’s Diamond Middle School Launches Food Rescue Program

Patch.com reported on William Diamond Middle School’s new food rescue program in Lexington,
which was launched on January 2, 2020. The new program is a collaboration between the school
staff, food service provider, parent volunteers, the Lexington Office of Public Health, and Food Link,
a food rescue organization based in Arlington. Students are taught how to preserve extra food for
donation, and Food Link picks up the food and distributes it to local food pantries, soup kitchens,
and shelters. The program has been vetted by The Lexington Office of Public health. As part of the
program students also learn about the importance of food waste reduction.

December 31, 2019 iberkshires.com
Youth Center Green Team Make Recycling Ornaments

iberkshires.com published an article about Youth Center Inc.’s Green Team Members who made ornaments in the shape of recycling bins to promote recycling in their homes and community. The ornaments were then presented to their town’s solid waste management district members, commissioners, and vendors.

December 11, 2019 yourArlington.com
Town youngsters add voices to climate efforts in Boston, here

yourArlington.com featured a story on the series of climate change rallies being held by Arlington Public Schools. On December 13, Green Team students met with Rep. Sean Garballey at the Massachusetts State House to advocate for climate legislation.

December 4, 2019 Wicked Local
Westwood elementary schools launch lunchroom composting

Wicked Local reported on Westwood Elementary Schools’ lunchroom composting program, which was launched this fall. At present, three schools in the district have fully implemented the composting system. Rather than simply having one large trash can into which all waste goes, students are now taught how to separate everything at the end of their lunch period. Liquids are emptied into a bucket and eventually poured down the drain. Leftover food and any organic material is put into a compost bucket, plastic or paper that can be recycled is put into a recycle bin, and any remaining trash is put in the trash barrel. The compostable material is picked up by a local hauler for composting off-site, and finished compost will be returned to the school.

October 10, 2019 The Daily News
Amesbury Students Explore Science of Recycling

The Daily News reported on Amesbury Middle School’s participation in Massachusetts STEM week. Students have learned about the benefits of recycling, and how they can help their school work towards zero waste.

September 12, 2019 iberkshires.com
Hoosac Valley Gets Grant for Farm-to-School Program

iberkshires.com featured a story on Hoosac Valley High School, which received a Henry P. Kendall Foundation grant that will allow the school to convert its abandoned tennis courts into a school garden and outdoor classroom.

August 14, 2019 Next Avenue
How Does Your School Garden Grow

Next Avenue featured an article on Belchertown Public School District’s gardening program. Some 880 students from three contingent schools work on the project and learn how to care for crops throughout the year. For their efforts, the district won a 2019 Gro More Good Grassroots Grant through an organization called Kids Gardening.

July 4, 2019 Boston Globe
Composting Becomes Commonplace in Acton-Boxborough Schools

The Boston Globe reported on the success of the Acton-Boxborough Regional School District’s composting and recycling programs. The district committed to a sustainability policy in 2017, and all schools now compost and recycle in their lunch rooms. In addition, the district switched from Styrofoam to compostable plates.

2018-2019 School Year

June 18, 2019 Hampshire Gazette
Sunderland Elementary Schools Recognized for Safe Routes

The Hampshire Gazette featured a piece about Sunderland Elementary School’s Massachusetts Safe Routes to School (SRTS) Program. SRTS supports the accessibility and safety of taking non-vehicular modes of transportation to school, which decreases emissions from commuting and encourages exercise for students. The state Department of Transportation honored 140 SRTS partner schools in an awards ceremony held at the Massachusetts State House on May 30th.

June 16, 2019 Wicked Local
Sharon Schools Pursue Sustainability

Wicked Local reported on Sharon Public School District’s pursuit of sustainability. During a June 5 meeting, school committee members discussed issues of contamination in their recycling stream as well as the cost/benefit analysis of moving to reusable trays and silverware. The Food Waste Reduction page on the GREEN TEAM website has useful resources detailing the benefits of using reusable products.

June 15, 2019 Sentinel & Enterprise
Students Learn as Part of the Green Team

Sentinel & Enterprise featured a story on Fitchburg’s Crocker Elementary School’s Green Team and the various recycling activities the students undertook this year. This Green Team has helped double the recycling rate at the school.

June 13, 2019 Wicked Local
Nashoba Tech Participates in Eco Carpentry Challenge

Wicked Local Westford reported on Nashoba Valley Technical High School’s participation in the Eco Carpentry Challenge. The challenge is an annual event held by the Furniture Trust, a nonprofit that promotes responsible reuse of unwanted office furniture. Used office furniture donated by local businesses was delivered to the 10 participating high schools, where students had their spring semester to use teamwork, imagination, and carpentry skills to transform these materials into new products, which were later donated back to the community.

May 22, 2019 Homeroom Blog
How Schools are Reducing their Environmental Impact, Improving Health, and Cultivating Stewardship Values

The official blog of the US Department of Education, Homeroom, highlighted the sustainability efforts of the Boston Green Academy, including obtaining 48 percent of its energy from renewable sources, converting its lawn to an outdoor classroom and garden, and requiring students to complete a long-term sustainability project as part of their studies.

May 22, 2019 Homeroom Blog
How Schools are Reducing their Environmental Impact, Improving Health, and Cultivating Stewardship Values

The official blog of the US Department of Education, Homeroom, highlighted the sustainability efforts of the Boston Green Academy, including obtaining 48 percent of its energy from renewable sources, converting its lawn to an outdoor classroom and garden, and requiring students to complete a long-term sustainability project as part of their studies.

May 20, 2019 Boston 25 News
Natick Schools Eliminate Use of Plastic Straws After Student Effort

Boston 25 News featured a story on the efforts of Natick Schools to eliminate the use of plastic straws in the cafeteria. Plastic straws can’t be recycled because they are too small for recycling machines to sort. A Natick High School student met with school leaders and spoke at a school committee meeting, which encouraged the district to eliminate plastic straws altogether.

May 15, 2019 Wicked Local – Ipswich
Students Help Paint the Town Green

Wicked Local – Ipswich reported on the Ipswich High School and Middle School GREEN TEAM students that are inspiring climate action throughout their town. Sustainability scholars at the schools have successfully introduced and helped pass plastic bag and Styrofoam bans in town, set up dog-waste stations in local parks, alerted the town to the damage to lobsters of polluted outflows, created maps of the future impact of rising seas, developed recycling and composting stations in the school cafeteria, and worked with the GREEN TEAM to build the award-winning “Generation Growers” garden and solar-powered garden shed.

May 9, 2019 North Andover Patch
North Andover Gets Grant For School Composting Program

North Andover Patch reported on the North Andover Middle School and Thompson Elementary School composting programs. The schools have implemented a waste sorting program in lunchrooms. Liquid wastes are poured off so they don’t end up in the trash and uneaten food waste and other compostable items are placed in a special bin to be taken to a farm for composting. Unopened food is put in a special container to be used at a shelter.

March 25, 2019 Daily Hampshire Gazette
Maple School Students Initiate Anti-Idling Campaigns

The Hampshire Gazette reported on Maple Elementary School’s Anti-Idling Campaign. Students conducted a study to determine how much pollution idling cars were emitting while parked in front of the building, and created posters to raise awareness about the importance of not idling.

March 19, 2019 Newburyport News
School Food Recovery Program Expands to Newbury Elementary

The Daily News reported on the Newbury Elementary School food recovery program. The school partners with Nourishing the North Shore, a group that provides access to healthy, local food, to collect excess cafeteria food each week and deliver it to the Newbury Food Pantry.

February 19, 2019 The Reminder
Agawam Begins ‘Cooler Community Challenge’

The Reminder reported on the Town of Agawam’s ‘Cooler Community Challenge’, which aims to engage public schools in recycling and energy use education in an effort to reduce their town’s carbon footprint.

February 6, 2019 Hometown Weekly
Sustainability Challenge Seeks Submissions

Hometown Weekly reported on the 2019 Wellesley Sustainability Challenge for K-12 students who are Wellesley residents or enrolled in the Wellesley Public School system. This challenge asks students to work on a project promoting a local resource, policy, or behavior change that makes Wellesley greener. This can be in the form of an advertisement, op-ed or essay, video commercial, infographic, poem, music, or another form of audio/visual artwork. Visit the 2019 Wellesley Sustainability Challenge webpage to learn more and to submit entries before the March 15 deadline.

February 4, 2019 Wicked Local Winchester
Winchester High School Celebrates Gold Level in Green Building LEED Certification

Wicked Local featured an article on the recent renovation of Winchester High School, which achieved a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold sustainability certification. In the past year, the high school used 26 percent less natural gas than the building did prior to the renovation.

November 28, 2018 Daily Hampshire Gazette
Young People Work to Stop Climate Change at Summit

The Daily Hampshire Gazette highlighted the Western Massachusetts Youth Climate Summit hosted by the Hitchcock Center for the Environment and Mass Audubon’s Arcadia Wildlife Sanctuary. About 60 students, from local high schools, participated in the event that included presentations and workshops. Students received grants of $500 to implement a climate action plan for their own schools.

November 11, 2018 Sentinel & Enterprise 
Clothing Recycling Program to Benefit Leominster Schools

Sentinel & Enterprise described how the Leominster School District installed textile collection boxes at each Leominster Public School. Bay State Textiles picks up donated clothing, linens, and other fabrics, paying the schools a rebate of 5 cents per pound, which goes toward the Leominster Education Foundation.

November 5, 2018 Western Mass News 
Longmeadow Students Help Implement Plastic Bag Bylaw

Western Mass News described a Longmeadow student effort to institute a single use plastic bag ban bylaw in their town. A group of sixth grade students who met while attending Center Elementary School helped educate the community on the harmful environmental effects of plastic bags through a series of presentations to the PTO, School Committee, and Town Selectman. Their effort helped pass a new bylaw banning single-use plastic bags from the town.

October 25, 2018 Wicked Local Wellesley 
Wellesley Works at Waste Reduction

Wicked Local Wellesley recently published an article on the recycling and food waste reduction initiatives in Wellesley Public Schools. Members of the Wellesley Green Schools group created the SMART (Sustainable Materials and Reduced Trash) event guide, which offers simple ways to cut costs and reduce waste during school events. Wellesley Schools also use Massachusetts Water Resources Authority’s roving water fountain at events instead of disposable water bottles.

October 11, 2018 The Daily News
School Food Recovery Program Underway in Newburyport

The Daily News reported on the Newburyport based organization, Nourishing the North Shore, which recently kicked off the third year of its School Food Recovery Program. The volunteer-driven program collects excess food from the Newburyport School District and delivers it to the Newbury Food Pantry.

September 27, 2018 The Worcester Telegram
Shrewsbury Students Recycle Effort to Ban Styrofoam

The Worcester Telegram reported on a Shrewsbury student effort to ban Styrofoam. Four students from Shrewsbury High School sponsored a citizen-petition article to ban Styrofoam containers from local food establishments and town facilities. Styrofoam is a non-biodegradable material which often ends up in landfills and emits dangerous chemicals that can leach into food when heated.

September 26, 2018 Patch.com 
Recycling, Composting Pilot Starts at 4 Somerville Schools

Patch.com featured an article on the recycling and composting pilot program recently launched at four Somerville schools. The schools installed recycling bins and compost receptacles, as well as buckets for draining liquids from bottles.

August 13, 2018 WickedLocal Brookline
Brookline Schools, Businesses Push for Composting

WickedLocal Brookline described the successful implementation of composting at Brookline High School. The program has inspired other schools in the district, including Lincoln School and Coolidge Corner School, to explore implementing compost programs as well.

August 7, 2018 BioCycle
Franklin County, MA: Source Separating Organics Soars in Schools

BioCycle reported on the successful implementation of cafeteria food and paper waste diversion programs in 33 of the 35 schools in the Franklin County Solid Waste Management District. Three of the schools have on-site food waste composting programs, and the nutrient-rich compost is used in school gardens!

July 25, 2018 The Daily Hampshire Gazette
Editoral: Youths Leaders in Composting

The Daily Hampshire Gazette detailed how the schools located in the Franklin County Solid Waste Management District have achieved success in implementing composting programs, leading the state in composting rates. Out of 35 schools in Franklin County, 33 divert all food and paper waste from school kitchens and cafeterias to composting.

July 20, 2018 iBerkshires.com
Colegrove Students Go Green at Camp Solution

iBerkshires.com reported on the students at Colegrove Park Elementary School in North Adams who designed eco-friendly programs and businesses as part of the Camp Solution program. Students recently displayed their projects, which focused on topics such as endangered animals, increasing local recycling, reducing ocean plastic pollution, and saving bees.

2017-2018 School Year

July 13, 2018 The Greenfield Recorder
33 of 35 County Schools Actively Composting

The Greenfield Recorder reported on a milestone achievement by the Franklin County Solid Waste Management District. Twenty-five public schools in the county now divert all of their food and paper waste from cafeterias and kitchens into compost programs. Franklin County Solid Waste Management District Program Manager Amy Donovan reports that many schools have reduced kitchen and cafeteria waste by up to 90%! Way to go, Franklin County schools!

June 16, 2018 Green Strides
Meet the Honorees: Mendon-Upton Regional School District

The US Department of Education’s Green Strides newsletter reported on Mendon-Upton Regional School District’s sustainability efforts. The District saves approximately $132,000 annually by utilizing solar electricity and energy-efficient LED bulbs in every facility. Additionally, they use only green cleaning products. They have also partnered with Maple Farms Sanctuary in Mendon, and send food waste from the District’s cafeterias to the farm to feed rescued farm animals. In recognition of their significant commitment to sustainability, Mendon-Upton Regional School District was named a Green Ribbon School District by the US Department of Education.

June 2, 2018 The Greenfield Recorder
Between the Rows: Composting Before Kindergarten

The Greenfield Recorder recounted a composting tour at the Academy of Early Learning and described other recycling and composting efforts happening in the Greenfield Public Schools.  Greenfield Public Schools were awarded a $30,000 Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection School Recycling Assistance grant, and have used that funding to establish successful cafeteria and kitchen compost programs, with assistance from Amy Donovan of the Franklin County Solid Waste Management District. As a result, each school has slashed trash by 75-80%! They have also participated in THE GREEN TEAM, receiving lessons, activities, and supplies to help teachers bring environmental education into the classroom. 

May 18, 2018 Massachusetts Envirothon
Local Teens Take Top Honors at 2018 Mass Envirothon

Massachusetts Envirothon announced the winners of the 31st Annual Envirothon, held on May 18. This annual competition brings teams from schools across the state together to demonstrate their knowledge of Massachusetts’ natural environment. Congratulations to Newton North High SchoolLexington High School, and Pioneer Valley Regional High School in Northfield, who took the first, second, and third places overall, and to all of the schools that competed!

May 18, 2018 Sentinel & Enterprise News
3 Schools Honored for Environmental Education

The Sentinel & Enterprise News described how three local GREEN TEAM schools and a local educator were honored as part of the 24th Annual Secretary’s Awards for Excellence in Energy and Environmental Education. Congratulations to Oakmont Regional High School in Ashburnham, Memorial Middle School in Fitchburg, and Lunenburg resident and science educator Sarah Cammer, PhD! You can read the full list of honorees here.

May 18, 2018, WickedLocal Arlington
Arlington Public Schools Gets Sustainability Award

WickedLocal Arlington reported on Arlington Public Schools being named a 2018 U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon School District Sustainability Awardee. This award recognizes school districts for reducing greenhouse gases, addressing the nutrition, fitness, mindfulness and overall health of students and staff, and teaching curricula that addresses environmental topics. Congratulations to the students and staff of Arlington Public Schools!

May 13, 2018 Worcester Telegram and Gazette
Shrewsbury Town Meeting is Asked to Dump Styrofoam

The Worcester Telegram and Gazette covered efforts Shrewsbury High School students are taking to encourage the town to ban Styrofoam food containers from the school district and other food service operations.  Four high school juniors presented information to several town departments, including the School Committee, encouraging them to support the measure. More than two dozen Massachusetts cities and towns have joined communities nationwide in approving polystyrene regulations.

May 7, 2018 Gateway Regional High School
11 Years of Recycling Celebrated at Gateway!

Gateway Regional High School in Huntington recently celebrated more than 10 years of their Be Green recycling program. To commemorate the occasion, they invited founding members of the club back to the school to see the program’s growth. One former student, Kathleen Ryan, has since become a teacher and brought some of her students to Gateway to learn about starting a program at their own school.

April 20, 2018 The Springfield Republican
The Green Team: Springfield’s STEM Middle Academy has the Goal to Go Green

The Springfield Republican reported on the successful early efforts of the Green Team at STEM Middle Academy in Springfield. They have made great strides this year, including building a community garden, switching from Styrofoam to cardboard lunch trays, and establishing a compost system. In the process they have slashed lunchtime trash from 18 bags a day to just three!

March 30, 2018 WickedLocal Lexington
What Can Lexington Do to Reduce Waste?

Wicked Local Lexington reported on the great strides Arlington and Lexington Public Schools are making in reducing their cafeteria waste. Both districts have accomplished significant reductions in the amount of waste generated in their school cafeterias since implementing recycling and composting. In the elementary schools alone, lunchroom trash has been slashed from an average of six to seven bags per day to one!

February 23, 2018 The Lowell Sun
NVTHS Carpenters Take Eco-Challenge

The Lowell Sun recently described how students at Nashoba Valley Technical High School are participating in the eighth annual Eco-Carpentry Challenge sponsored by The Furniture Trust. This annual challenge asks students to demonstrate their creativity and commitment to recycling by converting donated office furniture into repurposed products.

February 16, 2018 The Boston Globe
In This Contest, the Least-Trashy Team Wins

The Boston Globe recently reported on Hingham High School’s “Slash the Trash” lunchtime competition. The program engages all 32 of the school’s varsity sports teams, with the goal of reducing the amount of trash that students generate at lunch each day. Each team takes turns setting up collecting stations in the cafeteria to help students properly separate recyclable and compostable materials from the trash. School custodians monitor the activities and issue “penalties” for compostable or recyclable materials that are thrown into the wrong bin. The award-winning program has proven to be successful in motivating students, staff, and other schools to practice environmentally-friendly habits. And they compost on-site in compost bins provided by THE GREEN TEAM!

February 20th, 2018 WickedLocal Marshfield
Marshfield Teens Join Group Advocating for Plastic Bag Ban

Wicked Local Marshfield reported on two members of the Marshfield High School Green Team who are getting involved in local government by advocating for a local plastic bag ban. The high school seniors are spreading the word among other students and inviting classmates who have turned 18 to attend upcoming town meetings.

February 1, 2018 The Woburn Patch
Woburn 5th Graders Visit Museum of Science with Celtics Player

A recent Woburn Patch article describes how fifth grade students from Linscott-Rumford Elementary School in Woburn were awarded a field trip to the Museum of Science after winning their school-wide recycling contest. The class collected more than 7,000 bottles for recycling in just 10 days as part of the JN Phillips Auto Glass Greenshield Recycling Education initiative. During the field trip, the students were also joined by Celtics center Aron Baynes, Celtics Mascot “Lucky” the Leprechaun, and JN Phillips President, Bob Rosenfield.

January 30, 2018 The Martha’s Vineyard Times
Saving the World One Kid at a Time

The Martha’s Vineyard Times reported on the Zero Waste Movie Night held at West Tisbury School on Martha’s Vineyard in January. In support of the school’s zero waste initiative, attendees were encouraged to bring their own cups and plates from home to receive reduced-priced concessions. Sixth graders also collected signatures in support of a student-founded initiative, Safe Sea MV, which would introduce a new bylaw prohibiting the intentional release of helium or lighter-than-air balloons in West Tisbury. The featured movie, Everything Connects, is the third documentary from 14 year old filmmaker Dylan D’Haeze, who traveled with his mother from the West Coast to attend this special event.

January 24, 2018 The Community Advocate
Zeh School’s Environmental Club Brings Awareness to Textile and Electronic Recycling

The Community Advocate recently described how fourth and fifth graders at Marion E. Zeh Elementary School in Northborough are bringing more awareness to textile and electronic recycling. Each month, the school’s Environmental Club focuses on a new topic that aligns with the classroom curriculum. In January, the Environmental Club organized a textile recycling competition between different classrooms and, in February, they hosted an Electronics Recycling Day fundraiser. 

January 20, 2018 The Sagamore
Composting Helps School Become More Environmentally Friendly

Brookline High School in Brookline is now diverting 3 tons of food waste per month from the cafeteria. The food waste is sent to Save that Stuff, where it is prepared for anaerobic digestion, a process converting organics into a fertilizer product and methane which can be captured to generate energy. 

December 15, 2017 WickedLocal Needham
Minuteman Girls in STEM Starts Recycling Program

Wicked Local Needham reported on the Girls in STEM Club at Minuteman High School in Lexington, which recently launched a new textile recycling program through a partnership with Bay State Textiles.

December 7, 2017 Town of Wellesley
Local Food Rescue Program to Donate Thousands of Meals

The Town of Wellesley recently issued a press release describing how Wellesley Public Schools are participating in a collaborative food rescue program, which will donate an estimates 20,000 meals to people in need this year. 

November 25, 2017 The Cape Cod Times
Barnstable High Senior Develops Compost Plan

The Cape Cod Times recently reported on the innovative composting program at Barnstable High School, which was implemented by one high school senior as part of a project for her Advanced Placement Environmental Science Club. 

November 13, 2017 WickedLocal Arlington
Arlington Students Help Compost 3K Pounds of Pumpkins

Wicked Local Arlington reports that Dallin and Brackett Elementary Schools in Arlington helped collect 3,000 pounds of pumpkins after Halloween, which were taken to Davidian Farm in Northborough for composting.  

October 9, 2017 – The Lowell Sun
Star Quarterback on The Green Team

The Lowell Sun featured Ayer Shirley Middle School’s annual Recycle Your Reusables event. This annual one-day event focuses on collecting reusable household goods.

September 20, 2017 – WickedLocal Malden
One Man’s Textile Trash is Another School’s Treasure

WickedLocal Malden profiled North Shore schools, including Salemwood School and Beebe School, that worked with Bay State Textiles to collect and recycle used clothing. As of last week, the program has made over $5,000 to benefit schools in the city of Malden.

2016-2017 School Year

June 19, 2017 – MassLive
State Honors Students at West Springfield’s Fausey Elementary School for ‘Outstanding Environmental Achievement’

Masslive reported on students at Fausey Elementary School in West Springfield being honored by Massachusetts state officials for ‘outstanding environmental actions’.

June 16, 2017 – Greenfield Recorder
5 County Schools earn ‘Green Team’ awards

The Greenfield Recorder published an article about five Franklin County schools (Greenfield High SchoolFederal Street SchoolMath and Science Academy, Bernardston Elementary School, and Hawlemont Regional School) earning their Green Team awards and being recognized by the MassDEP.

May 30, 2017 – WickedLocal Wellesley
Bates Elementary School wins Statehouse awards

Wicked Local Wellesley reports that Bates Elementary School in Wellesley won three different awards in May. The 5th Grade recycling team, Principal Toni Jolley, and custodian Al Martignetti won third place in the Secretary’s Award for Excellence in Energy and Environmental Education, as well as an Honorable Mention Award from the Green Up New England Challenge. At the 2017 Green Difference Awards, Wellesley’s Food Service Director, Matt Delaney, received the Outstanding Green Community Hero award.

April 26, 2017 – Sippican Week
Save the planet, save the school, clean your closet

The Sippican Week reports that the entire school district in the tri-town area (Rochester, Marion, and Mattapoisett) has pitched in to recover textiles. Recycling bins are available at every public school in the tri-town area, and the money raised from the collected textiles will help fund teachers’ requests and help bring a community connection to the schools.

April 5, 2017 – WickedLocal Mansfield
New outdoor bins to boost recycling at Mansfield schools

Wicked Local also reports that thanks to a grant request submitted by Keep Mansfield Beautiful, the Coca-Cola Company recently awarded 18 new outdoor recycling bins to the Mansfield school system. The new bins were installed at Mansfield High School’s athletic fields, track, and other strategic locations outside Qualters Middle School, Jordan Jackson School, and Robinson School.

April 3, 2017 – WickedLocal Newburyport
Local schools address hunger, food waste with Food Recovery Program

Wicked Local published an article about the cafeteria “Food Recovery Program” at several Newburyport Schools, including Nock Middle School, Molin Upper Elementary School, and Bresnahan Elementary School. These schools have rescued nearly 1,500 pounds of food, such as milk cartons and whole fruits, and donated it to Nourishing the North Shore.

March 30, 2017 – The Greenfield Recorder
“Conway students learn about the role of worms in composting”

The Greenfield Recorder published an article on a visit from Franklin County Solid Waste Management District to set up vermicomposting bins for Conway Grammar School. These bins, which use composting worms to break down food scraps, provide a fun activity that can be integrated into the science curriculum. Conway Grammar School is one of 31 schools in Franklin County diverting food from the trash in some major way.

February 9, 2017 – The Millbury-Sutton Chronicle 
“BVT Advances Recycling Initiatives”

The Millbury-Sutton Chronicle reports that students at Blackstone Valley High School have begun a recycling initiative, as part of the Trex Plastic Film Recycling Challenge. Students are competing against other area schools to collect and recycle the most plastic film, including things like grocery bags, bubble wrap, and newspaper sleeves.

January 29, 2017 – The Greenfield Recorder
“Green teams make school composting project a success”

The Greenfield Recorder reports that five schools in Greenfield, (The Discovery School at Four
Corners, Federal Street School, Newton School, Greenfield Math and Science Academy,
andGreenfield High School,) are now diverting wasted food for composting. The five schools have
reduced waste from their cafeterias and kitchens by 79 percent. Each school has a team of students
that help monitor the sorting station in their cafeteria. This program was supported by a grant from
the MassDEP Sustainable Materials Recovery Program.

November 18, 2016 – The Greenfield Recorder
“Between the Rows: Working with worms”

The Greenfield Recorder also reported on The Discovery School at Four Corners’ vermicomposting efforts, with worms provided by THE GREEN TEAM. Kate Bailey’s first grade class is not only turning food scraps into valuable compost, but also learning about the processes and worms that help get this done.

November 18, 2016 – The Greenfield Recorder
“Federal Street School composting starts with a bang”

The Greenfield Recorder reports that Federal Street School has become the latest school in the Greenfield School Department to begin a wasted food composting program. The school is now collecting wasted food, liquids, and paper, to be sent to nearby Martin’s Farm for composting. At the end of a single day of lunch periods, the composting bins had collected 81 pounds of material, which was 91 percent of the waste from lunch!

October 21, 2016 – Wicked Local Rockport
“Around Cape Ann”

WickedLocal Rockport reports that the Manchester Essex Regional High School (MERHS) Green
Team is holding their annual compost sale fundraiser. The MERHS is selling 40-pound bags of Black
Earth Compost which is created, in part, from food scraps collected from the Manchester Essex school

September 22, 2016 – The Andover Townsman Online
“Entire district goes for ‘zero food waste’”

The Andover Townsman reports that a program to eliminate wasted food at Sanborn Elementary School
has expanded to all ten schools in the Andover School District. Schools in Andover are diverting food
through a combination of composting food scraps and donating unopened packaged foods and whole
fruits to a local food pantry. Schools in the district are incorporating environmental literacy into the
curriculum, with students participating in recycling, composting, food rescue, outdoor activities, and
energy saving projects.

2015-2016 School Year

June 22, 2016 – The Recorder
“Hawlemont, Greenfield and Turners Schools Recognized for Green Efforts”

The Recorder reports on GREEN TEAM prize winners in Franklin County. As Grand Prize Winners, Hawlemont Regional School won a “Garbage is My Bag” performance by Jack Golden and Greenfield Math and Science Academy won a garden center gift certificate. Amy Donovan, from the Franklin County Solid Waste Management District, has been working with Greenfield Public Schools to implement a district-wide program to divert wasted food from cafeterias for composting with the help of a MassDEP SMRP grant.

June 21, 2016 – Worcester Patch
“Worcester Student Gets ‘Green Team’ Recognition From the Commonwealth”

The Worcester Patch reports on GREEN TEAM grand prize winner, Quinsigamond Elementary School. The school cafeteria has switched to plastic milk bottles. Students empty leftover milk in the bottles so they can be recycled.

June 17, 2016 – Winchester Patch
“Winchester Schools Win Green Team Awards”

The Winchester Patch reports on GREEN TEAM Grand Prizes received by Ambrose Elementary School and Lincoln Elementary School. Students at Ambrose received a concert by Earthtunes, while students at Lincoln received a gift certificate to a local garden center.

June 17, 2016 – Arlington Patch
“Dallin Students Receive Green Team Award”

The Arlington Patch reports on the GREEN TEAM prize received by Dallin Elementary School. Dallin was one of 66 schools to receive GREEN TEAM prizes for their environmental education activities in the 2015-2016 school year.

May 19, 2016 – Lowell Sun
“Local Schools Recognized for Efforts at Being Green”

The Lowell Sun reports on schools in Lowell, Dracut, Bedford and Littleton for receiving GREEN TEAM prizes. Washington Elementary School, Lowell, and Lt. Job Lane Elementary School, Bedford, received Grand Prizes, while Lowell’s Bartlett Community Partnership School, the St. Patrick School and Education Center, and Dracut’s Brookside Elementary received Green Team wristbands. Littleton Public Schools also received a Green Schools award from the U.S. Department of Education. Littleton was one of 15 school districts nationwide to receive this award for the 2015-2016 school year.

May 17, 2016 – Common Dreams
“Massachusetts Court Sides with Teenagers in ‘Historic’ Climate Victory”

CommonDreams reports on how four high school students from Boston and Wellesley won a case against the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection for falling short of its timeline to reduce greenhouse gas emissions set in the 2008 Global Warming Solutions Act.

May 5, 2016 – Wicked Local Ipswich
“Styrofoam, plastic bag ban up for Ipswich vote”

Wicked Local Ipswich reports on how students from Ipswich High School brought a school project about bans on Styrofoam and plastic bags to the town for a vote on May 10. Both bans passed at town meeting.

April 25, 2016 – Wicked Local Littleton
“Littleton Public Schools honored for sustainability efforts”

Wicked Local Littleton reports on how Littleton Public Schools received a US Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools award. Congratulations to Littleton Public Schools, one of 15 school districts across the country to be honored this year for innovative improvements to the health, wellness, and environmental impacts of their schools!

February 18, 2016 – Wicked Local Arlington
“Arlington EcoFest coming March 19”

Wicked Local Arlington recently reported on the Arlington EcoFest that will take place at the Town Hall on Saturday, March 19 from 10am-2pm. Activities at the EcoFest center around the “Are You Ready for Climate Change?” Students can submit artwork made from recyclable materials for display during the EcoFest. The town is also hosting information sessions on THE GREEN TEAM at the Robbins Library. The final info session is on March 7 from 10-11:30 am. Five Arlington schools participated in THE GREEN TEAM last school year.

February 15, 2016 – Sustainable City Network
“Rebates Will Fund Cleaner School Buses in Three Massachusetts Communities”

The Sustainable City Network posted an article about how three Massachusetts communities are receiving
funding from the EPA Clean Diesel Program to help pay for new school buses that emit less pollution. Wareham received funding to replace 10 buses. Dartmouth and Swansea received funding to replace one bus each.

December 17, 2015 – MetroWest News
“Taking A Look Inside Westford Academy’s Composting Program”

The WestfordCAT News recently posted a video about Westford Academy’s new composting program. The Westford Agricultural Commission, along with the schools’ environmental club and a group of special education students, are composting food scraps from the school cafeteria on site. The school plans to use some of the compost for their garden and sell the excess at school fundraisers. Westford received advice from The Green Team when they started setting up this program last year. To see a video click here.

November 19, 2015 – MetroWest Daily News
“Compost bins to be used in Ashland schools”

Ashland High School received compost bins for use by the school’s new environmental and sustainability club. Ashland Energy Manager, Phillip Williams, requested these bins through THE GREEN TEAM. Extra bins will be distributed to other schools in the district.

October 26, 2015 – Wicked Local Melrose
“Roosevelt School receives Eco-Schools Bronze certification”

Roosevelt Elementary School in Melrose received Bronze certification under the Eco-Schools Program, an initiative aimed at promoting sustainable and environmentally sound programs and practices in schools around the world.

2014-2015 School Year

July 30, 2015 – Sentinel & Enterprise
Ashburnham school finishing up biomass-boiler project

Overlook Middle School received a $350,000 grant from the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources to replace its oil heating system with a biomass-boiler. A similar system, installed two years ago at Briggs Elementary School in Ashburnham, saved the school $8,000 in heating costs last winter.

July 10, 2015 – Wicked Local Norwood
Textile recycling provides budget boost for Norwood schools

In the 2014-2015 school year, Norwood Public Schools raised more than $3,100 collecting textiles for recycling through Bay State Textiles. Together, the schools collected 63,000 pounds of textiles. GREEN TEAM member, Norwood High School, earned over $400 from this textile recycling program.

June 23, 2015 – The Enterprise
Bridgewater- Raynham Students Join State ‘Green Team’

Art teacher Jessica Lazarus leads the school’s Youth Environmental Social Society, which received recognition from the state Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs and the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection for their environmental work including planting trees, studying climate change and working to reduce their carbon footprint.

June 19, 2015 – Telegram
“Berlin students honored for being ‘green'”
At Berlin Memorial School, (a GREEN TEAM member,) the school-wide recycling program is run by the fourth-graders, and the students also helped protect the rain forest and made their school an Idle-Free Zone.

May 14, 2015 – Community Advocate
“Zeh School holds Environmental Awareness Week”
The Environmental Team at Marion E. Zeh School (a GREEN TEAM member) held its annual Environmental Awareness Week during the last of week of April, which included a presentation from a beekeeper, as well as a Walk and Bike to School Day.

April 29, 2015 – Wicked Local Sharon
“Cottage Street School students recycle”
THE GREEN TEAM at Cottage Street School in Sharon organized a clothing and textile recycling event for the school, and successfully collected 3,800 pounds of textiles, earning $338.00 to support GREEN TEAM projects.

March 31, 2015 – Danvers Patch
“Danvers Receives 2015 K-12 Recycling Award for Outstanding Work Promoting Recycling”

MassRecycle recognized Danvers School District for developing a district-wide recycling program, which was implemented with help of GREEN TEAM students!

February 12, 2015 – Cape Cod Times
“Waste not, want not. Student starts recycling program at high school”

Alex Denmark, 17, discovered his school didn’t recycle and decided to do something about it.

2013-2014 School Year

October 14, 2013 – Wicked Local
THE GREEN LINK: Is your child a member of the Green Team?
Environmental education is a fundamental component to promoting a more healthy future, learn how the Green Team can help!

2012-2013 School Year

August 1, 2013 – Wicked Local
“Recycling Matters: Worm Composting for a Healthier Planet”

The fourth-grade class at Horace Mann School in Melrose, MA ran a year long worm composting project, connecting real world sustainability to the classroom!

July 19, 2013 – Hingham Patch
“Hingham Schools Honored By State Officials For Green Efforts”

With a friendly Green Team “Slash the Trash” competition among students, Hingham High School and Foster Elementary developed successful cafeteria composting and recycling programs.

July 1, 2013 – The Worcester Telegram & Gazette
“Fun Being Green at Thorndyke Road School”

Students at Thorndyke Road School in Worcester win the Green Team Grand Prize for outstanding efforts in educating peers and greening their school.

June 19, 2013 – EcoMass
“Mass. Classes Earn an A in ‘Green’ Education”

Check out the EcoMass overview of the Green Team Prize winners, recognized for their outstanding environmental achievements during the 2012-2013 school year.

October 15, 2012 – Wicked Local
“Newton’s Mason Rice PTO named ‘Parent Group of the Year”

Read about the recycling and composting successes of the Mason Rice Elementary School Parent-Teacher Organization and 2010-2011 MassDEP Green Team participants.

September 28, 2012 – Gloucester Times
“Gone Green: Essex children compost, recycle at school

Read about the Essex Elementary School’s Green Team and the success they have had with their recycling and composting initiatives.

September 7, 2012 – ActonPatch
“What’s New at the Acton Schools for 2012-2013?”

With the help of Kate Crosby and members of the high school’s Green Team, the nearly 1,000 junior high students will look to cut down on waste and promote awareness of environmentally friendly practices.