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Northfield Community School Solves Recycling Equation

Feb 11, 2016

By Sara Verrillo

Northfield Community School recently expanded its recycling program in an exemplary effort among students, faculty and custodial staff.

After Superintendent Robert Gargulio called for the formation of a school-wide green team, Janice Dye, Director of Curriculum and Instruction, spearheaded the recycling initiative with help from teachers and custodians.

Collection Process

To kick off the initiative, the school supplied every classroom with posters provided by ACUA and a small recycling bin, some of which are labeled cardboard boxes decorated by students.


After some trial and error, the group found an efficient method of collecting recyclables throughout the school. Students from Ms. Heenan’s third grade class collect all the rooms from the elementary school located on the first floor while students from Ms. O’Connor’s eighth grade class collect from middle school classrooms on the second floor.  

Every Tuesday and Thursday, students take about 10 minutes to collect bins from classrooms and empty the contents into 95-gallon recycling carts.


“We started with two 95-gallon bins for the whole school and realized we needed two for each floor because one collection was overfilling the bins,” said Ms. Dye.

The school now fills four 95-gallon bins twice a week.


Once recycling collection is completed on each floor, custodians transport the carts outside where ACUA collects every Wednesday and Friday. Once collected, custodians bring the carts back to the centralized locations on each floor.

In addition to the 95-gallon carts, the school also has a 4-yard recycling container to collect materials, like cardboard boxes or plastic containers, generated by the kitchen.


Next Steps

One challenge they are working on is contamination in bins located in the cafeteria. After seeing many sandwiches thrown in along with bottles and cans, the administration decided to remove the lunchroom bins and focus on classroom recycling first. Once the students are acclimated to the materials they are allowed to recycle, they plan to reintroduce bins in the cafeteria.

The school's initiatives have also caught the attention of Northfield City Council, which the school plans to work with in forming a community wide green team.

How Is Your School Doing?

Does your school need assistance in overcoming challenges to recycling? Let us know! We can help.  

Below is a short video put together by Northfield Community School that further explains their recycling initiative.