These Students Are Doing Their Part to Reduce Their School's Waste

Hey, NYC teachers, students, principals, and sustainability coordinators:

Are you ready to help your school do its part to protect the environment and reduce New York City’s contribution to landfills to zero by 2030?

What if we told you that you could earn cash on behalf of your schools?

Custodians Are A Great Resource to Help Reduce School WasteThanks to the NYC Department of Sanitation (DSNY), GrowNYC, and the DOE, City schools (grades K–12) can participate in this year’s second annual Zero Waste School Awards!

Between now and Friday, May 11, City schools can earn cash prizes for creating new and outstanding programs in recycling, reusesustainability, gardening, or cleanup.

This year, schools can earn the following awards:

  • RCP Super Recyclers: best school recycling program;
  • MFTA Reduce & Reuse Challenge: most creative reuse projects;
  • CCNYC Team Up to Clean Up: best cleanup and beautification projects;
  • DSNY Commissioner’s Cup: DSNY Commissioner awards best sustainability efforts in all DOE schools; and
  • DSNY Zero Waste Schools Challenge: awards participants among the City’s first 100 designated Zero Waste Schools

Promote your Zero Waste School projects on social media by using the hashtag, #ZWS.

To apply, teachers, principals, or sustainability coordinators have to create a Zero Waste Schools account on behalf of their schools by using their school’s verification code on the DSNY Zero Waste Schools website.

Don’t have your school’s validation code? Email DSNY at, and be sure to include your school’s name and address in your message. Once an account has been created for your school, students can sign up to participate on the DSNY Zero Waste Schools website.

Questions? Email DSNY at, and see what our previous winners did to help promote healthy environments at their schools via DSNY’s ZWS Contests webpage.

Remember: submissions are due on Friday, May 11, so help do your part to protect the environment by sharing your ideas TODAY!

The Morning Bell

Official blog for the NYC Department of Education, home of over 1.1 million students across 1,800+ schools

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