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DSNY Announces 2018 Zero Waste Schools Awards Winners

Eighteen schools from across New York City’s five boroughs have been named winners.

The New York City Department of Sanitation (DSNY) has announced that 18 schools from across New York City’s five boroughs have been named winners of this year’s Zero Waste Schools Awards. Recipients of the awards, which recognize public schools that have created outstanding programs in recycling, sustainability, gardening or cleanup, will receive up to $1,000 in cash prizes for their schools and will be honored by DSNY Commissioner Kathryn Garcia during an awards ceremony on June 20 at the Project Farmhouse in Manhattan.

This year’s winning programs range from fashion-centric “upcycling” of fabrics to installing a vermicompost system in the classroom.

“Young people and public schools are two of our best partners in creating a sustainable New York,” said Garcia in a statement. “Students are the future of our city, and they have some of the most creative recycling and sustainability ideas. We are proud to recognize their creativity, enthusiasm and commitment to reaching our city’s zero waste goals.”

In partnership with the Department of Education, DSNY has created the NYC School Guide to Zero Waste that helps teachers and students set up recycling areas, collect recyclables and coordinate with their peers on environmental projects. The annual Zero Waste Schools Awards encourage public school students to create new, innovative ways to recycle, reduce waste and promote sustainability in their schools.

“I’m proud of the work our students are doing to make our city more sustainable, and I congratulate these 18 schools on their innovative and now award-winning projects,” said Chancellor Richard A. Carranza in a statement. “These hands-on, real-life learning opportunities are improving our communities, and we’re grateful to DSNY for their partnership in reducing waste and promoting sustainability across all NYC public schools.”

The competition includes five categories: The DSNY Commissioner’s Cup, which recognizes outstanding sustainability efforts; GrowNYC Recycling Champions Program’s Super Recyclers, which honors model school recycling programs; Materials For the Arts (MFTA) Reuse Challenge, which recognizes innovative waste reduction practices; Zero Waste Schools Challenge, which awards participation for the first 100 Zero Waste Schools; and Citizen’s Committee for NYC’s (CCNYC) Team Up to Clean Up, which recognizes the best cleanup and beautification projects. 

In each of the Zero Waste Schools contests, schools competed within their elementary, intermediate or high school grade divisions for citywide honors by conceiving and completing hands-on applied learning projects. Citywide winners are awarded $1,000 and runners-up garner $500. 

One of this year’s Reuse Challenge winners was the High School of Fashion Industries in Chelsea, where students participated in an upcycle denim fashion show, created garments out of non-textile reused materials and enrolled in the refashionNYC program. At PS 90 in Coney Island, winners of the Super Recyclers Award, children trained other students and a neighboring school in proper recycling, set up a classroom vermicompost system and coordinated a sustainability expo at their school during Earth Day.

In addition to the Zero Waste School Awards, DSNY also launched the Green Team Mini Grant program with the Citizens Committee for New York City that provides $500 to school green teams to support projects on sustainability, recycling, gardening and other eco-friendly initiatives.

2018 Zero Waste Schools Awards Winners

DSNY’s Commissioner’s Cup (Award)

Citywide Winner

P.S. 327 Dr. Rose B. English, Brooklyn

Honorable Mention

P.S. 90 Edna Cohen School, Brooklyn

The High School of Fashion Industries, Manhattan

Zero Waste Schools Challenge

Citywide Winner, Middle School Division

I.S. 136 Charles O. Dewey, Brooklyn

GrowNYC Recycling Champions Program’s Super Recyclers Contest

Citywide Winner, Elementary Division

P.S. 221 The North Hills School, Queens

P.S. 90 Edna Cohen School, Brooklyn

Runner Up, Elementary Division

P.S. 327 Dr. Rose B. English, Brooklyn

Citywide Winner, Middle School Division

City College Academy of the Arts, Manhattan

Runner Up, Middle School Division

I.S. 136 Charles O. Dewey, Brooklyn

Irwin Altman Middle School 172, Queens

New Voices School of Academic & Creative Arts, Brooklyn

Citywide Winner, High School Division

P.S. K721 - Brooklyn Occupational Training Center, Brooklyn

Runner Up, High School Division

Central Park East High School, Manhattan

Citizens Committee for NYC’s Team Up To Clean Up Contest

Citywide Winner, Elementary Division

P.S. 032 State Street, Queens

Runner Up, Elementary Division

P.S. 044 Thomas C. Brown, Staten Island

Citywide Winner, Middle School Division

New Voices School of Academic & Creative Arts, Brooklyn

Citywide Winner, High School Division

Central Park East High School, Manhattan

Runner Up, High School Division

Maspeth High School, Queens

Materials for The Art’s Reuse Challenge

Citywide Winner, Elementary Division

New Explorations into Science, Technology and Math High School, Manhattan

P.S. 032 State Street, Queens

Runner Up, Elementary Division

P.S. 120 Queens, Queens

P.S. 147 Isaac Remsen, Brooklyn

P.S. 291, Bronx

Honorable Mention

P.S. 90 Edna Cohen School, Brooklyn

Citywide Winner, Middle School Division

New Voices School of Academic & Creative Arts, Brooklyn

Runner Up, Middle School Division

J.H.S. 217 Robert A. Van Wyck, Queens

Citywide Winner, High School Division

The High School of Fashion Industries, Manhattan

Runner Up, High School Division

Maspeth High School, Queens

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