How Princeton Students Can Help Reduce School Waste

As Princeton students head back to school to study the three "Rs" of reading, 'riting, and 'rithmatic, we hope they will also keep in mind another three Rs --Reduce, Reuse and Recycle--to help decrease school waste.  To see how students at the middle school put this idea into action read on below. Lessons from JW Middle School Locker Clean Out

Two large cardboard boxes filled with barely used school binders and notebooks

At the John Witherspoon Middle School locker clean out and recycling event in June, a huge amount of paper was collected for recycling.  Students, staff and parent helpers also collected barely used notebooks, pens and pencils, locker shelves and other items that could be reused.

In sorting through the debris, students learned first-hand about how different types of school supplies impact the waste stream.  For example, recycling was much more difficult when plastic covers or inserts had to be separated from paper in old notebooks and reports.  Students were also surprised by how many notebooks, binders, pens and pencils they could save for reuse.

If you still have school supplies to buy, here are some ways to reduce waste:

  • Wait to see what's really needed before buying new supplies - maybe a barely used notebook from last year can be reused.
  • Try to buy products made from recycled materials, and/or materials that can be easily recycled
  • Shop Local!  Why drive to the mall when you can find everything you need right here in Princeton?

Large gondola filled with paper recycling in school hallway.

Food Composting Coming to Princeton Public Schools

Another way for students to help reduce school waste is to participate in the District's food and organic waste composting program, which will begin this fall.  Together with Princeton's municipal curbside compost program, composting at the schools will help divert tons of waste from landfills, helping the environment and saving money for taxpayers!

Learn More

To learn more about sustainability at Princeton Public Schools and the work of our Green Schools Coalition, see this recent post on school sustainability.  Or contact Karen Nathan or Stephanie Chorney, the Green Schools Coalition co-chairs directly via our contact page.

Also see our website resource pages on recycling and home composting.

To sign up for Princeton's municipal compost program, go to this municipal website page, or contact Janet Pellichero, Princeton’s Recycling Coordinator, at 609-688-2566