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Zero Waste Schools in NYC


Zero Waste Schools in NYC


Ushma Pandya shares a post from her company’s blog on what NYC schools are doing to move towards zero waste and what businesses can learn from them.

Tens of thousands of people representing many industries and sectors gathered for COP26 in Glasgow this fall 2021 to determine what it would take to accelerate climate action. While discussions and debates take place on global stages, other steps are being taken on a local level, including but not limited to grassroots environmental efforts, sustainability initiatives within institutions, and more. In New York City, we see a demonstrated commitment and interest among many stakeholders to become better stewards to the environment, starting with our schools.

Involving key stakeholders

When people think about key stakeholders in any educational institution, principals and teachers may be the first groups of people to come to mind. While they are important stakeholders, we also find that facilities and food service team members are essential partners in any zero waste effort.

This year, Think Zero collaborated with a school in Manhattan, NYC to engage their facilities and food service teams in a number of waste reduction trainings and help them realize the important role they play in keeping the school compliant with city and state waste regulations. We made a visit to the school to assess the waste infrastructure and understand their challenges and barriers to waste management on campus. After our data collection was collected, we developed tailored content for food services and facilities teams and delivered hands-on trainings and activities with each group. We also answered any questions they had regarding waste and recycling in school and in their everyday life.

Engaging key stakeholders in any setting is crucial to reaching ESG and zero waste goals. We often collaborate with cleaning and facilities teams, cafeteria and food service staff members, and other individuals to help our clients achieve their waste reduction and diversion goals.

Key points include:

  • Engaging future leaders
  • Implementing zero waste programs

  • Involving key stakeholders


Read the full article, What Are NYC Schools Doing to Go Zero Waste, on