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Cafeteria Recycling

Did you know New York City schools are required to recycle in cafeteria? By implementing the steps in the Cafeteria Recycling Guide and using the recommended resources on this website, you will not only increase your school’s recycling, but the cafeteria will also be more orderly .

Description Download
Set-up Guide
Benefits of Cafeteria Recycling
Faculty & Staff Letter

Cafeteria Recycling Videos

Reducing Waste in Cafeterias:
Best Practices in NYC Schools

by Atsuko Quirk

Watch how a Cafeteria Ranger handles milk carton recycling! This video was created for an EPA webinar and shows best practices from three schools. View setups of individual schools below.

Watch video |  EPA webinar  | Cafeteria Waste Reduction

Setup 1: The Earth School

Students learn how and why to stack trays and recycle milk cartons, and meet the Cafeteria Rangers!
Watch video | View Setup

Setup 2: Brooklyn New School

BNS built a tray tower to help students stack trays without student monitoring or adult supervision.
Watch the video. | View Setup | Tray Tower

Setup 3: IS 52

In a case of "train the trainers" at IS 52, older students model for younger students how to recycle in the cafeteria.
Watch video | Download Setups


Student Cafeteria Recycling Projects

Middle School

Cafeteria Recycling Science Project
Using this EPA recycling science project, students measure cafeteria waste before and after a recycling outreach campaign, like Pack a Waste Free Lunch by handing out Waste Free Lunchbox pamphlets, or by educating their classmates about what is recyclable in the cafeteria.