Recycling Champions

"We believe that school recycling is extremely important and starts with our students. We value recycling–it helps make students responsible citizens."
- Principal, Tara Davidson, P.S. 154 Queens

GrowNYC’s Recycling Champions Program (RCP), develops model recycling programs at over 100 NYC public schools each year, educating 100,000 students, staff, and custodians about recycling. Innovative outreach developed specifically for the K-12 community includes inquiry-based, experiential student programs aligned with the Common Core, and professional development workshops for faculty and staff.   

Through our partnerships with the NYC Department of Education Sustainability Initiative and the NYC Department of Sanitation, RCP is able to spread best practices to schools throughout the City. The resources on our webpage will help make recycling an everyday practice at your school. Please contact with any questions.

Engage students and staff with these resources, whether you’re just getting started or looking to improve your classroom and office recycling system. Check out our PowerPoint presentations, Set Up and Trouble-shooting Guides, activities and more to make recycling happen every day.

> Classroom Best Practices

For schools recycling food through Organics Collection and schools with regular recycling service, Recycling Champions has resources and tools to set up or improve your cafeteria recycling program.  Presentations, Student, Faculty and Staff Handouts, Set-Up Guides and signage help make sorting easier for students and recycling areas more efficient.  

> Cafeteria Best Practices


Reduce, Reuse, Recycle activities allow students in the classroom or Green Team to learn many Common Core standards while playing an active role in environmental stewardship at their school. Recycling Champions’ resources integrate recycling into school culture, curriculum, and practice. Links to our favorite external pages will also keep your students engaged throughout the year.  

> Student Activities


Recycling Champions and other NYC organizations can visit your school to provide an assembly, classroom workshop, or faculty professional development workshop. E-mail to find out what programs are available and how to schedule these services.

> Presenters & Workshops

As recycling becomes part of your school’s practice, look for additional ways for your school to "Go Green." Our best links for school gardening, energy reduction, and other ways to engage your students in sustainability. 

> Sustainable School

Our selection of videos include simple instructions for recycling and organics collection, tips and skits from some of NYC school’s most creative student Green Teams, and more in-depth information exploring the context of recycling and why it is so important.

> Videos


The RCP newsletter features current news, best practices, and real success stories from NYC schools. Ever wonder how your school recycling programs compare with the other schools in your borough?  Look in our latest newsletter to find out, and sign up here to receive the newsletter. 

Recycling contests create excitement through competition and prizes, and are a great way to engage the whole school community. Find out what hard-to-recycle items may be collected and returned to programs like Terracycle, expanding your recycling program and challenging your school to recycle everything.  

> Contests, Drives, & Fundraisers



Help Greenmarket go plastic-free by bringing your own bags while shopping in the markets. Made from petroleum, plastic bags are contributing to enivonmental degradation around the world, clogging our oceans, and are an enormous waste of money. Pledge to bring your bags when shopping at Greenmarkets and help us go plastic-free! 
Image by Christine Wong of @Conscious_Cooking 

  • Greenmarket

    Our network of farmers markets, Youthmarkets, Fresh Food Box pick-ups, and Greenmarket Co. ensures that all New Yorkers have access to the freshest, healthiest local food.

  • Recycle

    We blanket the five boroughs with resources like textile and food scrap collection, Stop 'N' Swaps, and free training to make waste reduction easy for all.

  • Garden

    We build and rejuvenate community & school gardens in all 5 boroughs, and support even more gardens through volunteer days, technical assistance, school garden grants, & more.

  • Teach

    We foster future environmental stewards by providing 60,000 children each year with programs that provide meaningful interactions with the natural environment.