Every public school classroom in North Hempstead will soon feature a town-supplied recycling bin, with the addition of the Roslyn and Mineola districts to the school recycling partnership program.
All 11 of the town's school districts are now participating in the program, which was launched six years ago. This includes more than 46,000 students across 57 schools.
"We hope that the students will be enthusiastic participants and lifelong advocates for greening our environment," said Town Supervisor Judi Bosworth in a news release. "Their participation in this program will help prevent large amounts of solid waste from entering the landfills."
Roughly 32 tons of paper and 8 tons of commingled recyclables will be collected each month from all classrooms and offices in the 11 districts, and carted away, a town representative said.
In the 2016 preliminary budget, $97,000 is budgeted for the program, a decrease from the $107,000 budgeted for 2015.
Previously, the Roslyn and Mineola school districts were employing Queens-based Royal Waste Services, but the company recently decided to dissolve its recycling program, Mineola school district Superintendent Michael Nagler said.
"We're very excited about joining the North Hempstead effort," Nagler said, adding that staff at Mineola's five schools were enthusiastic about participating.
In Mineola, the recycling program is being spearheaded by the student body through environmental clubs and student organizations. The recycling bins will be arriving at schools incrementally: first at the high school and middle school, and then to the elementary schools. Nagler said he hopes to fully implement the program by the new year.
Roslyn school district Superintendent Gerard Dempsey said the district has committed to equipping its five schools by May 1, but anticipates completing this sooner.
Town Councilman Peter Zuckerman called the partnership an "all-encompassing program" for both the present and the future.
"In addition to reducing the waste, the students become the stewards of the community and our precious environment, as they pass on the practice of recycling to their peers and members of their household," Zuckerman added.