Students for the Environment
This past May, students from our High School Environmental Club, Students for the Environment, under the direction of advisor, Mrs. Nicole Lener, were awardees of The New York State Association for Reduction, Reuse and Recycling (NYSAR) Green Schools Program grant, in the amount of $500. Students in our environmental club attended a Youth Climate Summit this past October and created and Action Plan for our school involving the implementation of a composting program in our High School cafeteria. In hopes of accomplishing this goal, students were able to seek out the tutelage of Jesse Kerns who is a representative from Syracuse University’s Center for Sustainability. Jesse met with our club members and helped students to set goals, while also evaluating our current waste disposal setup in our High School cafeteria. Mr. Tom McCall, head of our maintenance staff, also helped students to brainstorm ways in which this program could be implemented. Mr. James Sanderson also assisted the efforts in this endeavor by creating specs and pricing information for the construction of a future composting bin. Following this work, a grant application was submitted to NYSAR for necessary funds to start construction. McGraw was awarded the grant which had 26 applicants throughout the state of New York any only 6 recipients. In preparation for the upcoming implementation, students held a Food Audit in the cafeteria in May in order to determine the approximate amount of food waste being disposed of in our County landfill. After the food audit, it was estimated that close to 200 lbs. of food waste is being disposed of weekly from the High School alone. The majority of this could be diverted from the landfill with the implementation of this composting program.