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2008 Golden Apple Awards Winners golden apple awards program for nyc schools
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The NYC Department of Sanitation's 2008 Golden Apple Awards program included the following school contests.

TrashMasters! Super Recyclers: Recognizes schools that have implemented model recycling programs for the materials designated by DSNY.

TrashMasters! Reduce & Reuse Challenge: Rewards schools for implementing the most successful and innovative waste prevention practices.

TrashMasters! Team Up to Clean Up: Acknowledges schools exhibiting the most extensive and original cleanup and beautification projects. Also, the New York Restoration Project selects a Rose Award winner from entries in all grade divisions for a school with a notable vision for a beautification project.

• NYC Compost Project Golden Shovel Awards: Selected as the Master School Composters by NYC Compost Project staff in each borough from among all entries for that borough in any contest in any grade division.

• New York Restoration Project Rose Award: Selected by Bette Midler’s New York Restoration Project leaving NYCWasteLess from among the entries in Team Up to Clean Up in any grade division.

Prize Money: Citywide Winner ($6,000), Borough Winner ($3,000), Borough Runner-Up ($1,500), Honorable Mention ($750), Golden Shovel ($1,000), Rose Award (gift certificate for gardening supplies, and on-site advice).

Judging: For each contest, schools submit binders that describe their completed projects. A judging committee of environmental educators and government officials reviews and scores all the submitted binders. To receive an award, schools had to meet minimum score requirements; some categories did not produce a winner.

The winners for each contest, along with descriptions of their projects, appear below.

Note: The contest entries are PDF (Portable Document Format) documents; you'll need Adobe Reader leaving NYCWasteLess to open them.


SuperRecyclers

Outstanding recycling programs with school-wide involvement and support

Elementary School Division
Intermediate School Division
High School Division


ELEMENTARY SCHOOL DIVISION

Brooklyn Borough & Citywide Winner ($6,000) 

golden apple trophy, super recyclers

PS 15 Patrick F DalyPS 15 Patrick F Daly awards ceremony
A special education class and a student leadership group formed the "Recycling Raiders" to improve their school's recycling program. The group created and distributed recycling education kits to each classroom along with a presentation on proper recycling practices. They also tracked how well each classroom was recycling and gave out stars and citations as needed. The students' efforts turned into a successful school-wide recycling program that involved the principal, custodial staff, cafeteria staff, teachers, and students. See pages from winning entry (2.7MB).


Brooklyn Borough Runner-Up ($1,500)

  • PS 230 Doris Cohen
    A PBS video on global warming was a call to action for students who worked with school administrators and custodial staff to improve the school's recycling program and encourage reducing and reusing. The students' "Go Green Club" promoted the Three R's at a school assembly, during school announcements, and in the classrooms, cafeteria, and hallways―the places where the new recycling bins are located. Teachers capitalized on the students' interests by teaching lessons on natural resources and waste prevention. See pages from winning entry (4.88MB).

Manhattan Borough Winner ($3,000)

  • PS 40 Augustus Saint-Gaudens
    Members of the Super Green Eco Team set out to promote recycling to every student in the school. To spread the word, they conducted regular classroom inspections, printed waste prevention and recycling tips in the school's monthly newsletter, and launched a recycling blog. The school also held a week-long Earth Day celebration that included information, environmentally friendly items for sale, and an assembly featuring Bash the Trash , a musical group that combines the 3 R's with music and song. See pages from winning entry (4.2MB).

 Manhattan Borough Runner-Up ($1,500)

  • St George School
    To become a school recycling leader, St. George School purchased recycling bins, improved recycling signage in the cafeteria, and organized "TrashMaster" volunteers to instruct students about recycling. To further promote the program, students made recycling posters and artwork from reused materials and celebrated Earth Day by organizing a stuff exchange. See pages from winning entry (2.3MB).

Staten Island Borough Winner ($3,000)

  • PS 8 Shirlee Solomon
    This school implemented a school-wide recycling program using the decals, signs, and educational materials supplied by the DSNY Bureau of Waste Prevention, Reuse and Recycling. Teachers taught from DSNY’s NYC Teachers' RRResource Kit to get students recycling, while students in the upper grades focused on why recycling is important. The school also participated in Ecology Day 2008 at the Staten Island Mall, which focused on the Three R's, along with music, dancing, and networking. See pages from winning entry (4.1MB).

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INTERMEDIATE SCHOOL DIVISION

Manhattan Borough & Citywide Winner ($6,000) 

golden apple trophy, super recyclers

IS 52 InwoodIS 52 Inwood awards ceremony
Students took action after hearing from special guest Omar Friellia, a Bronx environmentalist featured in "The 11th Hour," a documentary produced by Leonardo DiCaprio that describes the perilous state of the planet and how to address this. The recycling movement is taking hold at this school thanks to the school's environmental club working along with the school's custodians. See pages from winning entry (3.8MB).


Manhattan Borough Runner-Up ($1,500)

  • MS 224 Manhattan East School for Arts & Academics
    Students focused on the elements of a successful school recycling program (bins, signage, getting the word out). They also weighed and tracked the school's waste and recyclables. The school's principal authorized the purchase of new recycling bins, and students and teachers made sure that recyclables were properly set out at the curb for DSNY collection. See pages from winning entry (4.85MB).

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HIGH SCHOOL DIVISION

Brooklyn Borough Honorable Mention ($750)

  • E R Murrow High School
    Not satisfied to rest on their laurels after winning last year's Citywide Super Recyclers prize, students assessed the strengths and weaknesses of their school's current recycling program and set out to eliminate problems. Students met with the custodial staff and created a recycling plan for the school that involved purchasing large recycling bins, meeting with student activity groups, posting recycling flyers, making morning announcements, and giving presentations at staff department meetings. See pages from winning entry (4.1MB).

Manhattan Borough & Citywide Winner ($6,000)

golden apple trophy, super recyclers

Churchill School and Center Churchill School awards ceremony
Students improved the school recycling program through better signage, interactive presentations, and an original music video, "What Goes Where?". They also constructed an information booth in the cafeteria where “The Recycler Is In” to help fellow students if they weren't sure which bin to use. Working with the custodial staff, Churchill students made sure that "bins travel in threes," so that at each waste station there was a trash can and one bin for each recycling stream. See pages from winning entry (2.2MB).

Manhattan Borough Runner-Up ($1,500)

  • Brearley School
    In addition to operating a model school recycling program for mandated materials, students focused on implementing an expanded recycling program for TechnoTrash such as used laptops and rechargeable batteries. "We make sure that everything recyclable at Brearley is recycled," students said in their project binder; "No bottle is left behind." Student-led movements included a lunch competition aimed at recycling and reducing waste, creating and displaying factoids with environmental messages for Earth Day, and a Silver Elephant sale to reuse gently used clothesSee pages from winning entry (4.71MB).

Manhattan Borough Honorable Mention ($750)

  • High School for Environmental Studies
    The recycling club at this school worked hard to make sure that students, faculty, and the custodial staff are all onboard with recycling. This year's initiatives included toner cartridge recycling and a "wearables" collection to reuse or recycle used clothing. They were careful, however, not to lose sight of the basics: mixed paper; and beverage cartons, glass bottles and jars, plastic bottles and jugs, metal, and foil. Bins for those two major categories were large, clearly labeled, and properly lined with clear trash bags. See pages from winning entry (3.76MB).

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Reduce & Reuse challenge

Most innovative waste prevention practices

Elementary School Division
Intermediate School Division
High School Division


ELEMENTARY SCHOOL DIVISION

Brooklyn Borough Winner ($3,000)

  • Saint Nicholas School
    This school's Recycling Crew earned cash for their school by recycling toner cartridges and cell phones. They also organized a book drive and collect deposit cans for redemption. To reduce mixed paper consumption, students emphasized reusing paper and envelopes as scrap. They even recycled used Elmer's Glue products at Wal-Mart as part of the "Glue Crew" program. Students also focused on composting, studied worms, and took a trip to a working organic farm. See pages from winning entry (4.84MB).

Brooklyn Borough Runner-Up ($1,500)

  • PS 46 E C Blum
    Students “put the Green in Fort Greene" by performing "Extreme Trash Makeovers." Their multiple projects included weaving used plastic grocery bags into tote bags, turning used Sweet'N Low packets into pink roses, resurrecting old school furniture into vibrant pieces of functional art, and washing Styrofoam lunch trays after a single use instead throwing them away. See pages from winning entry (3.93MB).

Manhattan Borough Winner ($3,000) & Master School Composter ($1,000)

golden shovel trophy, manhattan

PS 364 The Earth SchoolPS 364 awards ceremony
Students continued a school-wide composting program in which all classrooms have containers to collect organic waste for composting. Kids also investigated the "plastics problem" and considered how they could generate less plastic waste. The school's "Eco-friendly Art Room" regularly uses supplies from Materials for the Arts, a win-win for reuse and the budget. See pages from winning entry (4.87MB).

Queens Borough & Citywide Winner ($6,000) & Master School Composter ($1,000)

golden apple trophy, reduce & reuse golden shovel trophy, queens

PS 229 Emanual KaplanPS 229 awards ceremony
A brainstorming session on how to make their school "greener" resulted in various school-wide initiatives. These included indoor composting with worm bins, a book swap, reusing water bottles as free-weights for "Get Fit Fridays," in addition to a special assembly for parents to encourage them to compost at home, use compact fluorescent lightbulbs, package groceries in reusable bags, and prepare lunches with reusable or recyclable products. See pages from winning entry (4.82MB).

Queens Borough Runner-Up ($1,500)
  • PS 205 Alexander Graham Bell
    Reduce and reuse activities at this school include charitable collections of eyeglasses and cell phones, using items from Materials for the Arts for various lessons, turning waste paper into envelopes, coordinating with a company to reuse and/or recycle used school books, printing school notices on half sheets of paper, and using a lawn mower that returns grass clipping to the lawn. See pages from winning entry (4.93MB) .

Queens Borough Honorable Mention ($750)

  • PS 94 David Porter
    Students composted their organic waste to feed their new organic garden and indoor plants, which yield zucchini, tomatoes, eggplant, broccoli, watermelon, basil, and oregano. The "Cozy Comfort Company" continues to create items out of reused materials, such as pillows stuffed with shredded paper. A group of students assisted the Little Neck Jewish Center to establish recycling at its facility and even put on a recycling play. See pages from winning entry (5.1MB).

Staten Island Borough Winner ($3,000) 

  • PS 8 Shirlee Solomon School
    To help reduce the use of plastic, students instituted a school-wide campaign to collect used grocery bags. They cut up the bags to make "plarn"(plastic yarn),which they wove and crocheted into welcome mats and tote bags. They collected approximately 10,000 plastic bags and turned them into new items, which they displayed at the Ecology Fair at the Staten Island Mall. Students also read books on recycling and implemented proper classroom recycling. See pages from winning entry (4.08MB) .

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INTERMEDIATE SCHOOL DIVISION

Brooklyn Borough & Citywide Winner ($6,000) & Master School Composter ($1,000)

golden apple trophy, reduce & reuse golden shovel trophy, brooklyn

Brooklyn School for Collaborative Studies Brooklyn School for Collaborative Studies awards ceremony
The eighth grade "Compost Crew" went to the Brooklyn Botanic Garden in search of composting knowledge and to Lowes for the donated pallets that the school custodian constructed into three large compost bins. The crew then set up buckets at lunch to collect vegetable and fruit compostables, which they monitored and carried out to the compost bins. This kept an estimated five gallons of food scraps, and another five gallons of liquids, out of their regular trash. See pages from winning entry (4.92MB).  

Manhattan Borough Winner ($3,000)

  • PS 184 Shuang Wen
    Middle school students held a book drive and sale, finding new homes for thousands of books and raising $1,000 for the student council. Another successful drive resulted in the collection of 400 cans of food for City Harvest, a nonprofit food rescue organization. Students also got their hands dirty making an outdoor compost bin and a reclaimed container garden, which features planters made from chipped china, glassware, and old tires. See pages from winning entry (2.26MB).

Staten Island Borough Winner ($3,000)

  • IS 72 P.O. Rocco Laurie
    The highlight of this school's Golden Apple effort was an electronics recycling event coordinated by the school's robotics team in collaboration with Hewlett Packard. Students reached out to their parents and surrounding community and invited people to recycle their old VCRs, cell phones, computers, monitors, keyboards, and printers. The team also conducted an energy audit of the school building and then recommended installing energy-efficient windows, using solar panels and wind power, and installing rain water collectors. See pages from winning entry (4.94MB).     

Staten Island Borough Runner-Up ($1,500)

  • IS 75 Frank D Paulo
    Students brought to school used items such as empty plastic water bottles, egg cartons, corks, paper tubes, and film canisters. These items were then reused in the name of science for in-class experiments. "We learned which items worked best for each task, and also began thinking of more and more items we could use in the future," the students wrote in their project entry binder. See pages from winning entry (3.13MB).

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HIGH SCHOOL DIVISION

Bronx Borough Master School Compostergolden shovel trophy, bronx ($1,000)

John F Kennedy High School 475 JFK High School awards ceremony
Students in the environmental club educated their teachers about the waste-reducing benefits of composting and encouraged them to turn their organic waste into "black gold." Interested teachers were given re-sealable plastic bags for all of their organic waste, from home or school. The fruit and vegetable waste was added to the outdoor "Hot Box." Students will use the resulting composting in their school's Enchanted Garden and will also distribute some for use at homeSee pages from winning entry (1.25MB).

Brooklyn Borough Winner ($3,000)
  • Roy Campanella OTC P721K
    The "Paper Savers" at this school focused on reducing paper usage by reusing class worksheets and other data collection sheets. They also examined the what-goes-where? basics, and launched a traveling assembly program that featured songs with a "Save the Earth" message. See pages from winning entry (4.17MB).

Manhattan Borough Winner ($3,000)

  • High School for Environmental Studies
    HSES students expanded their recycling setup by collecting cell phones, compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs), toner cartridges, and rechargeable batteries from the school community. The high school also partnered with Wearable Collections, a clothing recycler, to give the school community one more recycling option. Students also visited "Compost Hill" in Central Park to learn about organic waste, decomposition, and how composting is beneficial to humans and the Earth. See pages from winning entry (4.88MB) .

Queens Borough & Citywide Winner ($6,000)

golden apple trophy, reduce & reuse

P 233 Q @ 875 PS 233Q @ 875 awards ceremony
Students at this school began "Quilting for a Cause" to reuse discarded clothing, help the less fortunate, and give back to the community. These caring students, disabled young adults, collected and sorted donated clothing; operated washing machines to clean the items; sorted and folded the items before sewing; measured and cut the material into squares for quilting; used sewing machines to sew the pieces together; and created new items from scraps. Their efforts benefited society by helping others and the environment. See pages from winning entry (4.92MB).

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Team Up to Clean Up

Cleanup and beautification of schools and communities

Elementary School Division
Intermediate School Division
High School Division


ELEMENTARY SCHOOL DIVISION

Brooklyn Borough Winner ($3,000) & NYRP Rose Award

  • PS 15 Patrick F Daly
    "Spreading the Seeds of Peace and Harmony" was the goal at this school. The purchase of a large bird feeder last year inspired students to transform "a dreary and lifeless courtyard that had been neglected for years" into a bird sanctuary that won certification from the National Wildlife Federation and is now the centerpiece of their school. Students also helped create a peace garden, and are pursuing grants to start two new groups to work in the community. The New York Restoration Project's Rose Award will help with their goal of purchasing books and gardening supplies. See pages from winning entry (4.83MB).

Queens Borough & Citywide Winner ($6,000)

golden apple trophy, team up

PS 205 Alexander Graham Bell PS 205 Alexander Graham Bell awards ceremony
Nine distinct gardens play a major role at this school, where "nature inspires our students to read books, share reflections and respond to literature." The "Big Clean Up" brings together children from all grades to revive the gardens after the winter. The gardens are used for teaching lessons on science, mathematics  even creative writing. "The beauty and wonder of these gardens inspire our students to ask questions and conduct research," educators said in their project entry binder. See pages from winning entry (4.95MB).


Queens Borough Runner-Up ($1,500)

  • P 224 @ 26Q Rufus King
    Teachers of five special education classes started their students "on a path to create a beautiful, sensory-filled world" in which they emphasized  teamwork and using their senses to improve classroom and cafeteria recycling. Teachers and 4th grade student volunteers also collaborated on a sensory garden in which autistic students sprouted beans, read books on plants, built a large plant puzzle, and "became partners with our earth." Parents got involved through a PTA plant sale fundraiser. See pages from winning entry (4.96MB).

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 INTERMEDIATE SCHOOL DIVISION

Brooklyn Borough Winner ($3,000)

  • East New York Family Academy 409
    Students planted gardens on both sides of the school's main entrance, which included studying the life cycle of bulbs and area calculations. Students also planted an herb garden and a memorial garden to remember a teacher who lost her life in a car accident outside the school gate. Students maintained an indoor composting bin and studied organic decomposition and Red Wiggler worms. Earth Day was celebrated with music and dance in the gardens. See pages from winning entry (4.44MB) .  

Queens Borough & Citywide Winner ($6,000) 

golden apple trophy, team up

PS 47 Chris Galas PS 47 Chris Galas awards ceremony
Ridding the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge of a highly competitive and destructive non-native plant called the Oriental Bittersweet isn't easy work, but it continues to be the goal of students at this Queens school. In addition to their second annual bittersweet removal work, students continued to conduct research to discover if the invasive plant could be reused. They made the vines into lovely Mothers Day wreaths, first carefully removing and discarding the berries, which help spread the plant. See pages from winning entry (4.8MB).

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HIGH SCHOOL DIVISION

Brooklyn Honorable Mention ($750)

  • John Dewey High School
    John Dewey students planted and nurtured saplings and roses for this year's competition. Activities included cleaning up around the outdoor perimeter of the school in preparation for planting, and using hay to feed and protect plants during winter. Students helped restore the marshes of Jamaica Bay, and reused wire hangers to make pine wreathes. See pages from winning entry (4.43MB).

Manhattan Borough Winner ($3,000)

  • High School for Environmental Studies
    The Youth Leadership and Park Stewardship Program at this school emphasizes leadership skills and beautifying park space, including mapping, plant identification, gardening, pruning, and composting. Students identified plants and removed weeds at De Witt Clinton Park; planted bulbs, tested water, and enjoyed bird-watching at Fort Tryon Park; removed the invasive Japanese knotweed at a state park; worked to restore part of the Staten Island Greenbelt; and maintained the school's rooftop garden, adding a wild bird habitat. See pages from winning entry (3.45MB).

Queens Borough Winner ($3,000)

  • Richmond High School  475
    After tackling school recycling last year, Richmond Hill's Green Club wanted to show students that a greener and cleaner environment can make the school a nicer place. They reclaimed unused school grounds, and turned it into the site of an outdoor classroom complete with chairs and dry erase board. They also conducted a "community cleanup" program, where students "adopted" and beautified streets surrounding the school. Last year's prize money was used to fund school beautification projects which resulted in a renovation to the girls' bathroom "using simple green ideas and planning." See pages from winning entry (3.98MB).

Queens Borough Runner-Up ($1,500)

  • Thomas Alva Edison High School
    News about global warming and the "go green" movement inspired a teacher at this technical school to form its first environmental club, which worked with the Science Honor Society to plant tulips and daffodils around the school. Cell phones were collected for recycling, and a pre-summer beach cleanup was organized. Students participated in a park cleanup at Cunningham Park, and cleaned up the shoreline at Flushing Meadows Corona Park for Hands on New York Day!, hosted by New York Cares. Students celebrated Earth Day in Central Park. See pages from winning entry (3.95MB).

Staten Island Borough & Citywide Winner ($6,000)

golden apple trophy, team up

St Joseph Hill Academy St Joseph Hill Academy awards ceremony
Beach cleanups and historical research are the forte of the 400 or so female students at St Joseph Hill Academy, where their slogan is, "A clean beach is worth the effort!" The shores of Staten Island, and the island's residents, should be thankful for the hard work of these students who say they're "literally littoral." Students tackled seven beaches and one lake with work gloves and trash bags, cleaning up the flotsam and jetsam. They documented each cleanup and earned praise from their local National Park Superintendent and others. See pages from winning entry (3.73MB).


Staten Island Borough Runner-Up ($1,500)

  • Tottenville High School
    "True Life ― I'm a Teen Cleaner" was initiated at this school to restore a spacious greenhouse that had been defunct for nearly a decade. To the students, it was upsetting that the once-lush greenhouse, dedicated in the memory of the teacher and student who started it, was padlocked ― and that nobody even knew where the key was. Students fixed broken glass, replaced missing roofing, reorganized the chaotic contents, and cleaned up years of dirt and dust. Their efforts went beyond the walls of the greenhouse to include new mulch and plantings around the perimeter of the restored building. See pages from winning entry (4.79MB).

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