Go Green Initiative
We support the Go Green Initiative (GGI), a non-profit whose mission is to provide schools and communities with the tools and training they need to create a “culture of conservation.” Many schools are required to recycle, but too often recyclables are mixed in with garbage. We’re proud of our role in introducing the GGI into many schools in the areas in which we operate.
“Thanks to organizations like the Go Green Initiative, students are able to have hands-on learning experiences while also giving back to the environment. We truly appreciate all you do.”
Ms. Sakeena Bentley,
Fourth grade teacher, Wiggins College Preparatory Lab Family School in Camden, NJ
In 2016, we introduced the program to the following communities:
Camden, New Jersey. In 2015, the Camden City School District’s 22 schools were informed that they would be inspected by the county for compliance with local recycling ordinances, and potentially subject to fines of up to $3,000 per school per day (or $12.1 million in a school year) for non-compliance. In partnership with GGI, Covanta worked with the district’s facilities department to conduct free waste audits at multiple schools and to help get recycling programs started through education and outreach with the staff and students. GGI trained 60 teachers from eleven different schools, representing pre-K through 12th grade as well as principals, green teams and food service vendors. We also helped teachers apply for $100 mini-grants for classroom supplies to enhance environmental education. Along with two other community partners, our effort pooled $6,000 to give mini-grants to 60 teachers. We are now working with GGI to replicate this successful model in Newark, New Jersey.
In June 2017 the Camden Collaborative Initiative recognized Covanta with an Environmental Hero Award in recognition of Covanta’s work on the recycling program for the local school district. Presented by the City of Camden Mayor, Dana Redd, the award honors efforts that have made a positive impact on the city’s environment.
Newark, New Jersey. We worked with a private school, St. Benedict’s Prep, to focus the student body on the environment and sustainability. We had support from the Dean of Faculty, who initiated sustainability initiatives such as recycling the plastic clamshells used in the lunchroom. Noreen Connolly, a faculty member, formed the Green Bees, a student group training the entire student population on more sustainable behavior. We supported the program by donating funds for receptacles in all classrooms and helped the school improve recycling and systems in general. Read more about the graphic novel on climate change and recycling that a St. Benedict’s Prep student was inspired to create.
As an outgrowth of our work in Camden and Newark, we launched an e-newsletter, The Covanta Eye, to highlight the innovative projects and partnerships we’re involved with in
communities across New Jersey. We send the newsletters to community members and local businesses, with an invitation to contact our Community Liaison to learn more about our outreach activities and facilities.
Chester, Pennsylvania. The Chester Upland School District is located in an economically challenged area where grocery store options are often limited to small corner markets with a narrow variety of foods. Working with GGI, we sponsored a program called Nourishing Breakfasts for Chester’s Children, which was supported by Albertson’s Foundation, the Entertainment Industry Foundation and Fair and Square grocery stores. What started as a single breakfast on a Saturday in November 2016 ended up being a full-day event where participants learned how to make healthy meals based on what was available in local convenience stores. The program was so successful, the school district held a second event in May 2017.