Sustainable Jersey LPS Certification
  • ARSD Recycling Initiatives

    Posted by Justin Iazetti on 12/21/2022

    TREX plastic materials recycling
    We are entering our 7th year of participating in the TREX program. TREX uses plastic materials to make their deck materials by collecting grocery bags, bread bags, case overwrap, dry cleaning bags, newspaper sleeves, ice bags, wood pellet bags, ziplock & other re-sealable bags, produce bags, bubble wrap, salt bags, and cereal bags. All materials must be clean, dry and free of food residue. Collection bins are located at both schools. 

    Terracycle recycling
    TerraCycle has created a zero waste solution for the following items: Little Bites pouches, any brand of aluminum juice pouches,  ANY BRAND of squeezable applesauce/yogurt pouches, ANY BRAND of pens, highlighters, glue sticks & their original packaging, ANY BRAND of toothpaste, toothbrushes, floss & their original packaging, and ANY BRAND of #6 plastic cups. These items are collected in every classroom & in the cafeteria. For each item, Terracycle will donate a penny to our school. It doesn’t seem like much but it definitely adds up! If you have any of the above items and want to recycle them, please send them in with your child. 

    Office and classroom paper recycling
    Every classroom at FMB has a blue recycling bucket marked for paper recycling/bottles to ensure our used paper/bottles are properly recycled into our single-steam bin rather than ending up in the trash can. 4th Grade students go around the school every Wednesday and Friday to collect all items and deposit them into our dedicated recycling dumpster. 

    Re-Use America fabric recycling
    Clothing, shoes, accessories, household items, and toys meeting their criteria is collected to be reused and recycled. The bin for the district is located in the FMB parking lot.

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  • Census 2020 Q&A

    Posted by Melissa Van Blarcom on 3/27/2020

    What is the Census?

    The U.S. Census is an important survey that takes place every 10 years. The survey counts every person who lives in the United States and its 5 territories (Puerto Rico, American Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, Guam, and the U.S. Virgin Islands).

    What is the Census data used for?

    1. Funding for schools, hospitals, fire departments, roads, and other community resources.

    2. Information for educators, law makers, and business owners to help provide services.

    3. Determine the number of seats each state will have in the U.S. House of Representatives.

    4. Draw cogressional and state legislative maps. 

    Why should I participate?

    As a community member, your survey helps our schools and local community agencies receive the financial support we depend on to provide daily services. Children under the age of 5 are one of the most frequently undercounted groups of people. They won't be counted again until ages 10-15, so we will lose potential funding for 10 years for every uncounted child! This funding includes education as well as school lunch. Please complete your survey and make sure every ARSD child counts!

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  • The History of LPS Earth Club

    Posted by Melissa Van Blarcom on 3/20/2020

    By Rosemary D. Hoffmann, founder of LPS Earth Club

    I was raised on 20 acres of gardens, fields, and woods. We spent hours and hours playing in the woods. My parents were both horticulturists, so we learned the names of the trees, flowers, and other plants. Our vacations were camping, in a tent and later in a pop-up trailer. Our activities included walking through the woods, going to the beach, and scouring the evening beach at low tide.

    I have been a tree hugger since the first Earth Day in 1970 when I was in college. My household has recycled for as long as I can remember. Since I’ve had my own home, we have used cloth napkins and very few paper towels.

    When I taught 2nd or 4th grades, we always celebrated Earth Day with fun activities that the National Wildlife Federation supplied, and took them outdoors when possible. I thought about starting an environmental club but felt that the primary grades were too young.

    When I was transferred to the middle school, I got permission to start a club. I spoke to the students in both lunches briefly about the club which I saw as learning about and caring for the environment.

    My first meeting had maybe 10 to 15 kids. The second meeting had only 5th graders—the youngest grade in the building. But there were maybe eight to ten kid who were very interested. I figured that they would make a good beginning and that we’d get more kids from each incoming 5 th grade. We needed a name for the club. One day, the kids started before I got there. They had EARTH written on the chalkboard and had gotten as far as Environmental Association for. . . Together we came up with the rest. The Environmental Association for Restoring Terrestrial Health. Or EARTH Club.

    Andover Township always had an annual road clean-up so we always participated in that. One year we were able to get a bus to take us to Sandy Hook to participate in the International Coastal Cleanup.

    We sold T-shirts each year for a company who would buy and preserve an acre of rainforest for every 10 shirts that we sold. Each year the company chose a different area of the world. One year it was Madagascar. That same year the Bronx Zoo had a special exhibit on Madagascar! So we raised some money and made a trip to the zoo where we got to see in person the animals we were working to save.

    When I heard that bottle caps were being thrown away instead of being collected, the Club began collecting them. We made a mural of the ocean out of the bottle caps.

    After the school built an addition, we discovered that there was a large courtyard that was completely surrounded. There could be no deer, ground hogs, or even rabbits in there. Monika, who had joined me in leading the Club by then, and I both thought the courtyard would be a great place for a garden. I presented the idea to the Club and they also thought it was a great idea. So, with the administration’s support and lots of help from the custodial staff, we took some unused cinderblocks and built a raised bed garden in the courtyard. We purchased and had donated tools, soil, coir, and everything we needed. By then the Club was larger so I formed a committee who went through the Burpee Catalog and picked out what seeds to by. They picked out red, yellow, orange, and purple carrots, round, white cucumbers, and other fun varieties of vegetables. For the summer, I assigned students a week to care for the garden. That way, if it rained one day, they knew they didn’t have to go. They weeded when necessary and were allowed to harvest and  take home anything that was ready during their week.

    The next school year, we built a second bed and planted strawberries, raspberries, and a few blueberry bushes. At one point, we were able to share some raw vegetables with the whole school during their lunch periods. We did some other “educational” activities throughout the school year.

    When I started the club, I wanted to share my love of the environment with the kids so they would continue to take care of it. I hope I succeeded.

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  • Sustainable Jersey for Schools/NJEA Grant Update

    Posted by Melissa Van Blarcom on 3/13/2020 4:00:00 PM

    Today was a very special day at both FMB and LPS, as our Green Team custodians installed a brand new water fountain/bottle refill station in each school.

    Thanks to our grant award from Sustainable Jersey for Schools and NJEA, we purchased a new station for each school, and enough filters to last 3 years! This will continue to provide our students with clean drinking water as they learn about the importance of reducing plastic waste and litter.

    Thank you Sustainable Jersey for Schools, NJEA, and our district Green Team!

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