Leaders from the city of Rochester Hills pose for a photo with Recyclebank grant winners from Rochester Community Schools during a previous grant cycle.

Leaders from the city of Rochester Hills pose for a photo with Recyclebank grant winners from Rochester Community Schools during a previous grant cycle.

Photo provided by Rochester Community Schools and the city of Rochester Hills

Rochester Hills residents recycle to support green projects at local schools

Recyclebank members can donate points to support school projects through May 4

By: Mary Beth Almond | Rochester Post | Published April 20, 2023


ROCHESTER HILLS — Seven schools in the Rochester Community Schools district are hoping local recyclers will help them secure a Green Schools grant.

This year, seven RCS schools applied for grants through Recyclebank’s Green Schools Program — which allows recycling program users to donate points that Recyclebank transfers into dollars to help schools implement projects that encourage or support sustainable practices.

Through May 4, Recyclebank Rewards Program members, like those in Rochester Hills, can donate their reward points to help earn up to a $2,500 grant for each school.

Debi Fragomeni, RCS’s deputy superintendent for teaching and learning, said the Rochester Community PTA Council and Green Schools chairs work together with school administrators each year to identify projects, complete applications and champion initiatives to help make the planet greener.

“We are truly grateful for their collaborative efforts, along with our Rochester Hills community partners who donate their Recyclebank points to help fund green projects in our schools,” Fragomeni said in an email.

Stoney Creek High School hopes to secure the funding to integrate houseplants into its classrooms so “both students and staff can enjoy the benefits and the beauty of the plants.” School officials said plants not only improve air quality, but they can also “reduce anxiety, support mental health, and improve concentration and memory.”

Hart Middle School is looking to purchase a worm farm to aerate the soil and to aid in the breakdown of compost. School officials said worm castings will provide necessary nutrients for flowering plants that shelter and produce nectar for butterflies.

West Middle School is seeking a grant to further build on its chicken raising project, which began last year. The funding would help provide additional materials to accommodate the growth of the project, which allows students in science class to raise baby chicks each year.

Long Meadow Elementary School is hoping to plant a Michigan native pollinator garden to teach students about Michigan native plants and their importance to the environment. School officials said the pollinator garden will not only add outdoor space to learn about nature, biodiversity and sustainability, but it will nurture birds and pollinators, such as the monarch butterfly.

Meadow Brook Elementary is hoping to secure funding to decrease its contribution to landfills and greenhouse gas emissions by extending its cafeteria recycling program to include organics collection.

North Hill Elementary School is seeking a grant to create a pollinator and bird-friendly garden, with the goal of providing food and a habitat for insects and birds, as well as raising awareness of native plants.

Delta Kelly Elementary School is looking to add recycle bins to its lunchroom for additional recycling opportunities.

To date, Recyclebank’s Green Schools program has given over $132,000 to Rochester Community Schools.

“We feel honored to contribute to Rochester Community Schools, the teachers, and the programs they create that support and maintain our mutual goal of bettering the planet,” Recyclebank’s Ben Bower said in a statement.

Rochester Hills was the first city in Michigan to offer the Recyclebank program to its residents, and residents who registered online have been collecting points since the program’s inception in 2009. Radio frequency identification chips record the weight of the 65-gallon Recyclebank carts at curbside during pickup, and that number is then translated into recycling reward points for each homeowner. The points can be donated to a local school to help fund a green project. Recyclebank gives the schools $1 for every 250 points donated, up to $2,500.

Rochester Hills residents who are not already Recyclebank members can sign up by visiting www.recyclebank.com and following the prompts to set up an account and verify their home address.

To learn more about the projects and donate, visit greenschoolsprogram.com.