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City of Yonkers and Yonkers Public Schools Eliminate Use of Polystyrene Food Trays in Schools

Post Date:06/18/2019 12:29 PM
Mayor's News
recyclable school lunch trays

YONKERS, NY – June 18, 2019 -- Mayor Mike Spano, along with Trustees from the Yonkers Board of Education and Superintendent of Schools Dr. Edwin M. Quezada, today announced Yonkers Public Schools has replaced all of its polystyrene (known as Styrofoam) food trays with 100% recyclable food trays.

As of March 2019, all 40 Yonkers Public Schools eliminated the use of polystyrene trays, which are produced using fossil fuels and carcinogenic compounds, including Styrene and Benzene. Polystyrene does not biodegrade and pollutes air and waterways.

The transition to recyclable trays comes at the suggestion of Mayor Spano’s Yonkers Green City Advisory Committee which provides guidance and recommendations to the city on ways to create a healthier, more vibrant and attractive city by prioritizing energy and sustainability initiatives.

“I want to thank the Green City Advisory Committee and Office of Sustainability for their insight and recommendation to the Yonkers Public Schools on how we can continue to provide greener, more sustainable materials and services in our schools,” said Mayor Spano. “Together with Yonkers Public Schools, we are leading by example and teaching our young people how they too can be better stewards of the environment.”

“Wherever possible the Trustees look for ways to encourage the use of environmentally safe products throughout the District.  The work of the Mayor’s Yonkers Green City Advisory Committee has focused the entire City on this important initiative, we are happy to do our part,” stated Rev. Steve Lopez, President, Yonkers Board of Education.

“The biodegradable compostable five-compartment circular trays are sturdy and easier for small hands to carry,” noted Superintendent of Schools Dr. Edwin M. Quezada.  “The environmental benefits of these new trays will last generations. Thank you to our Food Services team for seamlessly transitioning the trays and continuing to work towards better sustainable solutions for our students.”

Yonkers’ Office of Sustainability Director and Chair of the Yonkers Green City Advisory Committee, Jason Baker, commented, "The removal of millions of polystyrene foam trays from our school cafeterias is a sensible initiative to help eliminate a major source of pollution and provides a valuable learning opportunity for students to understand the importance of taking simple environmental actions now to protect our future. The Yonkers Green City Advisory Committee commends Mayor Spano and Superintendent Quezada for their continued leadership in protecting the health of our city and students."

Yonkers Public Schools use approximately 2 million food service trays annually.

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