Pledge Details


To successfully become a Zero Waste School, Pledge Schools will be required to complete three phases of operational and educational activities (detailed below). Zero Waste Pledge Schools will not be alone on this journey! You will have the support of your fellow pledge schools and consultation with an Office of Sustainability Zero Waste Coordinator. Schools will also have the opportunity to earn recycling infrastructure (classroom bins, cafeteria recycling stations), giveaways, field trips, and opportunities to apply to grants and awards.
All Zero Waste Pledge School activities, including the application, will be hosted on the Zero Waste Schools website:
The DOE Office of Sustainability and DSNY invite your school to take the Pledge! Please submit your application by Friday, October 26th. Selected schools will be notified the week of November 2nd. Please note: Only 25 schools will be selected as pledge schools this year.


Upon completion of Phase 1 benchmarks schools will receive:
  • Classroom recycling bins, provided by DOE Office of Sustainability
  • Recycling decals, provided by DSNY
  • Additional cafeteria recycling stations (if applicable), provided by DOE Office of Sustainability
  • ZWS canvas bag for both pledge applicants, provided by DSNY
Upon completion of Phase 2 benchmarks schools will receive:
  • Zero Waste T-Shirts for Green Team members
  • Lanyards for Green Team members

*** The 1st school at each grade level (elementary, middle, high) to completely submit all Phase 2 Benchmarks is eligible to receive one of the following during the school year:

  • Behind-the-scenes field trip to DSNY facility* (transportation not included)
  • DSNY Costume Character attendance at your school’s Earth Day event*
  • Interview the DSNY Commissioner for your schools newspaper/project /newsletter (High School only)*
  • DSNY truck visit at your school (Touch-a-Truck)*

*Limited dates/pending availability

Upon completion of Phase 3 benchmarks schools will receive:
  • Official Zero Waste Schools status
    • School banner
    • Listing on Zero Waste Schools Website
    • Certificate


Completed Application
Phase 1 Benchmarks
Phase 2 Benchmarks
Phase 3 Benchmarks


  • DSNY Green Team Mini-Grant, Fall: Due on Friday, November 16, 2018 by 5pm.
  • DOE Office of Sustainability Grant: Due on Tuesday, December 11, 2018
  • DSNY Green Team Mini-Grant, Spring: Due on Friday, March 15, 2019 by 5pm.
  • ZWS Contests: Due Friday, May 3, 2019 Apply for:
    • Super Recyclers
    • Team Up to Clean Up
    • Reuse Challenge