Pilot Program



An opportunity exists to take the global problem of waste, and find local solutions that work in Connecticut. The Zero Waste Fellowship Pilot Program, is an effort to crowd source innovative ideas and implement programs and practices that will provide environmental education, encourage food rescue, food scrap composting, increase recycling rates, minimize trash, and reduce material costs in our schools. The program will provide Connecticut students and teachers the opportunity to submit zero waste applications to this new program. Select applicants will receive funding to implement metric-driven initiatives.

School teams, made up of between two and five students and a minimum of one faculty member, who are enthusiastic about eliminating waste and creating a positive impact on the environment, will research, develop and put in to place, an initiative that solves an aspect of waste at their school. The teams can develop one of the suggested initiatives provided in the Fellowship resources section, or create an original initiative. The 10 schools selected for the pilot will receive funding to support their initiative.

Once fellowships have been awarded and the initiatives completed, teams will present their completed projects to the Fellowship Operating Board, at a public presentation in Kroon Hall at Yale. Each member of the winning team will receive a scholarship.

Benefits to Students

  1. Have an opportunity to spearhead their own initiative
  2. Help students learn power of collaboration
  3. Students will develop habits to dispose of waste, that they will hold through adult years

4. Provides leadership development opportunity for students

Benefits to Schools

  1. School community works toward common goal
  2. Promote culture of sustainability in schools – shift attitudes
  3. The shared responsibility for sustainability can increase the essence of community in schools
  4. Schools who take on initiative can become environmental leaders in the state
  5. Receive funds to create cost-neutral programs that benefit society
  6. Creates innovative processes around materials management that is greatly needed in our schools

Benefits to the Community at Large

  1. Lay groundwork for other businesses/institutions to achieve zero waste
  2. Through students sharing knowledge and resources at home and with family members, it will change the way families in the community view and process waste.

Benefits to the Environment

  1. In Connecticut, we burn trash to harness energy, which releases harsh chemicals into the environment. Less waste = less trash to burn.
  2. Demand for paper products increases deforestation. Less waste of paper, then, can help save more trees.
  3. Decrease in emissions