Energy: Phase 3 Solar Panel Project – November Update

Summary  of the estimated dates of construction of Phase 3 Solar Panel Project at Newton schools. Please note that dates are still subject to change depending upon a number of factors.

Source:  Facilities Updated to the School Committee on Nov 18, 2019   

1. Zervas and Education Center roof projects have started and will be completed by the end of the year.

2. North High School parking canopies. There are two canopies being constructed, one at Lowell Avenue and one at Walnut Street. This will be done in two phases with foundation work done mostly during the April 2020 School Break and the installation of the canopies during the summer. This proposed schedule should greatly minimize alternative parking as was originally foreseen.
– The foundations will be built over the spring break week. The Lowell Ave work will spill over into the two weeks after spring break. The Walnut Street work will be done before students
return from spring break. There’s a plan for alternative parking for these two spillover weeks.
– The canopies and solar panels will be erected during the summer 2020 and alternative parking is not anticipated at this point.

3. Cabot, Carr, and Angier roof projects are currently schedule for the spring. A specific schedule will be provided when available. These roof projects will be done with minimal disruption to school activities. Material will be craned to the roofs on a Saturday and will be out of the way once they are on the roof. Materials will be on site for a few days before craning but we will coordinate with the Facilities Department to place these materials in an acceptable location while they wait for craning.

4. Education Center parking canopies are planned for the spring.

According to Mayor Fuller, “Solar panels are currently being installed on the roof of
the Zervas Elementary School. When the solar array comes online in December, it will provide 42 percent of the school’s electricity.”

Zervas Solar Panels 2019

Organics Collection Pilot in Newton Schools

Original post from Green Cart Chronicle Summer 2019 Edition – 

In January 2019, organics collection was launched in the cafeteria of two Newton schools, Angier Elementary School and Zervas Elementary School. Each lunch period, students sort their waste into three categories of waste: trash, recycling, and organics. Organic material includes food waste, napkins, and other compostable material.

The organic material is hauled from the schools by a vendor to Charlestown, MA. The Charlestown facility turns the food waste into a slurry that is then anaerobically digested at a wastewater treatment facility. Anaerobic digestion is a process through which the organic material mass is reduced, producing methane gas, which is then used to generate energy. Solids remaining after anaerobic digestion are composted. DPW is working with NPS to add organics diversion in up to 12 more schools in the 2019-2020 school year.


Composting is a natural degradation process. The breakdown of organic matter occurs over time from exposure to oxygen, moisture, and naturally occurring bacteria. The result of the process is a humus material called compost.

Anaerobic digestion is a biological process by which microorganisms break down biodegradable material in the absence of oxygen, producing carbon dioxide and methane gas. The process is used for industrial or domestic purposes to reduce waste solids and produce renewable fuel that can be captured and used, offsetting the use of fossil fuels and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The remaining solids are then composted.

Come Hear What Newton Students are Doing for the Environment on May 20

Please join Students for a Greener World showing how they are contributing to the sustainability of Newton and beyond. Highlighted will be:

  • Angier Elementary School’s Cafeteria Recycling & Composting
  • Oak Hill Middle School’s Global Goals Exhibition
  • Newton South High School’s Capstone Healthy Landscaping Project
  • Newton North High School’s Student Climate March
  • SGW’s community environmental outreach

Following these presentation and the Students for a Greener World (SGW) Wild Boar Awards, Green Newton will present the 2019 Green Newton Environmental Leadership Awards to the following recipients:

  • Individual: Andy Gluck
  • Local Organization: The Newton Citizens Commission on Energy
  • City Department:  Newton’s Public Buildings Department and Design Review Committee
  • Green Newton Special Appreciation Award: Ira Krepchin


Event: Monday, May 20 at 7pm at the Newton Free Library (330 Homer St. Newton)

From: Green Newton