Staff & Partners

Staff and Partners

Our Staff

Chris Ratcliffe

Is the Co-Director of the RI Schools Recycling Club.
He has worked as a marketing consultant for decades, having spent years in the broadcasting industry. In partnership with the Environment Council of RI Education Fund, Chris spearheaded an effort to divert food waste from RI public schools in 2005. Chris holds a BA degree from Rhode Island College and an MBA from the University of Rhode Island. He is an associate professor at the Community College of Rhode Island and a Lecturer at Bryant University, and occasionally teaches business classes at the RI Adult Correctional Facility in Cranston.

James Corwin

is Co-Director of the RI Schools Recycling Club. Jim’s career spans decades in both radio and marketing. In partnership with the RI Department of Environmental management, he coordinated numerous Earth Day cleanups, promotions and concerts. Along with Chris, Jim launched the RI Schools Recycling Club in 2001. Jim has a BA degree from Union College, and in addition to managing radio stations, served on the board of AS220 for 10 years and is a member of the Wood-Pawcatuck River Association. In 2019, with a grant from The RI Attorney General’s Office, he led a project to measure food waste in RI Schools, and so began a passion to divert it with “Get Food Smart, RI.”

Warren Heyman 

is Organizing Director of the RI Schools Recycling Club. Warren is a recent retiree from UniteHere, the North American union for food service and hospitality workers. While employed at UniteHere he trained workers to organize unions, negotiate union agreements and work with local community and political leaders. Prior to that he was a VISTA volunteer in Worcester and Chelsea Massachusetts where he organized low-income neighborhoods and trained neighborhood leaders to fight for and win improvements.  He is also currently a member of the Cranston Neighborhood Tree Group and the Edgewood/Pawtuxet Village Wildflower group.  He has been married since the early 1980s and has two grown children and a dog.  He loves to go bike riding.

Our Partners

The RI Department of Environmental Management is a partner in the Get Food Smart, RI project. They incorporate the RI Food Strategy to improve local food development initiatives, support programs to eliminate food insecurity, and to reduce food waste. Our partners, Senior Environmental Scientist Michele McCaughey and Sustainable Materials Management Engineer Alyson Brunelli, are leaders in environmental protection in the area of Food Waste Diversion. We are fortunate to have such distinguished experts guiding us in our mission.
The Center for Eco Technology is all about solutions to the problem of wasted food – and they’ve been at it for more than 20 years. CET implemented some of the first composting programs in the country. Their over reaching goal is to show that managing wasted food is critical to address climate change, feed more hungry people and grow the economy. This national leader in Food Waste reduction will create a Sector Spotlight for Get Food Smart, RI working under a grant provided by RI DEM.
ECRI logo
The Environmental Council of Rhode Island Education Fund. Incorporated in 1991 as a separate 501(c)(3) recognized non-profit organization, the Education Fund sponsors research and education to accomplish its mission of Enhancing the Long-Term Stewardship of Rhode Island’s Natural Resources. The goals of the Fund are to create materials and programs designed to educate Rhode Island’s citizens about environmental health and natural resource protection and restoration. We are fortunate to have had the support of ECRI in our recycling initiatives for almost two decades.
Rhode Island Resource Recovery Corporation handles trash and recycling for the entire state. Their 1,040-acre facility in Johnston is home to five operations that process it all, from recyclables to yard debris to household hazardous waste to the trash that fills the landfill. They are happy to give your school a presentation on Food Waste Prevention, as well as a tour of the Materials Recycling Facility and landfill. You might be surprised at how fascinating a place this is!
Located in Pascoag and founded in 1982, My Blue Heaven Farm spans 15 acres, where 3,000 hogs are raised every year. Owner Ronald Vaz believes local food scrap is superior feed and already collects food scrap daily from the thirty-one local public schools in Northern RI. If that sounds great, it is – but Mr. Vaz is eager to add ten more schools! He is ready, willing and able to talk to your school about how easy it is to wipe out hog hunger!
Slaying waste since 2011, Bootstrap Compost is a leading compost pickup service operating throughout Boston, Providence and Worcester. Partnering with local farms, Bootstrap diverts thousands of pounds of organic material from landfills every day. Our farms benefit from our compost in the production of crops while each Bootstrap customer receives a portion of black gold for their own gardening projects. In addition to hauling food scraps from RI schools, Bootstrap’s team conducts “How to Compost” workshops for student Green Teams.
Black Earth Compost is a leading food scrap collection and composting company in Eastern MA & RI. They take compostables that were once destined for either incinerators or landfills and compost the material themselves, returning it to customers and selling it in garden centers. Black Earth Compost is ready to work with Rhode Island schools to haul food scraps away from the Central Landfill and do their part to protect, heal, and strengthen our environment for future generations. 


foodSCAPE is a non-profit dedicated to optimizing the value of food in Rhode Island schools. Founder Diane Calvin has produced a guidance document for Share Table and Food Donation for Schools, which is endorsed by the RI Department of Health and RI Department of Education. We are fortunate to have Ms. Calvin’s practical expertise as we transform our plans into action. She will provide technical assistance with food recovery, share tables, donation and food waste diversion in RI schools.
Earth Care Farm is a commercial composting facility in Charlestown, RI that has been producing quality farm-made compost since 1977. Owner Jane Merner Senecal is a second-generation farmer. Her father Michael Merner began the farm back in 1977, realizing that, “A nourishing soil produces healthy plants, animals, people and planet!” They currently work with Narragansett Elementary School, and are ready to work with your school, too. They welcome school groups to the farm, to demonstrate composting best practices.