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Dr. Gregg Maloberti

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By Claire Walla

The interim head of the Ross School who will officially take over for current Head of School Michele Claeys when she leaves the position this July.



You’ve been in the admissions department at various private schools for many years, currently serving as dean of admissions and financial aid at Lawrenceville School in New Jersey. How easily do you see yourself transitioning into the role of interim head of school at Ross?

The things I did [as dean of admissions] — like changing the student composition and creating new summer programs to make it easier for new kids to transition into the school — those were systemic changes. I did these things in concert with lots of different issues, all really with the mind that I would eventually like to run a school one day.


What’s one of the challenges you think a head of school faces these days?

Understanding what kind of curriculum is needed today. If you want to train doctors, lawyers and businessmen, then you know what to do. But what if we’re talking about graduating the people who are going to invent the next version of the Internet, or — who knows — interplanetary travel? You’re going to need a different kind of education, one that’s not so focused on set boundaries.


What’s one specific task you’ll have to tackle when you officially come onboard at Ross in July?

The school is now 20 years old, so one of the first things we’ll be doing is looking at the next decade, hopefully the next 100 years. It’s time to think about how the school can become sustainable over time.

The second priority is the boarding program. It’s brand new, so we’re looking to figure out how that boarding program can grow.


With the whole world at your fingertips, where do you even begin?

Strategically, we look at areas around the world that have an interest in boarding schools and have elementary and middle schools that can [prepare] kids leaving them [for boarding school abroad].


I know there are currently a lot of students from China. Do you try to balance where the students come from?

There is a disproportionate number of students at Ross from China. But, for one thing, Ross has just introduced a Mandarin program K-12, so it was the school’s initiative to get some kids who speak Mandarin on the campus. The other thing is that China is the newest big market for boarding schools.

You’ve alluded to the fact that a lot of boarding schools are taking in a lot of Chinese students. But, are they doing more than just filling their beds? A lot of them aren’t. Because Ross has a mission to create a sense of globalism, Chinese history is an active part of the academic curriculum.

Just this February, 100 kids from Ross actually went to China for M-terms.


At the end of the school year you’ll officially make the move from New Jersey to Long Island. Are you excited to move to the East End?

Thrilled! I don’t want to get on that bandwagon of dissing New Jersey, but… I’m interested in being in a location that’s naturally beautiful [laughs]. The clean air, the sunshine — it’s paradise!

Private Carters Make Efforts to Recycle

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By Claire Walla

When the East End said goodbye to on-site landfills more than a decade ago, dumping habits inevitably changed. Instead of carting materials to a central location locally where they were either recycled or put into the ground, transfer stations were set up to collect residents’ unwanted debris and truck it elsewhere.

According to a draft of Southampton Town’s newest waste management plan, 50 percent of those using the town transfer stations do recycle — this is reportedly better than the national average of 30 percent. However, only 15 percent of Southampton Town residents are estimated to use town transfer stations.

So, what happens to the other 85 percent?

“Most of the waste is going directly through private carters,” explained New York State Assemblyman Fred Thiele, Jr., which makes it difficult for the town to regulate.

Mickey Valcich, of Mickey’s Carting, Corp. in Montauk, which services Sag Harbor and other parts of the East End, claimed Mickey’s does in fact recycle. However, his company’s recycling efforts do not require homeowners to separate materials.

“We don’t separate collections,” he explained. “Because [Eastern Resource Recycling] has a system where they sort the garbage there. They run the garbage across a conveyor belt and pull out all the recycling.”

Valcich said all waste materials and recyclables are taken to the Eastern Resource Recycling facility in Yaphank.

For Sag Harbor owned Suburban Sanitation, the situation is a little different. While the company also takes much of its debris to Eastern Resource Recycling, owner Ralph Ficorelli said cardboard and newspaper are taken to Gershow Recycling in Medford. Because the materials need to be separated-out to be taken to two separate facilities, he said his company runs on a bi-weekly recycling schedule.

Every Thursday, Ficorelli said the company rotates between picking up bundled newspapers and cardboard one week, and then co-mingled products (glass, plastic and tin) the next.

“Most people are great,” Ficorelli said. “They either have bins marked recyclables, or it’s separated from their other stuff.” He estimated that between 50 to 75 percent of his clientele make an active effort to distinguish recyclables from regular rubbish, though that’s just a ballpark estimate.

For the rest of the households on his company’s pick-up route, those that don’t actively recycle, Ficorelli said that doesn’t necessarily mean recyclable materials are simply discarded.

Just as Mickey Valcich explained, Ficorelli said that much of the debris taken to Eastern Resource Recycling is placed on a giant conveyor belt, where employees pick through materials, separating out all the recyclables.

Whether or not everything gets separated out from the rest of the trash heap, Ficorelli said he wasn’t sure. “It depends,” he said. “A lot of the material they put on the picking belt is loose material. They run [the garbage] through a trommel, which actually does break open a lot of the bags,” he explained.

“I don’t know what the average is, but [the pickers] make a valiant attempt to recycle whatever they can,” he added.

Both Ficorelli and Valcich said they do not get paid for any of their scrap material (though Ficorelli said Gershow does pay for newspaper and cardboard material). However, they don’t have to pay tipping fees for recyclables, because Eastern Resource Recycling can turn those products around and sell them for a profit.

“We’re basically just happy to get rid of them at no cost,” Ficorelli said.

While materials like glass and plastic may not be very valuable here in the U.S., these materials can be separated out and sold internationally. According to www.recycleinme.com— which lists current market prices for various scrap materials — the price of plastics in China, for example, is roughly three times the market price in the U.S.

As part of its new waste management plan, which is regulated by the state Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), Southampton Town is being required to gather information from private carters regarding their recycling habits. This will give the town a better idea of where all its waste is going.

However, Assemblyman Thiele said even with this information, the town would not necessarily have the authority to regulate it.

“It makes it difficult to enforce these recycling goals, because [the town] doesn’t really have control over the waste stream,” he explained.

Thiele said the town will have to re-shift its priorities in order to truly be able to regulate and control its solid waste. When the landfill was shut-down, Thiele said the town took a good hard look at alternatives to waste disposal, including building a waste-management plant or a recycling facility. But instead, he said, the town took “the path of least resistance.”

Thiele continued, “My guess is that less waste is being recycled today.”