GEC is proud to have helped initiate and to co-sponsor Senator Portantino’s SB 1255! Grant Funding for Dishwashers for K-12 Schools to reduce single-use cafeteria waste and related costs

Inspired by the successful pilot of a dishwasher installation and conversion to reusable foodware at Franklin Elementary (GUSD), GEC collaborated with GREEN LUNCHROOM and local waste reduction advocates from Burbank Eco Council, BAN SUP, 301 Organics, PTA Green Lunchroom Committee, and others, to craft a proposal that is now being championed by Senator Anthony Portantino!

SB 1255 Updated Fact Sheet (August, 2022)

SB 1255 As Amended

SB 1255 Senate Analysis – August 30, 2022

PRESS RELEASE

Portantino Dishwasher Bill Inspired by the Glendale Environmental Coalition Headed to the Governor’s Desk

Wednesday, August 31 2022

For Immediate Release: August 31, 2022
Contact: Lerna Shirinian, (818) 409-0400

Portantino Dishwasher Bill Inspired by the Glendale Environmental Coalition Headed to the Governor’s Desk

Sacramento, CA – Senate Bill 1255, a measure introduced by Senator Anthony J. Portantino (D – Burbank) which seeks to reduce waste in K–12 schools, is headed to the Governor’s desk for signature.  SB 1255 would establish a dishwasher grant program to address the state’s single-use trash and waste crisis.  The idea for the bill was brought to Senator Portantino by members of the Glendale Environmental Coalition.

“It’s time to step up efforts to reduce single-use waste in our schools and installing commercial dishwashers is key to achieving the goal,” stated Senator Portantino.  “I am very grateful to the Glendale Environmental Coalition for suggesting idea for this creative solution to eliminating single-use waste while educating students about the value of conservation and environmental protection.  It turns out we had it right decades ago when schools washed and reused plates, knives, and forks.  With today’s environmentally sound water-efficient dishwashers, we can make a positive impact for this generation and the next.”

Commercial dishwashers use little water, heat to high temperatures for complete sanitation, dry quickly, and are fast and energy efficient, lowering the number of single used products.  Machines have 15-year lifecycle, provide significant financial savings over time and offset waste management costs that continue to rise.

SB 1255 would establish the Dishwasher Grant Program for waste reduction in K–12 schools and would be administered by the Department of Education.  The Department would provide grants to school districts and charter schools for the purchase and installation of commercial dishwashers at the school sites and campuses.

SB 1255 would require the Department of Education to award grants of up to $40,000 per kitchen of a school to develop administrative guidelines for implementation of the program.  The bill would also require the Department to develop materials and conduct outreach to those local educational agencies about the program and authorize them to work with the State Department of Education, or other relevant state agencies for purposes of the program.

“Industrial dishwashers are the key to waste reduction in cafeterias.  SB 1255 provides the funding needed for K-12 schools throughout California to install them, freeing schools to transition their lunchrooms from single-use to reusable food ware,” stated Monica Campagna with the Glendale Environmental Coalition.  “We do not have a bottomless well of resources on this earth.  We must take care of the things we have and use them wisely.  Upgrading to dishwashers and reusables is key to a pivotal shift with multiple environmental and cost benefits.”

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Benjamin Franklin Elementary Pilot Program – The Inspiration!

SB 1255 was inspired by the successful dishwasher pilot program at Benjamin Franklin Magnet Elementary in Glendale. Thanks to the donation of an industrial dishmachine by Hobart, and the ongoing support, including of installation and upgrade costs, by Glendale Unified School District, Franklin was able to substantially cut down on cafeteria waste by ditching the single use spork sets and single-use, compostable trays and moving to reusable trays and silverware.  Not only does this cut down on waste, it cuts down on bag changes by custodial staff, waste hauling charges and ongoing single-use food ware costs. A cost analysis shows a payback period of approximately four years, followed by approximately $7,000 annual savings after that time. And this does not even consider the very real benefits to the students and to the planet! Practicing reuse is an incredibly valuable educational (and life) lesson!

Check out this video to see the impact the dishmachine had at Franklin Elementary in Glendale and meet some of the team of staff and parent volunteers behind the transition!

“Ditch the Disposables”—Center for Environmental Health Webinar

Monica Campagna from GEC & GREEN LUNCHROOM and Michael Bridges from GREEN LUNCHROOM talk about their experiences at Benjamin Franklin Magnet Elementary in Glendale CA. As parents, they worked with a small group on the PTA’s Green Lunchroom Committee to get a dishwasher installed.

Many questions are addressed in this over one-hour presentation.. If you don’t have time to watch it all, see time code below:

00:00-04:58 – Intro
04:58-23:40 – Todd, Dishwasher energy and water usage
23:40-36:50 – Monica & Michael, Getting a dishwasher installed in a school in CA
36:50-42:42 – CA Senate Bill (SB-1255) “The Dishwasher Bill” 2022
42:42-50:49 – Dishjoy dishwashing service

GOOGLE SLIDESHOW: LINK
GEC / Green Lunchroom Presentation Slide Deck ONLY: LINK

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1 Comment

  • byLauren Bier
    Posted March 21, 2022 1:29 am 0Likes

    I support the passage of SB1255, establishing a grant program for K12 schools and community colleges to substantially cut down on cafeteria waste by ditching the single use spork sets and single-use, compostable trays and moving to reusable trays and silverware. A cost analysis shows a payback period of approximately four years, followed by approximately $7,000 annual savings after that time. And this does not even consider the very real benefits to the students and to the planet.

    Passage of this bill will teach kids the value of reuse vs. use once and toss, in addition to reducing expenses for public schools (as documented in multiple case studies). It will also reduce pollution burdens for municipal waste systems across the state and would remove the biggest barrier to schools moving to reusable systems thus far—a lack of dishwashing infrastructure.

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