Portantino Bill Inspired by the Glendale Environmental Coalition Passes Senate Education Committee

Wednesday, April 27 2022

For Immediate Release: April 27, 2022

Contact: Lerna Shirinian, (818) 409-0400


Portantino Bill Inspired by the Glendale Environmental Coalition Passes Senate Education Committee

Sacramento, CA - Senate Bill 1255, a measure introduced by Senator Anthony J. Portantino (D – La Cañada Flintridge) which seeks to reduce waste in K–12 schools and community colleges, passed the Senate Education Committee today.  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.

“California needs to step up efforts to reduce single-use waste in our schools and installing commercial dishwashers can pave the way for safe and reusable food ware,” stated Senator Portantino. “SB 1255 helps implement effective and creative solutions to eliminating single-use waste, which also teaches students 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 dishwashers, we can go old school and be environmentally friendly.”

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 can last 15 years, providing significant savings over time and offsetting waste management costs that are expected to rise in the near future.

SB 1255 would establish the Dishwasher Grant Program for Waste Reduction in K–12 Schools and Community Colleges and would be administered by the Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery. The Department would provide grants to school districts, charter schools, and community college districts for the purchase and installation of commercial dishwashers at the school sites and campuses. 

 “SB 1255 would open the path to install a commercial dish machine to schools and community colleges across our state and provide the means for both cost savings and a huge reduction of waste,” stated Monica Campagna, Campus Caretaker at Franklin Elementary in Glendale. “A lack of dishwashing equipment is the single biggest barrier to making the switch to reusable, and few schools in California currently have them.  I've seen for myself the many positive changes a dishwasher in a cafeteria can make, and I wish this for every school and community college across our state.”

SB 1255 would require the Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery to award grants of up to $40,000 per kitchen of a school or campus and to develop administrative guidelines for implementation of the program. The bill would 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, the Office of the Chancellor of the California Community Colleges, or other relevant state agencies for purposes of the program. Finally, SB 1255 would make the implementation of these provisions contingent upon an appropriation by the Legislature in the annual Budget Act or another statute.