Portantino Bill Inspired by the Glendale Environmental Coalition Passes Senate Floor

Thursday, May 26 2022

For Immediate Release: May 26, 2022

Contact: Lerna Shirinian, (818) 409-0400


Portantino Bill Inspired by the Glendale Environmental Coalition Passes Senate Floor

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 Floor.  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 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 go old school and be green while doing it,” stated Senator Portantino.  “It’s time 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.  I am very grateful to the Glendale Environmental Coalition for suggesting the bill idea and its creative solutions to eliminating single-use waste while we teach students the value of conservation and environmental protection.”

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 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 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 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, the Office of the Chancellor of the California Community Colleges, or other relevant state agencies for purposes of the program.

“Converting from single use to reusable washable service ware will drastically reduce our state's single use plastics and polystyrene waste,” stated Karen Hare Neilsson, Franklin Elementary PTA member GUSD & Co-Founder GREEN LUNCHROOM.  “Until now, a lack of funding available for this specific kitchen equipment purchase and installation has prevented most schools from making this necessary change due to the significant up front cost.  We have seen firsthand the huge positive difference the dishwasher program has made at Franklin Elementary. We want to share that with the rest of California."