Reposted from Annie White's Resource Strategies Blog, Advancing Sustainable Solutionswww.resourcestrategiesconsulting.com
New York City has issued a request for bids for compostable plates used to serve over 150 million meals per year in New York City public school cafeterias. [i]
The resulting contract will be available for use by school districts that are members of the Urban School Food Alliance, including: Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, Orange County and Miami-Dade County school districts. Combined, these school districts serve ~2.6 million meals daily and procure more than $530 million in food and food supplies annually.[ii]
The bid is for a five year contract.
Key aspects of the specification include[iii]
- 5 compartments able to hold 5 meal components
- Center compartment able to hold a ½ pint milk carton or bottle.
- Round or oval shapes for compartments are acceptable
- Prefer no pre-consumer materials used and where possible made entirely from one primary material such as sugarcane, post- consumer paper, wheat, etc.
- Must be food safe for all type and varieties of food and have FDA GRAS certification for food contact.
- Must not have a wax or plastic coating (polypropylene)[iv]
- Must be sturdy and durable, able to endure hot and cold food without seepage. Water proof and minor oil proof.
- All components of the product must be 100% certified compostable.
- Tested by a Biodegradable Products Institute certified lab and shown to be compliant with ASTM D6868.
The solicitation notes that the NYC Department of Education Food Program
includes frozen foods, fresh produce, snack, grocery and non-food related cafeteria items, dairy, and baked goods. It also suggests that vendor familiarize themselves with food items served in the National School Food Lunch Program to better meet the needs of the districts.Opportunity for Recyclable and Compostable Trays
While the solicitation specifies compostable trays, there is an opportunity to create trays that are both compostable and recyclable to provide greater choice regarding waste management options for each district. Cafeteria Culture
an organization which has been instrumental in creating the shift toward zero waste school cafeterias in New York City has implemented the flip, tap, stack method of sorting which results in a clean, sorted stream of trays. Separating the trays in this way produces a stream of trays that can then be sent to a recycling or composting facility depending on the local infrastructure and the suitability of the design of the tray for recycling.
Please watch Cafeteria Culture’s video to see how it works:
How to Apply
Bids are due Nov. 19th at 4:00pm. A pre-bid conference will be held on Nov. 4th at 2:30pm.
The solicitation and requirements can be downloaded from the vendor portal here: https://vendorportal.nycenet.edu[i]
Combined breakfasts, lunches, snacks, and dinners.[ii]
Urban School Food Alliance Celebrates One Year. July 15, 2013. Food Management.http://food-management.com/k-12-schools/urban-school-food-alliance-celebrates-one-year[iii]
Please download the solicitation for detailed specifications including dimension, thickness, etc.[iv]
Polypropylene is the only plastic coating explicitly specified in the specification included in the solicitation.
During the past school year, our Cafeteria Culture team, volunteers, and student Cafeteria Rangers have worked hard and witnessed fantastic changes.
- We advocated for banning plastic-foam (polystyrene) trays and to-go containers, parading our giant NO-STYRO PUPPETS to show the public and elected officials what school garbage data actually looks like!
- We designed and taught K-5th grade curriculum, including stewardship, the how with the why of waste reduction, and how design, consumption & disposal choices connect to Climate Change.
- We collaborated at all levels, learning from students and school staff, then sharing valuable on-the-ground information with city and federal government agencies.
- We led student prototyping workshops; assisted with the piloting of new lunch trays, waste sorting stations, signage, and composting; and we surveyed students.
Our work has sparked a tremendous forward momentum, influencing policy and solid waste management citywide!
(** scroll to the bottom to read what NYC School Chancellor Walcott has said about our work)
- NYC's 860,000 plastic-foam (polystyrene) school lunch trays used per day are on their way out!
- The city announced plans to roll out composting of all food waste in all 1700 public schools by Fall 2014.
- Schools and residents can now recycle all rigid plastics, including cafeteria sporks!
Thank you Mayor Bloomberg, NYC Department of Education and Department of Sanitation for significantly decreasing our carbon and methane producing school garbage and creating assets with recyclable materials and composted food scraps!
Yet, with all the new procedures, bins, and signage on the way, two essential components for successfully reducing school garbage are missing: Student ENGAGEMENT and EDUCATION!
and help us to complete Phase 1 of our MULTI-MEDIA TOOLKIT, How to Set-up the Cafeteria Ranger Program,
so we can share this with all
schools, regardless of resources, next school year!
The Cafeteria Waste Reduction
- "how-to" peer-to-peer video shorts
- downloadable signs and badges
- scheduling templates
- companion lesson plans
The TOOLKIT will provide schools with all the resources needed to implement a successful Cafeteria Ranger program on their own.
The CafCu team and friends gathered April 19th to accept the EPA Region 2 Environmental Quality Award.
WE HAVE SO MUCH GREAT NEWS!
- NYC School Food and 5 of the largest US school districts announced a new school food alliance to co-purchase higher quality trays and food while driving down cost. This 6-city purchasing power will eliminate 2.9 million plastic foam trays used per day, replacing them with biodegradable ware!
- Mayor Bloomberg has proposed a citywide ban on all plastic foam to-go containers and cups in NYC!
- And, just in time for Earth Day, Cafeteria Culture will receive a US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Environmental Quality Award!!
We are thrilled to be recognized by the EPA for contributing significantly to improve the environment. We thank everyone who has helped us to achieve this amazing success.
After four years of catalyzing innovative pilots, educating school communities, creating cutting edge media, taking giant puppets to the streets, and plain ol’ persistence,we are closer than ever to completely eliminating toxic and polluting plastic foam food containers from our schools, our incinerators, and our lives!
Cafeteria Waste Reduction
At PS 20 in Manhattan's Lower East Side, we trained student Cafeteria Rangers, who reduced their cafeteria garbage bags from 14 to 4 on the very first day!
Stay tuned for our multi-media Toolkit. We are working very hard, so we can share our successful program with all schools ASAP.
With sincere gratitude,
The CafCu Team
Debby Lee, Atsuko, Diana, Brianna, and Josh
Great news! EPA, Region 2 has selected Cafeteria Culture as one of their Environmental Quality Award winners for 2013.
We are sincerely grateful for the honor.
Each year, EPA recognizes those who have demonstrated an outstanding commitment to
protecting and enhancing environmental quality and public health.
The Environmental Quality Award is the highest recognition presented to the public by EPA.
Award recipients come from all sectors of our community, including businesses, government, non-profit,
environmental, and community groups, individual citizens, and environmental educators.
Excerpt from award announcement letter.
You can learn more about EPA Region 2 and the Environmental Quality Award at EPA.gov
The ARTS+ACTION Cafeteria Waste Reduction Residency at PS 221 has been a huge success! Here are a few pictures of the amazing creations 5th graders have been working on over the past few months. More pictures and a video coming soon!
The Ninja, Planet Protector
Litter-ina, the Littering Ballerina
Today the CafCu team is in Crown Heights Brooklyn with students at PS221. 5th graders are continuing work in CafCu's ARTS+ACTION Program
, where they are about to start construction on puppets made from used plastic foam lunch trays. This project is especially timely, because the school does not currently have a full-time art teacher due to budget cuts.
In the photo, a student explains her puppet design idea to the class. Students' design presentations follow a group socratic discussion that explores why plastic foam is good and why it is bad, as well as the life cycle of plastics.
Their discussion lead to the creation of several anti-hero charaters, expressed by one student as a split-faced design, called "Dos". She tells the class that the two sides represent the good and bad aspects of using plastic foam in the cafeteria.
Puppet design and construction is an amazingly interdisciplinary project. On top of bridging the divide between climate change and cafeteria waste, this program utilizes art, personal expression, language arts, data analysis, and personal ethics. Students are developing teamwork skills, listening to others, and making memorable connections to ELA and math. Go PS221!
Stay tuned for more updates about the ARTS+ACTION Project
Two weeks ago, I asked a 5th grade class in Crown Heights, Brooklyn, “ Can anyone give an example of a Change Maker in their own family?”
One student proudly told how he recently taught his mother to recycle. A second student explained how she convinced her father to set up a recycling station at home, sharing with him why this is important for the world. A third student shared a similar story, thrilled that he sold the idea of recycling and waste sorting to his grandmother!
We are impacting children’s lives!
Our ARTS+ACTION Cafeteria Waste Reduction program is empowering students to be citizen problem-solvers, design detectives, and environmental leaders, the skills needed for ensuring innovation of climate smart solutions. We are creating an environmental education model for NYC and the nation.
Due to recent budget cuts, these 5th graders have no art teacher and are soaking up this opportunity to be creative and to be a part of meaningful change! Our ARTS+ACTION curriculum has double the meaning.
-Debby Lee Cohen, Director
Debby Lee Cohen talks Flip, Tap, Stack.
Right now, we are leading our ARTS+ACTION Cafeterira Waste Reduction program at PS 221 in Crown Heights, Brooklyn, training K-5th graders to be the Cafeteria Rangers. These student stewards oversee all cafeteria recycling and composting!
We are also teaching our Make Change Messaging workshop to 5th graders, whic is especially meaningful at PS 221. Due to budget cuts, this school has no art teacher. Students are designing prototypes for new school lunch tray and will soon be constructing giant puppets based on data collected from their own cafeteria!
Our program is not only generating school wide excitement for environmental stewardship, but is also providing students with the opportunity to creatively make change! But, we have only received half the funding for this program. Your tax-deductible donation will have an immediate impact!
With your generous support, we can teach our ARTS+ACTION program at more schools, and complete our multi-media ARTS+ACTION TOOLKIT to share on-line for all schools to benefit from.
This past spring, with stunning results, Cafu piloted our Cafeteria Waste Reduction Project at the Neighborhood School and PS 63 in the East Village. Within several weeks only, we empowered students to be the Stewards of their cafeteria and facilitated an arts-based messaging workshop, resulting in a reduction of cafeteria garbage from 9 bags per day to a mere ¾ ‘s of a bag per day. ALL food waste was composted locally, completely eliminating the need for polluting trucks to haul food waste and reducing NYC’s out-of-state landfill bound garbage, waste hauling costs, and green house gas emissions! Thank you to all the students and staff at both schools for supporting this effort and to East 12th Street's Children's Garden for helping us to make local food composting a reality!
NYC Department of Sanitation
Commissioner John Doherty recently announced plans to expand a Compost Pilot Program to 20 public schools in the fall! This great news came at a ceremony honoring D3 Green Schools and District 3 School Food and Custodial staff, who participated in a D3 Composting Pilot, a result of a private-public partnership that was initiated by Cafeteria Culture (CafCu)/SOS!
In September 2011, CafCu suggested a public school cafeteria-composting pilot to IESI and introduced the private carting company to public school parents through our EPA hosted info-sharing meetings. A successful pilot was born! The D3 Composting Pilot resulted in the diversion of 450 pounds of food waste per day from our landfills, reducing cafeteria garbage by 85%! Manhattan schools PS 89 -The Liberty School and PS 40 also participated in IESI tray composting pilots, dramatically reducing their school cafeteria landfill bound garbage.
THANK YOU parents from D3 Green Schools, PS89, and PS 40; students and school staff from all participating schools; IESI; EPA Region 2; Global Green; and NYC Department of Education Offices of SchoolFood, Sustainability, and Facilities.
IT TAKES A VILLAGE TO MAKE CHANGE!