Senate Bill #104 (2021)

AN ACT RELATING TO EDUCATION -- SCHOOL WASTE RECYCLING AND REFUSE DISPOSAL

Requires schools to comply with recycling and composting laws and promotes the donation of unspoiled nonperishable food by schools. Requires the use of share tables at all schools.

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Changes since original draft

  • 2021 – S 0104
  • 2021 – S 0104 SUBSTITUTE A
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  • LC000765
  • LC000765/SUB A
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  • S T A T E O F R H O D E I S L A N D
  • IN GENERAL ASSEMBLY
  • JANUARY SESSION, A.D. 2021
  • ____________
  • A N A C T
  • RELATING TO EDUCATION – SCHOOL WASTE RECYCLING AND REFUSE DISPOSAL
  • Introduced By: Senators Valverde, Lawson, Anderson, Bell, and Cano
  • Date Introduced: January 26, 2021
  • Referred To: Senate Environment & Agriculture
  • It is enacted by the General Assembly as follows:
  • SECTION 1. Title 16 of the General Laws entitled "EDUCATION" is hereby amended by adding thereto the following chapter:
  • CHAPTER 110
  • SCHOOL WASTE RECYCLING AND REFUSE DISPOSAL
  • 16-110-1. Legislative findings.
  • The general assembly recognizes and declares that:
  • (1) The people of the state desire to promote a clean and wholesome school environment for our students, teachers, support staff, and school district administrators;
  • (2) A significant percentage of school waste is recyclable;
  • (3)Asignificant percentageofRhodeIslandhouseholdsaresufferingfromfoodinsecurity;
  • (4) Surplus food donations help feed roughly thirteen percent (13%) of Rhode Islanders comprising about fifty-six thousand (56,000) households;
  • (5) Food donations are provided for under Rhode Island and federal good samaritan laws so that businesses are protected from liability when donations are made in good faith;
  • (6) The Rhode Island department of education, Rhode Island department of health, and the United States Department Of Agriculture (USDA) support the recovery for donation of unopened commercially packaged food and whole fruits from school meals in Rhode Island;
  • (7) Any environmentally and economically sound solid waste management system must incorporate recycling and all solid waste capable of being recycled should be recycled;
  • (8) A significant amount of plastics, paper, and electronic equipment is generated as waste in Rhode Island Schools;
  • (9) A sound recycling program for all covered educational entities will best be achieved by cooperation of the Rhode Island resource recovery corporation, the department of environmental management, the Rhode Island department of education, and the cities and towns of the state; and
  • (10) Upon implementation, the program shall reduce food waste and paper waste at meal times and throughout the school day and should be encouraged statewide.
  • 16-110-2. Definitions.
  • As used in this chapter.
  • (1) "Educational entity" means the entire Rhode Island school district including all public and charter schools.
  • (2) "Share tables" means any table, station or refrigerator within a school where school pupils may return approved uneaten wholesome and safe food or beverage items which are then made available to other school pupils for consumption.
  • (3) "Waste audit" means an analysis of a facility's waste stream. The audit can identify what types of recyclable materials and waste a facility generates, how much of each category is recovered for recycling or discarded, and what materials can be composted.
  • 16-110-3. Waste audit/report.
  • (a) On or after January 1, 2022, and every three (3) years thereafter, every educational institution, including, but not limited to, all public and private schools grades kindergarten through twelve (K-12), any charter public school, or any career and technical high school shall coordinate and cooperate with the Rhode Island resource recovery corporation (RIRRC) for the purpose of conducting school waste audits. These audits shall produce waste management reports which shall be collected, maintained, and delivered to all school district school boards, school district principals, school district facility managers, and school district superintendents. Such waste audits shall be performed at every kindergarten through grade twelve (K-12) public, private, charter and vocational school in Rhode Island.
  • (b) Waste audits and any reports required herein shall include guidelines and strategies on reducing waste for each school district to incorporate into their food waste reduction and recycling programs in an effort to eliminate food waste, promote recycling, and provide food to local communities.
  • (c) Educational institutions, using the guidelines and strategies pursuant to subsection (b) of this section, shall design and implement a waste collection system in accordance with applicable state law for the diversion of items including, but not limited to, paper, books, furniture, computers, office supplies, plastic, glass, cardboard and surplus foods.
  • 16-110-1. Definitions.
  • As used in this chapter.
  • (1) "Educational entity" or "educational entities" means all Rhode Island school districts, including a single school district, regional school district, multiple school districts, any public or private school grades kindergarten through twelve (K-12), any charter public school, or any career and technical high school.
  • (2) "Waste audit" means an analysis of a facility's waste stream. The audit can identify what types of recyclable materials and waste a facility generates, how much of each category is recovered for recycling or discarded, and what materials can be composted.
  • 16-110-2. Waste audit/report.
  • (a) On or after January 1, 2022, and every three (3) years thereafter, every educational entityshallcoordinateandcooperatewiththeRhodeIslandresourcerecoverycorporation(RIRRC) for the purpose of conducting school waste audits. These audits shall produce waste management reports which shall be collected, maintained, and delivered to the educational entity. Such waste audits shall be performed at every educational entity.
  • (b) Waste audits and any reports required herein shall include guidelines and strategies on reducing waste for each educational entity to incorporate into their food waste reduction and recycling programs in an effort to eliminate food waste, promote recycling, and provide food to local communities.
  • (c) Educational entities, using the guidelines and strategies pursuant to subsection (b) of this section, shall design and implement a waste collection system in accordance with applicable state law for the diversion of items including, but not limited to, paper, books, furniture, computers, office supplies, plastic, glass, cardboard and surplus foods.
  • (d) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, any waste audit conducted pursuant to this section shall be provided free of charge by the RIRRC.
  • 16-110-4. Food service and refuse disposal.
  • It shall be the policy of the state, the department of education, and any school district thereunder to require that any request for proposal (RFP) to select a food service company (vendor) to providefoodservicestoasingleschool district,regional school district, multipleschool districts, including any public or private school grades kindergarten through twelve (K-12), any charter public school, or any career and technical high school, shall include, as part of its proposal, assurances that the vendor is in compliance with all laws relative to recycling and composting pursuant to chapter 18.9 of title 23; provided that, food waste is separated for diversion within that school district.
  • 16-110-5. Food service – Local sources preferred.
  • It shall be the policy of the state, the department of education and any school district thereunder to encourage that any request for proposal (RFP) to a food service company (vendor) to provide food services to a single school district, regional school district or multiple school districts including any public or private schools grades kindergarten through twelve (K-12), any charter public school, any career and technical high school to encourage the use of a vendor that purchases ten percent (10%) of the required food service product from a Rhode Island-based food service company. In addition, it shall also be the policy of the state, the department of education, and any school district thereunder, to encourage the use of vendors who recycle organic-waste materials at an authorized composting facility, an anaerobic digestion facility, or by another authorized recycling method, regardless of whether the entity purchasing the services is or is not a covered entity or a covered educational institution pursuant to the provisions of § 23-18.9-7.
  • 16-110-6. Food donations by food service companies.
  • (a) It shall be the policy of the state, the department of education and any school district thereunder to require that any request for proposal (RFP) to select a food service company (vendor) to provide food services to a single school district, regional school district or multiple school districts including any public or private schools grades kindergarten through twelve (K-12), any charter public school, or any career and technical high school shall require the vendor to donate any unserved nonperishable or unspoiled perishable food to local food banks or the Rhode Island Food Bank in accordance with the recommendations from the Rhode Island department of health "The Road to End Hunger" initiative.
  • 16-110-3. Food service and refuse disposal.
  • It shall be the policy of the state, the department of education and any educational entity to require that any request for proposal (RFP) to select a food service company (vendor) to provide food services to an educational entity shall include, as part of its proposal, assurances that the vendor is in compliance with all laws relative to recycling and composting pursuant to chapter 18.9 of title 23; provided that, food waste is separated for diversion within that educational entity.
  • 16-110-4. Food service – Local sources preferred.
  • It shall be the policy of the state, the department of education and any educational entity to encourage that any request for proposal (RFP) to a food service company (vendor) to provide food services to an educational entity encourage the use of a vendor that purchases ten percent (10%) of the required food service product from a Rhode Island-based food service company. In addition, it shall also be the policy of the state, the department of education, and any educational entity, to encourage the use of vendors who recycle organic-waste materials at an authorized composting facility, an anaerobic digestion facility, or by another authorized recycling method, regardless of whether the entity purchasing the services is or is not an educational entity, or a covered entity or a covered educational institution pursuant to the provisions of § 23-18.9-7.
  • 16-110-5. Food donations by food service companies.
  • (a) It shall be the policyof the state, the department of education and any educational entity to require that any request for proposal (RFP) to select a food service company (vendor) to provide foodservicestoaneducational entityshall requirethevendortodonateanyunservednonperishable or unspoiled perishable food to local food banks or the Rhode Island Food Bank in accordance with the recommendations from the Rhode Island department of health "The Road to End Hunger" initiative.
  • (b) Vendors required to donate nonperishable and unspoiled perishable food to local food banks or the Rhode Island Food Bank shall initially make arrangements for the provision accommodations necessary to carry out the provisions of this section.
  • (c) Except for injury resulting from gross negligence or intentional misconduct in the preparation or handling of donated food, no educational entity, person or vendor that donates food that is fit for human consumption at the time it was donated, as required by subsection (a) of this section, shall be liable for any damage or injury resulting from the consumption of the donated food.
  • (d) The immunity from civil liability provided by this section applies regardless of compliance with any laws, regulations, or ordinances regulating the packaging or labeling of food, and regardless of compliance with any laws, regulations, or ordinances regulating the storage or handling of the food by the donee after the donation of the food. The donation of nonperishable food that is fit for human consumption but that has exceeded the labeled shelf life date recommended by the manufacturer is protected pursuant to this section. The donation of perishable food that is fit for human consumption but that has exceeded the labeled shelf life date recommended by the manufacturer is protected pursuant to this section if the person that distributes the food to the end recipient makes a good faith evaluation that the food to be donated is wholesome.
  • (e) The local food bank or Rhode Island Food Bank that, in good faith, receives and distributes food without charge, pursuant to subsection (a) of this section, that is fit for human consumption at the time it was distributed is not liablefor any injury or death due to the food unless the injury or death is a direct result of the gross negligence or intentional misconduct of the organization.
  • 16-110-7. Expiration dates.
  • 16-110-6. Expiration dates.
  • An educational entity, person, or vendor that donates food as permitted by law shall not be subject to civil or criminal liability or penalty for any violation of any laws, regulations, or ordinances regulating the labeling or packaging of the donated product or, with respect to any other laws, regulations, or ordinances, for a violation occurring after the time of donation. The donation of nonperishable food that is fit for human consumption but that has exceeded the labeled shelf life date recommended by the manufacturer is protected, pursuant to this section, if the entity, person or vendor that distributes the food to the end recipient makes a good faith evaluation that the food to be donated is wholesome.
  • 16-110-8. Share tables and food donation by schools.
  • It shall be the policy of this state, the department of education, and any school district thereunder to provide and facilitate the use of share tables for collection for donation to encourage the consumption of nutritious foods and reduce food waste. All Rhode Island school districts shall create and use share tables provided that the food safety requirements outlined in 7 C.F.R. 210.13, 220.7, 226.20(1), and 225.16(a), respectively, are followed together with any applicable local and state health and food safety codes. Provided, further, any unused share table nonperishable or unspoiled perishable food items may be provided to any local food pantry, soup kitchen, the Rhode Island Food Bank, or nonprofit serving people in need.
  • 16-110-9. Rules and regulations.
  • The commissioner is hereby authorized to promulgate whatever rules and regulations may be required to implement this chapter and shall annually provide notice to all school districts of the department's school waste disposal and refuse disposal policies.
  • 16-110-7. Rules and regulations.
  • The commissioner is hereby authorized to promulgate whatever rules and regulations may be required to implement this chapter and shall annually provide notice to all educational entities of the department's school waste disposal and refuse disposal policies.
  • SECTION 2. Section 23-18.9-17 of the General Laws in Chapter 23-18.9 entitled "Refuse Disposal" is hereby amended to read as follows:
  • 23-18.9-17. Food waste ban.
  • (a) On and after January 1, 2016, each covered entity and each covered educational institution shall ensure that the organic-waste materials that are generated by the covered entity or at the covered educational facility are recycled at an authorized, composting facility or anaerobic digestion facility or by another authorized recycling method if:
  • (1) The covered entity or covered educational facility generates not less than one hundred four (104) tons per year of organic-waste material; and
  • (2) The covered entity or covered educational facility is located not more than fifteen (15) miles from an authorized composting facility or anaerobic digestion facility with available capacity to accept such material.
  • (b) On and after January 1, 2018, each covered educational institution shall ensure that the organic-waste materials that are generated at the covered educational facility are recycled at an authorized, composting facility or anaerobic digestion facility or by another authorized recycling method if:
  • (1) The covered educational facility generates not less than fifty-two (52) tons per year of organic-waste material; and
  • (2) The covered entity or covered educational facility is located not more than fifteen (15) milesfromanauthorized,compostingfacilityoranaerobicdigestionfacilitywithavailablecapacity to accept such material.
  • (c) The director shall grant a waiver of the requirements of subsections (a) and (b) upon a showing that the tipping fee charged by the Rhode Island resource recovery corporation for non- contract commercial sector waste is less than the fee charged for organic-waste material by each composting facility or anaerobic digestion facility located within fifteen (15) miles of the covered entity's location.
  • (d) On and after January 1, 2023, each covered entity and each covered educational institution, including, but not limited to, any public or private school shall ensure that the organic- waste materials that are generated by the covered entity or at the covered educational facility are recycled at an authorized, composting facility or anaerobic digestion facility or by another authorized recycling method if:
  • (1) The covered educational facility generates not less than thirty (30) tons per year of organic-waste material; and
  • (2) The covered entity or covered educational facility is located not more than fifteen (15) milesfromanauthorized,compostingfacilityoranaerobicdigestionfacilitywithavailablecapacity to accept such material.
  • SECTION 3. This act shall take effect upon passage.
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  • LC000765
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  • EXPLANATION
  • BY THE LEGISLATIVE COUNCIL
  • OF
  • (d) On and after January 1, 2023, each educational entity (as such term is defined in § 16- 110-1) shall ensure that the organic-waste materials that are generated by the educational entity are recycled at an authorized, composting facility or anaerobic digestion facility or by another authorized recycling method if:
  • (1) The educational entity generates not less than thirty (30) tons per year of organic-waste material; and
  • (2) The educational entity is located not more than fifteen (15) miles from an authorized, composting facility or anaerobic digestion facility with available capacity to accept such material.
  • SECTION 3. This act shall take effect on September 1, 2021. ======== LC000765/SUB A ========
  • EXPLANATION
  • BY THE LEGISLATIVE COUNCIL
  • OF
  • A N A C T
  • RELATING TO EDUCATION – SCHOOL WASTE RECYCLING AND REFUSE DISPOSAL
  • ***
  • This act would require schools to comply with composting and recycling laws, would promote the donation of unspoiled nonperishable food by schools, would promote the selection of local food service companies for school food service contracts and the selection of vendors who recycle organic-waste at appropriate facilities, and would require the use of share tables at all schools.
  • This act would take effect upon passage. ======== LC000765 ========
  • This act would require schools to comply with composting and recycling laws, would promote the donation of unspoiled nonperishable food by schools, would promote the selection of local food service companies for school food service contracts and the selection of vendors who recycle organic-waste at appropriate facilities.
  • This act would take effect on September 1, 2021. ======== LC000765/SUB A ========

Votes

NOTE: Electronic voting records are unofficial and may not be accurate. For an official vote tally, check the House or Senate Journal from the day of the vote.

Floor vote for DISPOSAL

June 22, 2021 at 4:30pm
Yeas: 38 / Nays: 0 / Not voting: 0 / Recused: 0
Legislator Vote
Sen. Acosta Y
Sen. Algiere Y
Sen. Anderson Y
Sen. Archambault Y
Sen. Bell Y
Sen. Burke Y
Sen. Calkin Y
Sen. Cano Y
Sen. Ciccone Y
Sen. Coyne Y
Sen. Cruz Y
Sen. DiMario Y
Sen. DiPalma Y
Sen. Euer Y
Sen. Felag Y
Sen. Gallo Y
Sen. Goldin Y
Sen. Goodwin Y
Sen. Kallman Y
Sen. Lawson Y
Sen. Lombardi Y
Sen. Lombardo Y
Sen. Mack Y
Sen. McCaffrey Y
Sen. Mendes Y
Sen. Miller Y
Sen. Morgan Y
Sen. Murray Y
Sen. Paolino Y
Sen. Pearson Y
Sen. Picard Y
Sen. Quezada Y
Sen. Raptakis Y
Sen. Rogers Y
Sen. Ruggerio Y
Sen. Seveney Y
Sen. Sosnowski Y
Sen. Valverde Y