City Of Manhattan Beach: Zero Waste Lunches For First Grader’s

Waste Management provides reusable lunch boxes to MBUSD students

Manhattan Beach, CA – In an effort to reduce waste generated on campus from school lunches, Waste Management has partnered with the City of Manhattan Beach, and local company Go Green Lunch Box to provide a reusable lunch box to each incoming first grader in the Manhattan Beach School District. This is one of the new programs included in the recently-awarded seven-year franchise agreement with the City of Manhattan Beach.

“The typical student generates approximately 67 pounds of trash per year just in their school lunch. We thought that providing a reusable lunch box would not only help significantly reduce waste, but also provide a warm welcome to first graders,” explains Vickie Wippel, Sustainability Program Manager for Waste Management.

The lunch boxes also include an aluminum water bottle and bento-style food containers, taking the place of disposable drink packaging and plastic baggies. If used properly, student lunches can truly be zero waste.

Local school non-profit, Grades of Green, is helping coordinate the distribution of lunch boxes at each school site. Suzanne Kretschmer, a Co-Director of Grades of Green says, “this program is right in line with what we have already been teaching students and implementing on campus through programs such as our Trash Free Tuesday lunches.”

Lunch boxes will be distributed on the following dates:

Grand View – At school on Pride Day, August 27th, from 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM or Back-to-School Night on August 30th from 5:30 PM – 6:30 PM
Meadows – First day of school between 1:00 PM – 1:20 PM
Pacific – August 28th between 3:00 PM – 5:00 PM at the home of Kim Castner (the address is provided in the school newsletter) or the first day of school between 12:30 PM – 1:30 PM
Pennekamp – First day of school between 8:15 AM – 9:30 AM
Robinson – First day of school between 3:00 PM – 4:00 PM

Only first graders will receive the lunch boxes; however, older students, and students outside of MBUSD, can purchase them at First graders are encouraged to re-use their same Go Green Lunch Box throughout their elementary school years, to reduce waste.

Over the course of its seven-year contract with the City, Waste Management anticipates to distribute approximately 2,050 reusable lunch boxes through this program. However, Wippel reminds all residents that, even without a new lunch box, they can reduce waste at lunchtime by avoiding single use packaging, buying in bulk, and bringing reusable containers and utensils.

Parents with questions about their schools’ lunch box distribution schedule should contact their school, or their Grades of Green Representative. Questions about the program can be directed to Vickie Wippel of Waste Management at  or Kim Caster of Go Green Lunch Box at

For additional information about refuse programs, visit  

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