Ceci Maher

State Senator

Ceci Maher

Deputy President Pro Tempore

Working Together For Our Communities

May 15, 2024
May 15, 2024


Today, State Senator Ceci Maher (D-Wilton) joined Wilton Go Green President Tammy Thornton, Wilton Superintendent Kevin Smith, Wilton High School Principal Robert O’Donnell and Wilton High School student Daniel Babashak to welcome the state’s allotment of $20,000 for the installation of a commercial dishwasher at the school and purchase of new dining utensils at the school. This project originated with Wilton junior Daniel Babashak, who reached out to Sen. Maher in March seeking funding for the project.

By replacing plastic utensils at the school, which are not recycled and contribute to significant waste, with stainless steel utensils for students’ use, the Wilton High community will reduce waste by recycling acceptable material and save significant sums in the long-term by removing the need to purchase plastic materials each year.

Thornton and Babashak collaborated on the project, which will see $11,000 spent on a high-temperature dishwasher, $3,600 to purchase 1,200 forks, spoons and knives for student use and $5,000 for installation and plumbing costs, dishwasher racks and cutlery bins.

This funding passed through a piece of legislation assigning the use of American Rescue Plan Act funding that would have otherwise expired if not used, part of hundreds of millions of dollars aiding local projects supporting communities statewide.

“This community project is evidence that we can find solutions benefitting our communities every day, and that everyone can make a difference. Small steps, when taken together, have important consequences,” said Sen. Maher. “I’m proud to work with Daniel and support Wilton Go Green’s efforts to continue improving our eco-consciousness locally.”

“Wilton Go Green’s Zero Waste Schools Committee has been working with Wilton Public Schools since 2018 to partner on waste reduction initiatives throughout our schools,” said Thornton. “Guiding our schools back to using reusable utensils and dishware has been a long-standing goal.  We are honored to work with Daniel and support this step toward reaching that goal.”

“Last year, my English teacher Dr. Harvey asked us each to create a “pay-it-forward” plan which would leave a mark on the community,” Babashak said. “I thought, why not get rid of plastic that ends up in the garbage every school day? For me, the assignment turned into an exciting lesson on public policy, with cost analyses, student interest surveys, and WHS Executive Board presentations.”

Caption: From left, Thornton, Sen. Maher, Babashak, Smith and O’Donnell gathered Wednesday at Westport High.

Contact: Joe O’Leary | 508-479-4969 | Joe.OLeary@cga.ct.gov