Peter Thermos, NWPSC Coordinator
The NWPSC welcomes Peter to the team! Peter will be assisting the Council with outreach to Washington State stakeholders, including local governments, legislators, non-profit organizations and private businesses. Peter has been the program manager for the statewide product stewardship program LightRecycle Washington since 2012. Prior to that, Peter held marketing and business development positions in the recycling and technology start-up industries, and has an MBA from the University of Washington.
Medicine producer responsibility laws spreading
Four more California local governments passed extended producer responsibility (EPR) laws for safe drug disposal: Santa Barbara County, Santa Clara County, the City of Santa Cruz, and the City of Capitola (PDF). Vermont became the second state to pass a medicine EPR-related law, which requires pharmaceutical manufacturers to fund a government-run statewide drug take-back program as part of a larger law to combat opioid abuse.
Both Snohomish County and King County, Wash. are preparing to implement safe medicine return programs in 2017, Los Angeles County is drafting an ordinance for consideration, and both Washington and Oregon state legislatures are expected to consider statewide medicine stewardship legislation in 2017.
Vancouver BC exits curbside recycling business
The City of Vancouver, British Columbia, will cease providing residential recycling collection in October, and Multi-Material BC (MMBC), the nonprofit packaging stewardship organization, will take over services. In an article in the Vancouver Sun, "the city's existing arrangement for recycling pickup was costing millions of dollars each year and tying up employees." The city's recycling collectors will instead now clean up "the overflowing garbage cans and abandoned trash that have tarnished Vancouver's sheen in recent years" while the "non-profit industry association will take responsibility for the work in an arrangement city staff say will save cash and leave the city looking cleaner than ever. There won’t be any noticeable change in recycling pickup and no jobs will be lost in the handover either."
From zero to 10 in six months: battery EPR in Vermont
The recycling rate of single-use batteries under Call2Recycle's extended producer responsibility (EPR) program "went from zero to 10% in the first six months" according to Call2Recycle CEO Carl Smith in Resource Recycling. Call2Recycle Vermont plans to "achieve a 20% recycling rate by the end of 2020." Vermont now has 135 battery drop-off sites, providing convenient recycling access for 96% of Vermontonians.
Metro Vancouver seeks mattress EPR law
In June, the Metro Vancouver solid waste advisory board agreed to write a letter to the British Columbia Minister of Environment "requesting an amendment to the B.C. Recycling Regulation to require the implementation of an Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) program for mattresses and other bulky furniture by 2017." The board's zero waste committee memo highlighted the urgent need for a mattress and furniture EPR program "as changes to commodity markets have reduced the economic viability of local recycling businesses and may result in the requirement to landfill potentially recyclable mattresses. Lack of an EPR program increases the potential for illegal dumping of these products and transfers costs to municipalities." The memo notes that one of the three private mattress recycling companies in the region, Recyc-Mattress, stopped accepting mattresses in May 2016. Phase 2 of the Canada-wide Action Plan for EPR has a 2017 implementation goal for furniture, carpet, textiles, and construction and demolition materials. (via PSI newsletter).
Mercury Lights rulemaking: Washington Dept. of Ecology
On August 23, the Department of Ecology adopted amendments to Chapter 173-910 WAC, Mercury-Containing Lights Product Stewardship Program. The changes were necessary to comply with changes in the underlying statute that was revised by the 2014 State Legislature. Effective date for the rule is Sept. 24, 2016. Read the Rule Adoption Notice (PDF) for more information.
The Oregon Dept. of Environmental Quality's (DEQ) Materials Management section is hiring a Natural Resource Specialist 4 (Life Cycle Analysis Specialist). Application deadline is Oct. 10, 2016.
Toolkits from PSI: drug take back and phone book opt-out
The Product Stewardship Institute (PSI) recently released a How-to Guide for Drug Take-Back (PDF) for managing pharmacy-based collection programs for leftover household pharmaceuticals, as well as a Phone Book Opt-Out Toolkit. The phone book book opt-out toolkit is a resource designed to help government officials, environmental advocates, teachers, and other interested community members launch their own phone book opt-out campaign. Local governments pay nearly $60 million annually to recycle or dispose of unwanted phone books, and each year the industry uses an estimated 4.68 million trees worth of wood fiber, equal to 14 football fields' worth of forest per day.
PaintCare wins Arrow Award from CPSC
PaintCare, the nonprofit paint stewardship organization responsible for managing the American Coatings Association (ACA) funded paint product stewardship programs passed by laws in eight states and the District of Columbia, was the winner of the 2016 Bow & Arrow Award for Service and Take-Back from the California Product Stewardship Council. Since 2012, PaintCare has established 771 drop-off sites in California and collected more than eight million gallons of paint. Construction and Demolition Recycling covered the news.
John Kerry supports producer responsibility
In an interview with National Geographic concerning oceans, litter, and marine debris, Secretary of State John Kerry expressed support for producer responsibility. When asked about European and Canadian extended producer responsibility (EPR) laws, Kerry responded that "we need responsibility to pull us back from the brink."
Are traditional recycling metrics failing to measure up?
A recent webinar on contamination in recycling, "the evolving ton", diversion-based goals, sustainable materials management (SMM) and life-cycle analysis, the role of extended producer responsibility (EPR) and successful recycling policy drivers was covered by Resource Recycling magazine. Speaker Susan Robinson of Waste Management concluded that we "know the policies that drive effective recycling, and we have them in place in many parts of the country... it has everything to do with a community creating the policies to make it important in their community to drive that behavior."
Engage with the Northwest Product Stewardship Council
Add your voice and join the Northwest Product Stewardship Council (NWPSC) as an Associate, Steering, or Community member.
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The Northwest Product Stewardship Council (NWPSC) is a coalition of government agencies in Washington and Oregon working on solid waste, recycling, resource conservation, environmental protection, public health and other issues. Together with non-government agencies, businesses and individuals, we form a network that supports product stewardship and extended producer responsibility (EPR) policies and programs. For more information, contact email@example.com or visit us at www.ProductStewardship.net.
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