California Enacts Third U.S. Mattress Stewardship Law
California SB 254, the Used Mattress Recovery and Recycling Act, passed their Assembly on September 11, after passing the Senate in May, and was signed into law by the Governor on September 27. The law requires manufacturers, renovators, and retailers to form a "mattress recycling organization" to develop a plan and implement and administer, with input from an advisory committee of other stakeholders, a mattress recycling program that provides free drop-off locations. Retailers must offer free take back at the time of a newly purchased mattress delivery. This mattress program will be funded by a "recycling charge" at the point of sale, similar to laws recently passed in Connecticut and Rhode Island. The California Chamber of Commerce, California Retail Association, Republic Services, Waste Management, and Californians Against Waste, among others, supported the bill. California Governor Brown included a signing message (PDF) directing CalRecycle to work with the bill's authors to clarify language and intent "through cleanup legislation next session."
Oregon Recycles 580,000 Gallons of Paint
According to the recently released 2013 Oregon Paint Stewardship Pilot Program Annual Report (PDF), Oregon paint consumers and contractors have recycled 580,693 gallons of paint in the third year of PaintCare, the state-legislated paint recycling program. The amount of paint that has been recycled is 23.6% higher than the first year of the program. Oregon has recycled 1.6 million gallons of paint at 100 collection sites since the program launched in 2010. Under Oregon's paint recycling legislation, paint manufacturers are required to safely manage leftover latex and oil-based paint from consumer and contractor painting projects. Legislation (HB 2048) was recently passed to make the program permanent.
British Columbia & Quebec at the top in rankings by EPR Canada
A new report recently released by EPR Canada ranked British Columbia and Quebec as the top jurisdictions for their commitment to implementing EPR programs. Both received a B+ grade. EPR Canada bases their rankings on commitment, implementation and accountability.
New Report Analyzes Canadian Electronic Equipment Stewardship Programs
The WEEE Report: Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Reuse and Recycling in Canada – 2013, by CM Consulting, provides a comprehensive review and analysis of electronics stewardship programs across Canada, including program costs, performance measures, program management operation and a discussion of the international policies that require producers to design more sustainable, less toxic electronic devices. It also analyzes the environmental benefits, examines the various risks posed by the toxic substances contained in electronic products and attempts to quantify the amount of gold, silver, copper, nickel, and other valuable materials that can be recovered with a rough estimate of their economic value.
DEQ to Convene New Materials Management Workgroup
The Oregon DEQ will convene a new Materials Management Workgroup this fall to engage stakeholders in the implementation of the 2050 Vision and Framework for Action (PDF). Subgroups will focus on three areas: goals and measures, sustainable funding, and recycling. The goal is to develop solutions that engender broad stakeholder and agency support and translate them into legislative proposals as needed, perhaps as early as 2015. The Workgroup will be comprised of 20 – 25 people from local government, solid waste industry, non-profits and industry who will meet for seven 3-hour meetings between October 2013 and September 2014. Membership in the supporting subgroups is open to those interested in participating.
Product Stewardship Program for Sanitary Hygiene Products
Kimberly-Clark New Zealand, which manufactures the Huggies, Depend and U by Kotex brands, and Envirocomp launched a Product Stewardship Scheme in New Zealand for sanitary hygiene products. According to Kimberly-Clark NZ, they are the first global manufacturer of diapers to help fund a product stewardship scheme for their products. Envirocomp operates a user-pays collection service for domestic users and commercial businesses. Diapers, feminine hygiene, and incontinence products are composted along with green waste through Envirocomp's HotRot composting system. Since the first plant was installed in June 2009, over 15 million diapers or around 2500 tons of sanitary hygiene products have now been processed through the two plants.
Cap and Trade: Would it Work for Solid Waste?
A recent article in the Sustainable City Network looks at whether a cap and trade system would work for solid waste. Jason Marcotte, Director of City Services for the City of Everett, Massachusetts, researched this idea for his thesis. Marcotte believes more pressure needs to be put on manufacturers to design products that generate less waste, or take responsibility for the waste they create. He believes that states and municipalities would apply that pressure if a federal cap and trade system was in place.
General Mills Shareholders Vote on Post-Consumer Waste Strategies
General Mills' shareholders asked the company to take responsibility for its post-consumer packaging waste at the firm's annual meeting on Sept. 24, 2013. Shareholders were asked to vote on a resolution asking General Mills to assess post-consumer waste strategies, including a policy that shifts responsibly for packaging waste from taxpayers and governments to producers.
Alameda County Safe Drug Disposal Lawsuit
The first pharmaceutical extended producer responsibility law in the United States, the Alameda County Safe Drug Disposal Ordinance, was upheld by the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California in August. The trade associations representing drug manufacturers filed an appeal on Sept. 12, 2013. Alston & Bird LLP summarize the lawsuit issues (PDF).
Bailey Payne, Waste Reduction Coordinator for Marion County Public Works
What was your introduction to product stewardship?
About five years ago Palmer Mason from the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality, Scott Klag from Metro, and many others were looking into the possibility of creating a framework legislation for product stewardship. This effort resulted in House Bill 3060. While unsuccessful, the interest in product stewardship and the statewide electronics and paint programs have been very beneficial to the residents of Oregon. As a relative newcomer to the solid waste industry at the time and an employee of local government, this concept seemed like the future of solid waste management. I believe that PS continues to be one of the most promising tools in the solid waste management toolbox.
What does PS mean to you?
To me, PS is about equity. For the foreseeable future, our society will continue to generate waste. When the cost of managing this waste falls on the shoulders of local government, it’s ultimately the residents that pay to have the waste managed in a safe manner. Industry keeps the profits and society pays for the downstream costs. It’s analogous to the tobacco industry. The White House estimates that tobacco use “accounts for over $100 billion annually in financial costs to the economy.” It’s time for the tobacco industry and other industries that generate products that can pose a danger or environmental/financial burden on our communities to step up and take responsibility for their products.
What's your personal PS goal?
I’d like to see the residents and businesses begin to gain an understanding of what PS is and why it’s important. When the larger public begins to understand the benefits of PS, it seems to me that the industry introduced programs will become more common and legislative efforts will be more likely to pass.
Anything else you'd like to share?
While I haven’t been actively working on advocating PS legislation, I applaud those forward thinking advocates throughout the west coast and beyond that are working on this big picture concept!
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or visit us at www.ProductStewardship.net.
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