Legislative Sessions Begin
Washington State's legislature convenes Monday, January 12. A paint stewardship bill is expected, which would require producers selling paint in Washington to finance a take back and recycling program for unwanted architectural paint and be overseen by the Department of Ecology. Manufacturer-run paint stewardship programs operate in Oregon, California, British Columbia, and five other states.
The Oregon Legislature convenes January 12 with hearings and work on bills beginning February 2.
LightRecycle Washington Switches On!
LightRecycle Washington, the product stewardship program for mercury-containing lights, began Jan. 1, 2015. Find a collection location to recycle compact fluorescent lights, fluorescent tubes up to 8 feet long, and High Intensity Discharge (HID) lights; both individuals and businesses can drop off up to 10 lights per day for recycling. Read the Ecology news release and the Peninsula Daily News coverage.
Oregon E-Cycles Now Takes Printers, Keyboards and Mice
The Oregon E-Cycles electronics product stewardship program expanded Jan. 1, 2015 to include the recycling of printers, keyboards, and mice, as covered by OPB's Dec. 29, 2014 article.
Connecticut Approves Mattress Stewardship Plan
Beginning May 1, 2015, Connecticut will be the first state to have an industry-operated mattress collection and recycling program. As required by Connecticut’s 2013 mattress stewardship law, the industry stewardship organization (Mattress Recycling Council or MRC) submitted their recycling plan to the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) for review in July and received approval on Dec. 31, 2014. The approved plan "requires that retailers add a $9 recycling fee to each new or renovated mattress and box spring sold to Connecticut consumers." The fee will be a separate line item on receipts beginning May 1; retailers and other businesses selling mattresses will remit the fees to MRC, which will pay contractors to collect and recycle mattresses.
Carpet American Recovery Effort (CARE) Starts Voluntary Recycling Effort
The carpet manufacturing industry recently announced a "voluntary product stewardship" effort for carpet recycling, requiring participants to not support extended producer responsibility (EPR) legislation. According to Floor Daily, the voluntary program will assist "in finding market-based solutions to divert carpet from landfills and to quell extended producer responsibility (EPR) legislation." Waste360 covered the announcement and the Product Stewardship Institute's (PSI) response. The carpet industry's resistance to product stewardship and lack of progress towards increased carpet recycling was in the news earlier in 2014.
Call2Recycle: 100 Million Pounds of Batteries Diverted Over 20 Years
In celebrating its recent 20th anniversary, rechargeable battery stewardship organization Call2Recycle announced over 100 million batteries have been diverted from North American landfills in that time.
Washington Legislature to Consider Paint Recycling Program
On Dec. 19, 2014, KING 5 News aired a segment on the paint take-back bill expected in the upcoming Washington state legislative session. The expected bill has the support of paint manufacturers, environmental organizations, and local governments, and Washington remains the only state on the west coast without such a manufacturer-run paint stewardship program.
Pharma Asks U.S. Supreme Court to Review Alameda County Take-Back Ordinance
In the wake of the September Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruling in favor of Alameda County’s 2012 medicine take-back law, trade groups of the pharmaceutical industry petitioned the Supreme Court to hear their challenge to the law. The Wall Street Journal covered the news and the California Product Stewardship Council has the text of the petition to the Supreme Court. King County's Secure Medicine Return regulations are similar to Alameda County's ordinance. King County is following this petition while continuing to move forward to fully implement the current Secure Medicine Return schedule.
The Future of Recycling Programs: Sustainable Funding Sources
The Institute for Local Government held a Dec. 2, 2014 webinar on sustainable funding sources for recycling programs, which focused on the traditional and innovative ways that cities and counties across California are funding programs.
Washington's Recycling Rate Falls Slightly
The Dept. of Ecology notes in a Dec. 29, 2014 news release that the Washington state recycling rate fell from 50.1% in 2012 to 49% in 2013 (the latest year for which data is available). This figure includes 45 million pounds of computers, monitors and TVs that were recycled through the E-Cycle Washington product stewardship program. Nationally, the average recycling rate was 34.5 percent in 2012. Ecology's EcoConnect blog has more information on the recycling numbers.
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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