Washington Paint Stewardship Bill Still Under Consideration
Substitute House Bill (SHB) 1571 passed out of the House Committee on Appropriations Feb. 27 (all Democrats and one Republican on the committee voted yes) and was referred to the Rules Committee. SHB 1571 passed out of the House Environment Committee on Feb. 12 with an amendment to exempt the paint stewardship assessment from the B&O tax. Watch TVW video of the Feb. 5 hearing, in particular Craig Lorch's 60-second articulation of product stewardship's purpose:
Recyclers are savvy business people and we're willing to take risks but we don't go where we're going to lose money with every pound or gallon of material we process. Product stewardship programs belong where there are market failures, where the recovered materials do not have enough value to pay for the collection system. We have examples of that already in this state: TVs, residential [fluorescent] light bulbs, unwanted medicines, and the list does keep going. Leftover paint is in this group. The cost of managing paint is more than the value of the recycled product. We have an opportunity to build a robust paint recycling program through passage of this bill and I urge your support of the bill. – Craig Lorch, owner of Total Reclaim and EcoLights Northwest
San Francisco Safe Drug Disposal Ordinance Moving Forward
A committee of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors moved the Safe Drug Disposal ordinance forward to a March vote of the full board. The Wall Street Journal covered the news and the President of the Board of Supervisors published an SF Examiner editorial.
E-Cycle Washington and Curbside Collection
The Washington Dept. of Ecology has created a Guide to Curbside Collection of Electronics Through the E-Cycle Washington Program (PDF), available on the E-Cycle Washington website. The guide is intended to provide curbside recycling service providers with specific information regarding how curbside collection of electronics can work within the E-Cycle program. Ecology posted this in draft form to allow flexibility in making any changes that may be needed going forward. Comments can be submitted to the contacts listed at the end of the guide.
LightRecycle Washington On to a Running Start
With 249 collection sites across the state, 185 sites collect all covered products (bulbs, tubes and HIDs) and 64 sites collect CFLs only (compact fluorescent lamps). More sites will be added in the future. In the first six weeks since the Jan. 1 program start, 250 boxes of lights have been recycled and there were more than 1,000 searches of Ecology’s 1-800-Recycle site. The Hi-School Ace Hardware in Battle Ground, a Clark County collection site, has collected more than 200 pounds of bulbs for shipping and recycling, according to a detailed article in The Columbian. Find a collection site near you.
The Goal of EPR
In a Next City article, Who Will Pay America’s $1.5 Billion Recycling Bill?, Matt Prindiville of Upstream provides this concise summary of extended producer responsibility (EPR)'s purpose:
The goal of EPR isn’t to stick companies with the bill for waste disposal out of anti-corporate spite; it’s to shift the work of dealing with disposable products from governments, who can’t do much to change them for the better, to companies, which can. “Stuff that has no value at the end of its life or that’s toxic — those are design problems,” says Upstream’s Prindiville. “You can’t fix those problems by having local governments say, ‘Hey, how do we deal with these things?’ You have to go to the source and get them to be responsible in designing products with sustainable materials.”
Two Voices on Retail Take Back
UPSTREAM published a three-part series by Dennis Kinsey about the CHANGES recycling centres in British Columbia and the challenges of retail take back of recyclables. Read the full "case study" paper (PDF) or start with part 1. And Carl Smith of rechargeable battery steward Call2Recycle offers another perspective on requiring retail take back in EPR programs, in a Resource Recycling article, A Collection Point Conundrum (PDF).
Energizer Unveils Recycled-Content Alkaline Battery
Energizer's new EcoAdvanced battery is an alkaline battery which contains up to 4% material recycled from other batteries. The Product Stewardship Institute (PSI) notes Energizer's innovation and will host a March 31 webinar with Energizer to explore this new battery and its recycling implications.
A Challenge to the Global Electronics Industry
In January 2015, the International Campaign for Responsible Technology (ICRT) and the GoodElectronics Network and more than 60 expert allies from 15 countries gathered to discuss the hazards of chemicals used in the global electronics supply chain. During the 4-day meeting, A Challenge to the Global Electronics Industry to Adopt Safer and More Sustainable Products and Practices, and Eliminate Hazardous Chemicals, Exposures and Discharges was drafted outlining concerns, views and demands on industry with regard to the responsible use of chemicals during the production process and throughout the lifecycle; it was adopted unanimously by everyone attending. The ICRT and GoodElectronics Network intend to present the Challenge to the electronics industry in mid-March – read the Challenge to learn more.
Development of Guidance on Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR)
Mathieu Hestin, speaking at the Recycling Council of Ontario 2015 Annual Policy Forum (Progressing EPR in Ontario: Moving Toward a Circular Economy) in early February, presented the European Union's 2014 study on Development of Guidance on Extended Producer Responsibility (PDF), which identified "guiding principles on how to design efficient and effective EPR schemes." (via Environmental Law and Litigation)
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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