NWPSC November 2015 Newsletter

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November 2015

Programs & News

NWPSC joins Twittertwitter icon 30x30
The NWPSC recently began tweeting as @StewardshipNW. We hope to broaden our engagement to new audiences and reinforce the successes of existing product stewardship programs in Washington, Oregon and elsewhere. Follow us as we join the conversation on Twitter.

Television (CRT) glass: safe recycling preferred over safe storage
On November 5, e-Stewards and the Basel Action Network (BAN), who manage and certify the e-Stewards Standard, "the cleanest, most globally responsible standard for e-waste recycling," released their decision about cathode ray tube (CRT) glass recycling:

"Following almost a year-long deliberation over a petition by Kuusakoski Recycling and their partner Peoria Disposal Company requesting e-Stewards to relax its standard to give greater acceptance to placing crushed and treated cathode ray tube (CRT) glass into solid waste landfill cells for possible future retrieval and recycling, the BAN Board of Directors has voted to accept the majority recommendations of the e-Stewards Leadership Council and its Technical Committee and deny the petition.
This decision means that solid waste landfills will continue to not be considered a preferred destination for treated CRT glass (from old TVs and computer monitors) under the e-Stewards Standard, nor will their use be considered as recycling. However, the option of placing treated CRT glass in solid waste landfills, e.g. in retrievable storage, will remain a less preferred, conditionally allowable form of disposal, as it has been, if preferred options are unavailable."

Resource Recycling covered news of the decision.

ReturnMeds, LLC stewardship program in King County to begin April 2016
Two stewardship organizations submitted revised stewardship plan proposals to the King County Secure Medicine Return (SMR) program for review: King County MED-Project, LLC was rejected while ReturnMeds, LLC was approved on October 16. ReturnMeds, LLC's approved plan is designated as the standard plan and the deadline to be fully implemented is April 13, 2016. Though King County MED-Project, LLC's proposal was rejected, they can resubmit within 60 days to be considered an independent plan.

Vermont to begin first primary battery EPR program January 2016
The state of Vermont approved Call2Recycle as the battery stewardship organization to implement Vermont's primary (single-use) battery recycling program, beginning Jan. 1, 2016. Primary batteries are non-rechargeable batteries weighing two kilograms or less, including alkaline, carbon-zinc, and lithium metal batteries. Call2Recycle has voluntarily administered a free, producer designed and financed rechargeable battery collection and recycling program nationwide for 21 years. Vermont and Call2Recycle expect to minimize "consumer confusion, as residents will no longer need to separate out single-use batteries when they recycle."

California Assembly hearing on EPR and Household Hazardous Waste
The California Assembly Waste Committee held an HHW/EPR Hearing in Palo Alto, CA, on November 4. The full, approximately 3-hour hearing can be seen on the California Product Stewardship Council's YouTube channel. CalRecycle and three local governments spoke in the first hour about the benefits of EPR (or product stewardship) programs, reinforced by battery stewards Call2Recycle and PaintCare, but opposed by a representative from PhRMA. Waste and recycling haulers next spoke on the need for sharps stewardship legislation, and finally came public comment. One of the local government agency speakers commented on the CARE carpet stewardship program that it is a "market based approach for a product that has no market." Carl Smith, CEO of Call2Recycle, posted the text of his testimony online.

Carpet stewardship, collection, and recycling
In September 2015, CalRecycle found Carpet America Recovery Effort's (CARE, the carpet stewardship organization for California's carpet EPR program) 2014 Annual Report "noncompliant because it did not demonstrate continuous and meaningful improvements toward achievement of Program goals." CalRecycle held a public meeting on October 20 to consider CARE's second addendum to their California carpet stewardship plan. The August/September issue of Floor Focus Magazine quoted CARE that in 2014, total gross carpet collections were 494 million pounds and 45% of that went to landfill. The flooring industry magazine also described CARE and its Voluntary Stewardship Program outside of California, the challenges in current markets for recycled nylon, the case for upcycling carpet-derived fiber, and the proposed tactic of back-labeling carpet by fiber type.

Jobs: Oregon DEQ Materials Management
The Oregon Dept. of Environmental Quality (DEQ) is hiring 3 specialists in its Materials Management Section in Portland, serving as senior technical experts in support of Materials Management in Oregon: 2050 Vision and Framework for Action. For job description and details, apply (via GovernmentJobs.com) for the Natural Resource Specialist 4 (Materials Management) positions by November 18, 2015.

Upcoming Events

  • 2015 U.S. Product Stewardship Forum (PSI) (webinar or in-person): December 8-9, Boston, MA

Northwest Product Stewardship Council (NWPSC)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 info@productstewardship.net or visit us at www.ProductStewardship.net.

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