NWPSC February 2016 Newsletter

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February 2016


Washington Legislature hears paint stewardship bill
HB 1571 passed out of the House on Feb. 10, 2016, and will be heard in the Senate Energy, Environment & Telecommunications committee Tuesday Feb. 23 at 1:30pm. The bill would create a collection program for the recycling or proper disposal of unwanted architectural paint in Washington state, similar to industry-operated PaintCare paint stewardship programs in eight states and the District of Columbia.

In an op-ed in The Olympian Feb. 3, Steve Dearborn, CEO of Miller Paint Company with stores in Oregon, Idaho, and Washington, urged the Legislature to pass HB 1571, to create a statewide paint recycling program, jobs, and low cost quality recycled paint. Dearborn called the current paint disposal method of drying and throwing away latex paint "wasteful and harmful to the environment."

HB 1571 has the support of paint manufacturers, environmental organizations, and local governments in Washington. If your organization wishes to indicate support for HB 1571, a sample letter of support is available on the NWPSC website and email addresses of Senators are here.

(Washington's legislature convened January 11, the second year of the biennium, and will be a short session lasting 60 days. The Oregon legislature runs Feb. 1 to March 5, 2016.)

EPR for HHW in Oregon
In 2015, Metro, the regional government in the Portland, Oregon metropolitan area, drafted a statewide concept bill under which manufacturers selling designated products such as pesticides, solvents, and flammable liquids into the state would be responsible for providing stewardship programs for the collection and proper management of waste from those products. An informational hearing on the proposal was held at the legislature (see HB 3251-1 proposed amendments (PDF) and HB 3251-1 information (PDF)). Metro held the first of three stakeholder meetings about the bill Jan. 25, 2016. The stakeholder meetings are designed to provide the opportunity for producers, local governments, state government, the solid waste disposal and recycling industry and other members of the community to share their perspectives on the proposal. Visit Metro's website for presentations and other materials from the first meeting, as well as contact information for further details.

Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) reform
The U.S. House passed TSCA modernization legislation in June 2015, the U.S. Senate passed other TSCA reform legislation in December 2015, which the Safer Chemicals Healthy Families coalition called a milestone, much improved over previous reform attempts, that nevertheless "comes with some big red flags." The next step is reconciliation of the two bills in a joint conference committee. 125 organizations sent a letter urging that "the best of both" bills be combined, and Attorneys-General of twelve states also sent a letter urging that the role of states not be preempted. The Intercept and AlterNet have detailed articles on chemical regulation and TSCA.

Battery and pharmaceutical EPR in Vermont
The Vermont legislature is considering a bill for the first statewide "extended producer responsibility program for unused prescription drugs" (H 588). And Vermont's first-in-the-nation primary (single-use) battery recycling program with stewardship organization Call2Recycle began Jan. 1, 2016.

Programs & Resources

PSI reports paint stewardship successes
The Product Stewardship Institute (PSI) released two reports highlighting "how the industry-run PaintCare stewardship program benefits retailers, residents, contractors, and local governments." PSI evaluated the performance of the PaintCare program in California in one report, while the other report "assessed how paint stewardship relates to existing local government-run programs that collect household hazardous waste (HHW) from residents. Together, these two reports reveal the successes and challenges of the PaintCare program in five of the states in which it operates: California, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Oregon, and Vermont."

"Each year, American consumers purchase more than 650 million gallons of architectural paint, and leave an estimated 65 million gallons of it unused. Leftover oil-based paint, and, in some cases, leftover latex paint, are often collected and managed by municipal or county household hazardous waste (HHW) programs at a high cost. In fact, with management costs estimated at $8 per gallon, municipal programs nationwide report that paint management consumes nearly 50% of their HHW budgets."
Findings include:

  • Retailers are highly satisfied with the PaintCare program
  • Local governments can save money: 76% of HHW programs surveyed reported cost savings, at an average of $151,905 annually. In addition, PaintCare has covered more than $52 million in transportation and processing costs for leftover paint since 2009 - costs normally borne by local governments.
  • Convenience: before PaintCare California launched in 2012, there were 144 paint drop-off sites in the state: there are now over 733 drop-off sites, including 583 at retail locations.

CARE's California carpet plan status
The Carpet America Recovery Effort (CARE) Addendum #3, which modifies the California Carpet Stewardship Plan version 3.2.2, was approved at the Jan. 26, 2016 CalRecycle Public Meeting. The California carpet stewardship assessment will increase to $0.20 per square yard on April 1, 2016. CARE hosted a webinar on the increase in February and will hold two workshops in March to solicit input and feedback from various stakeholders about the future of carpet recycling.

British Columbia PPP stewardship plans
The British Columbia Ministry of Environment rejected StewardChoice Enterprises Inc.'s proposed packaging and printer paper (PPP) stewardship plan. According to an article in Waste 360, "StewardChoice submitted a packaging and printer paper (PPP) stewardship plan in addition to British Columbia’s existing Multi Material British Columbia (MMBC) producer responsibility program for the province."


FDA urged to end medicine flushing recommendation
"More than 100 environmental and health organizations, agencies, activists and even state legislators sent a signed a letter" in January to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) that called to "end its recommendation that certain medications be disposed by flushing, and to clarify that secure medicine take-back programs provide the best disposal method for leftover household medications." Further, to "protect public health and environmental quality, the signatories to this letter urge the FDA to work with the EPA, the DEA, and the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy to develop clear and consistent guidance to consumers on safe disposal of leftover household medications."

Walgreens to take back medications
Walgreens announced its intention to install "safe medication disposal kiosks" in more than 500 drugstores in 39 states and Washington, D.C, including Oregon, Washington, and California. "The program will make the disposal of medications — including opioids and other controlled substances — easier and more convenient while helping to reduce the misuse of medications and the rise in overdose deaths."

Producer Responsibility on Twittertwitter icon 30x30
Follow the Northwest Product Stewardship Council (NWPSC) on Twitter (@StewardshipNW) for product stewardship information from Washington, Oregon and elsewhere.

Upcoming Events

  • Planning for the Future of Carpet Recycling (CARE) (workshop): March 8 and 10, LA & Sacramento, CA
  • National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day: April 30, 10am-2pm nationwide

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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