NWPSC April 2016 Newsletter

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April 2016


Producer responsibility programs for unwanted medicines spreading
In March, the Governor of Massachusetts "signed into law a bill that made Massachusetts the first state in the nation to require drug companies to safely dispose of unwanted medications as part of a comprehensive drug abuse prevention strategy," according to a news release from the Product Stewardship Institute (PSI). Meanwhile Los Angeles County (CA), Cook County (IL), and the Board of Health of Snohomish County (WA) are considering pharmaceutical stewardship policies. An article in the LA Times ("pharmaceutical industry is lobbying hard against an L.A. County drug take-back proposal"), noted that the pharmaceutical industry is "spending more on lobbying than they ever would on a take-back program." King County (WA) and six California counties have passed pharmaceutical stewardship laws and are in the process of implementing producer funded programs.

Upstream explains producer responsibility
In March testimony before a Rhode Island House committee (YouTube video), Jamie Rhodes of Upstream articulated the fairness and choice that extended producer responsibility (EPR) would bring to existing recycling systems:

"When you buy a product you pay for the raw materials that go into it, the labor and the manufacturing cost, the marketing, the distribution, but you're not paying a single cent into what to do with that material after you're done with it – that entire responsibility is put upon local governments. Managing that waste, from collecting it at your home, running a transfer station, is a burden on local governments. Right now we pay for it through our taxes.
What this bill proposes to do is when you buy it, you pay for the whole thing. It's about choice for consumers and fairness for manufacturers. Right now I have no choice that my tax dollars pay for and subsidize the recycling needs of all of my neighbors.
If we move to EPR, I pay for the recycling program that I use..."

According to an article in Recycling Today, the bill was held for further study (note that an EPR bill for mattresses was held for study in 2012 before passing the general assembly in 2013).

Programs & Resources

The nuts and bolts of paint stewardship: webinar
On April 20, this free webinar will take us back to the very beginning to understand the basics: how did the paint stewardship model come to fruition? How exactly does it work? How successful have paint stewardship programs been in those states with programs? What are the most important elements of an effective law? In the last seven years, eight states and the District of Columbia have successfully passed paint stewardship legislation, creating an industry-run program for managing the reuse, recycling, and safe disposal of leftover paint. The Product Stewardship Institute (PSI) and PaintCare's paint stewardship experts will explore these questions and provide an outlook for paint stewardship legislation across the country.

Illegal mattress dumping compensation launches in California
The Mattress Recycling Council (MRC), the stewardship organization which manages the program created by the California Used Mattress Recycling and Recovery Act, launched a program to "help mitigate costs of collecting illegally dumped mattresses in California communities. This program allows agencies responsible for the collection of illegally dumped mattresses from the public right-of-way (including California local governments, certain permitted solid waste facilities, and authorized solid waste operations) to receive payment from MRC for the collection of illegally dumped mattresses. MRC has allocated a total of $750,000 to fund this effort for 2016." The California mattress stewardship program is funded through an $11 recycling fee collected from consumers when a mattress or box spring is sold (as Dec. 30, 2015).

$2.4 million in carpet recycling grants from CARE
The Carpet America Recovery Effort (CARE), the stewardship organization which manages the California Carpet Stewardship Program, awarded "$2.4 million in grant funding for eight capital improvements and three product testing projects that utilize post-consumer carpet." 88% of the grant awards go to California based projects such as existing post-consumer carpet processors, new California facilities, and companies experienced in processing other recycled materials, to "support millions of pounds of additional recycled carpet output and the creation of dozens of new California jobs." The California carpet stewardship program is funded through an assessment of twenty cents per square yard (effective April 1, 2016) of carpet sold in California.

Proposed rule revision to Washington Mercury-Containing Lights Product Stewardship Program
The Washington Department of Ecology has proposed revisions (PDF) to Chapter 173-910 WAC – Mercury-Containing Lights Product Stewardship Program. A public hearing is scheduled for April 27 at 2pm at the Department of Ecology, 300 Desmond Drive, Lacey, WA 98503. Send any questions about the rulemaking process or proposed revisions to w2rrulemaking@ecy.wa.gov.

Job: Recycling & Materials Management Policy Coordinator
The Washington State Department of Ecology is hiring a Recycling & Materials Management Policy Coordinator in its Waste 2 Resources program. Apply by April 29, 2016.

Upcoming Events

  • Product Stewardship and the Challenges of a Circular Economy (webinar): April 19, 10-11am Pacific
  • Paint Stewardship: the Nuts and Bolts (webinar): April 20, 10am-12:30pm Pacific
  • Mercury Thermostats: Taking Advantage of Product Stewardship Groups (webinar): April 21, 11am Pacific
  • National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day: April 30, 10am-2pm nationwide

Annual Conferences

  • Washington State Recycling Association (WSRA): May 15-18, Wenatchee, WA
  • Recycling Council of British Columbia (RCBC): May 18-20, Whistler, BC
  • Sustainable Oregon 2016: June 8-10, Portland, OR
  • California Resource Recovery Association (CRRA): Aug. 7-10, Sacramento, CA
  • North American Hazardous Materials Management Association (NAHMMA): Oct. 10-14 [corrected], Portland, OR

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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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