NWPSC February 2017 Newsletter

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February 2017


Paint and Medicine stewardship bills in Washington state
Washington's Legislative Session began Jan. 9

  • HB 1376 concerning paint stewardship passed out of the House Environment Committee on Feb. 14 and awaits a hearing in a fiscal committee
  • HB 1047 protecting the public's health by creating a system for safe and secure collection and disposal of unwanted medications passed out of the House Health Care & Wellness Committee on Feb. 15 and awaits a hearing in a fiscal committee

HHW and Medicine stewardship bills in Oregon
Oregon's Legislative Session is Feb. 1 to July 9, 2017

  • SB 199 relating to household hazardous waste (HHW) was heard in the Senate Committee On Environment and Natural Resources on Feb. 16
  • HB 2386 relating to drugs awaits a hearing

Other legislation
Paint stewardship laws have been passed in 8 states and the District of Columbia, and New York and New Jersey are considering bills. 8 Canadian provinces, Australia, and the U.K. have paint stewardship programs.
Maine is considering stewardship bills for mattresses and carpet, and Maryland is considering a bill to study the feasibility of a mattress stewardship bill.


LightRecycle Washington annual updatelogo of LightRecycle Washington
In 2016, its second year of operation, the LightRecycle Washington product stewardship program recycled 1,181,121 mercury-containing lights weighing 557,300 pounds, exceeding the annual goal by 18%. LightRecycle is a manufacturer operated product stewardship program run by PCA Product Stewardship Inc., a nonprofit, and overseen by the Washington Department of Ecology under the state's mercury lights law. LightRecycle allows individuals and businesses to recycle up to 10 mercury-containing lights per day at over 220 collection sites throughout Washington – find a location near you.

EPR in Connecticut: 4 success stories
In a new report (PDF) released in January 2017, the Product Stewardship Institute (PSI) evaluated Connecticut's four extended producer responsibility (EPR) laws and their industry-run programs for paint, mattresses, mercury thermostats, and electronics, and concluded they reduced waste and greenhouse gas emissions, increased recycling, saved taxpayers money, and created recycling jobs. Some highlights:

  • Paint transportation and processing costs borne by municipal programs decreased by approximately $623,000 annually from an average of $691,000 per year to $67,000 per year.
  • The paint EPR program recovered 51% (or over 320,000 gallons) of all leftover paint generated in the state in 2016, and increased the number of paint recycling locations from 8 to 140.
  • In 2014, the electronics EPR program reduced municipal disposal costs by $528,835, and the per pound cost to manufacturers has remained stable since the program's inception at approximately $0.30 per pound.
  • Electronics collection sites increased from 86 in 2009 to 273 in 2014.
  • Connecticut’s mercury recovery rate increased from 17 to 27 pounds annually.
  • Mattress recycling saved the state 4.2 million kilograms of greenhouse gas emissions carbon equivalent in 2016, equal to the emissions from 875 passenger vehicles
  • The mattress recycing rate increased from 8.7% in 2014 (prior to EPR implementation) to 63.5% in 2016 and the number of mattresses disposed decreased from about 115,000 to 77,000.

"Connecticut's four EPR programs address products that are particularly problematic for local governments to manage," said Brian Bartram, chair of the Connecticut Product Stewardship Council. "As the study reveals, the introduction of these industry-financed programs has saved local municipalities millions of dollars since their inception, allowing them to use those funds for critical services like police, fire, and education."

1 million mattresses recycled in Connecticut, California, and Rhode Island
A detailed January 2017 article in Bed Times magazine highlighted the mattress extended producer responsibility (EPR) programs in Connecticut, California, and Rhode Island. Since starting in 2015 and 2016, the Mattress Recycling Council (MRC), the nonprofit organization which manages mattress EPR programs created by laws in each state, has recycled more than 1 million mattresses in total from the three states. Bed Times quoted Mike O'Donnell, managing director of MRC saying, "We expect the number coming from retailers and similar sources will increase over time and the numbers at drop-off locations to decrease as people get rid of their 'legacy mattresses' (those sitting in people's basements and garages). We'd prefer to have retailers and other sources intercept mattresses before they enter the solid-waste stream because they tend to be cleaner and in better condition, allowing recyclers to recycle more of the components." Residents of these states can drop-off used mattresses at participating collection sites, collection events and recycling facilities free of charge, funded by the $9-$11 recycling fee (depending on the state) that consumers pay when they buy a new mattress or box spring. The fee provides for collection, transportation, recycling, and outreach costs of the MRC programs.

News & Resources

Battery programs and events
Call2Recycle, the nonprofit battery stewardship organization which has operated battery recycling programs in Canada and the U.S. for over twenty years, announced a new all-battery recycling program in 2017 and new fees: "to ensure the long-term viability of our voluntary battery stewardship program, the current rechargeable battery recycling service will transition to a fee-based service model for select customers, effective April 1, 2017... The new, fee-based solution allows Call2Recycle to become your one-stop-shop for recycling both rechargeable and single-use batteries." This presumably affects businesses and municipalities which collect batteries. And Feb. 18 is Call2Recycle's National Battery Day, encouraging consumers to recycle batteries. WSRA battery recycling event in Tacoma
There are two battery recycling events in March:

  • March 2 webinar from the Product Stewardship Institute (PSI) on strategies for rural communities to increase both rechargeable and single-use battery recycling
  • March 30 workshop from the Washington State Recycling Association (WSRA) in Tacoma, WA (All Charged Up: Exploring Battery Recycling) on everything about batteries: how they're are recycled, what happens to components, stewardship programs, battery recycling in Vermont, Canada and Europe, legislation, economics of recycling, the toxicity of various chemistries, and planning for the future of alkaline battery recycling in Washington and what it will take to make that a reality!

Refillable bottles in Oregon
Oregon will begin a "refillable glass bottle program in partnership with local craft brewers" in the next two years, according to Resource Recycling, which "could involve selling and refilling more than two million bottles per year." The Oregon Beverage Recycling Cooperative (OBRC), which operates the state’s container deposit program, has a staff of 275 employees, an annual budget of $34 million, collects and processes all of the glass, aluminum and plastic beverage containers redeemed by consumers across the state, operates a network of bottle and can return facilities, a fleet of trucks, a deposit reconciliation program, and has relationships with brewers, distributors and retailers, and facilities to house washing equipment. Resource Recycling quoted the president of OBRC saying the "beverage industry is committed to not only upholding the legacy of the Oregon Bottle Bill but expanding stewardship efforts through new and innovative programs like this one." Oregon's bottle bill, the first and oldest in the nation, places a 5-cent deposit on beer, malt beverages, carbonated soft drinks and bottled water and will increase to 10 cents starting April 1, 2017.

Upcoming Events

  • Building the circular economy for printed paper and packaging (webinar): Feb. 21, 9-10am Pacific
  • Eco-fees and electronics: are they a match? (webinar): Feb. 23, 10am-12pm Pacific
  • Battery take-back: a sustainable solution (PSI) (webinar): March 2, 10-11:30am Pacific
  • Workshop on developing packaging reform in California: March 22, 9:30am-4:30pm Pacific, Sacramento, CA
  • All charged up: battery recycling (WSRA): March 30, 9:30am-2:30pm, Tacoma, WA

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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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