NWPSC September Newsletter

Header V1

Header V1

September 2013


Draft Mercury Legislation Available for Review

A bill may be introduced to amend the existing Washington mercury-containing lights law (RCW 70.275) law to ensure that the lamp recycling program is fully financed by the producers of mercury-containing lamps. The proposed revisions to the are now available for download on the NWPSC Mercury page. Please contact Megan Warfield at meth461@ecy.wa.gov or 360-407-6963 with edits or comments by September 6, 2013. Please submit edits in track changes mode.


Recycling Reinvented Shares EPR Study Working Paper

Recycling Reinvented has shared the first of three working papers commissioned as part of a study to model and asses the projected economic benefits, costs, and impacts associated with an American EPR system. The paper, Recycling Reinvented:  Extended Producer Responsibility Cost-Benefit Study Working Paper #1: Study Design, will model the effects of EPR in a single state (Minnesota) using state-specific data. The goal of the study is to help advance the national dialog on how to achieve higher recycling rates, greater system efficiency, and sustainably financed programs.  

Ameripen Releases White Paper on Strategies to Increase Packaging Recovery Rates

The American Institute for Packaging and the Environment (Ameripen), has released a white paper, AMERIPEN Analysis of Strategies and Financial Platforms to Increase the Recovery of Used Packaging. The paper seeks to identify strategies and financing mechanisms used across the globe that are most effective in recovering packaging waste and addressing financing challenges.


Annie Leonard of the Story of Stuff to host Webinar on Driving Change

Join the EPA Materials Management webinar on Sept. 10, 2013 from 9:30AM – 11:00AM PST, to hear Annie Leonard, founder of the Story of Stuff Project, speak on how to communicate effectively and drive change in individuals, organizations and systems. This is a free webinar open to the public. 


Call2Recycle Named First Battery Recycling Plan for NY State

The New York Department of Environmental Conservation has named Call2Recycle the first battery recycling plan under the New York State Rechargeable Battery Act. Call2Recycle is a no-cost battery and cellphone collection program. The act, signed into law in December of 2010, requires manufacturers of select rechargeable batteries to collect and recycle the batteries statewide in a manufacturer-funded program at no cost to consumers. On behalf of its more than 200 industry stewards, Call2Recycle submitted a battery management plan, which has been approved by New York State. The plan ensures complete compliance for all active Call2Recycle industry stewards.


Call2Recycle CEO Points out Considerations for Successful EPR Programs and Debates on Eco-Fee Models

The CEO of Call2Recycle, Carl E. Smith, points out concerns that should be considered when developing EPR programs in an article, Critical Considerations Can Mean Success or Failure for an EPR Program. The article points to the need to establish a foundation for EPR programs and consider key questions before developing policies, including: Is the material hazardous or toxic? Is the product consumable? What are the issues generated by the sheer size of the product/material? Are there secondary or inaccessible products inside the product? And, is there tangible residual value for the product material?

In a second article in Environmental Leader, Eco-Fees: Changing ‘Visibility Concerns’ to ‘Visible Change,’ Carl speaks to the debate about visible versus non-visible eco-fees. He stresses that the strongest benefits of eco-fees are influencing consumer behavior and encouraging environmentally responsible product design.  


Jim Quinn, Hazardous Waste Program Manager, Metro, Oregon 

Jim Quinn, Portland Metro

What was your introduction to product stewardship?


I first encountered the concept at a NAHMMA conference around 1994, when a representative of the British Columbia Ministry of the Environment spoke about their brand new product stewardship program for paint. At the time it struck me as a wildly new and different approach, something that could happen in Canada, but I didn’t really think about possible applications closer to home. At another NAHMMA conference in the mid-1990s, a representative of the battery industry spoke. Someone in the audience proclaimed that they would box up their leftover batteries and send them to the company. Again this struck me as something out of left field. It wasn’t until the early 2000s, when PSI was founded, the national paint dialogue started up, and my agency began talking about product stewardship in our planning documents, that I started to think this pie-in-the-sky idea could be a reality.  


 What intrigues you about Product Stewardship?


My focus is on product stewardship for HHW products. Many HHW programs are doing a valiant job of collecting and managing HHW, but it has always bothered me that we really aren’t capturing anywhere near 100%- a lot of it is still getting buried in landfills, languishing in storage, or worse. Government just doesn’t have the resources to completely solve the problem. But for the first time I am seeing a path to comprehensively dealing with hazardous consumer products at end-of-life, and it includes as a key element well-designed and operated product stewardship programs.   

What does PS mean to you?


In my role as program manager for Metro’s hazardous waste program, it means $1 million less that Metro needs to spend each year to collect and manage the region’s HHW, as the producer-funded PaintCare program here in Oregon now takes care of the costs of transporting and recycling all of the architectural paint we collect. And it means the possibility of reducing my annual budget by another $1 million in the coming years, if we can pass robust product stewardship programs for a variety of HHW products in the state (as detailed in a study we recently published, contact me if you’d like a copy).  And it’s not just the financial benefit, ultimately it is about the possibility of fully achieving Metro’s mission of proper management of all HHW in the region, a mission that certainly resonates with me personally.


What’s your personal PS goal?

I am inspired by what our neighbors to the north in British Columbia have accomplished, and believe we can accomplish similar things here in the US (i.e. effective product stewardship programs for a wide variety of HHW: paint, pesticides, solvents, mercury-containing lamps, batteries, pharmaceuticals, etc.) And I am a big proponent of including Metro’s specialized HHW collection infrastructure and our highly skilled staff as a part of the collection systems for these products.


Anything else you’d like to share?


I’ve mentioned NAHMMA a couple of times. As the organization of folks concerned with management of hazardous waste from household and small businesses, NAHMMA has a vested interest in successful product stewardship programs. I chair the policy committee for NAHMMA, and product stewardship is one of two main focus areas for us (the other is chemical policy reform, also of interest to NWPSC members). We have adopted a policy agenda, which we pursue through advocating for legislative change, partnering with other organizations, and educating our members.

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.

Update your subscriptions, modify your password or email address, or stop subscriptions at any time on your Subscriber Preferences Page. You will need to use your email address to log in. If you have questions or problems with the subscription service, please contact support@govdelivery.com.