Governor Shumlin Signs Paint Stewardship Bill into Law

Vermont’s governor has signed into law the state’s paint take-back and recycling bill.

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“Gov. Peter Shumlin signed House Bill 262 that requires manufacturers to fund and operate a post-consumer paint take-back program in the state. The law aims for end-of-life management of architectural paint in Vermont while shifting the management and financial burden away from state and local governments, according to a news release from the Boston-based Product Stewardship Institute Inc. (PSI).”

Read the whole article on the Waste360 site.

Vermont: Big Fish in Mercury Recycling

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Two to three million mercury thermostats go out of service each year, contributing to significant mercury pollution. While manufacturers are overall failing to collect the mercury, Vermont is the top state in per capita collection. Among one of the ten states with mandates for mercury collection, Vermont exemplifies EPR (Extended Producer Responsibility) with an incentive program, taking the top rank.

Life After Landfills

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Vermont is officially shutting down the Moretown landfill. Vermonters will be forced to confront the notion of unlimited disposal and rethink consumption habits.

With the loss of a major landfill and policy in place to phase in universal recycling and EPR, in a VT Digger op/ed, Cassandra Hemenway Brush suggests investing in infrastructure that supports composting, reuse and recycling businesses to cultivate a zero waste culture.

“Let’s Think Bigger” – How EPR Can Transform Resource Management

Extended Producer Recycling (EPR) will mandate that companies collect and reuse a determined percentage of their own packaging waste, but it will give the companies freedom in implementation. EPR attacks the issue of all packaging waste, bottles and beyond.  Producers will be challenged to figure out “how to get stuff back and do something with it,” reducing energy expenditure, chemical production, and overall waste of resources. Though many are resistant to the concept, some companies, like Nestle are on board and eager to have more access to recycled materials. Once the model for EPR is set in a few states, with the help of smaller organizations reaching out and educating corporations, EPR can be taken to the national level.

Find out more about How Corporate America Might Just Save Recycling.

The “Polluter Pays” Principle: EPR & Product Stewardship

To create a sustainable waste management system by mandating recycling and composting of all solid waste, we must determine where accountability lies for the entire lifecycle of a product and its packaging. We can look to the Swedish model of Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) where the manufacturer is accountable from production to disposal, or the approach of Product Stewardship where all parties from designer to disposer are universally responsible for the environmental footprint of a product.

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