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NYPSC Quarterly Newsletter – Spring 2019

NYPSC Updates
NYPSC Celebrates Ten Year Anniversary
NYPSC Releases Briefing Paper on Packaging EPR
NYPSC Releases 2018 Annual Report
NYPSC Submits Recommendations for Rules and Implementation of New York Drug Take Back Act

New York State News
NY Dept. of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) Holds Stakeholder Meetings to Update Solid Waste Management Plan
NYS Senate Environmental Conservation Committee Unanimously Supports Paint Stewardship Bill
Product Stewardship Bill Introduced for Primary (Alkaline) Batteries

National Updates
Product Stewardship Councils (PSCs): the Engine for Change in 2019
Education and Convenient Access to Drug Disposal Kiosks Critical for Effective Drug Take-Back
Vermont Continues to Lead U.S. Battery Recycling
Now Available! The Future of Packaging: From Linear to Circular

Events, Webinars, & Conferences

What We’re Reading

NYPSC Updates

NYPSC Celebrates Ten Year Anniversary
Last month, NYPSC celebrated its ten year anniversary. The group was founded in March 2009 by New York local governments, the New York State Association for Solid Waste Management (NYSASWM), and the Product Stewardship Institute (PSI) to jointly solve problems related to the end-of-life management of problematic consumer products and packaging. NYPSC was initially funded by NYSASWM. Today, a wide variety of prominent Partners across the state financially support the organization.

NYPSC’s accomplishments include helping to pass the state’s four “extended producer responsibility” (EPR) laws for electronics, rechargeable batteries, mercury thermostats, and pharmaceuticals. EPR laws require product manufacturers to finance and manage the recycling or safe disposal of their products, taking the financial burden off taxpayers and governments.

Along the way, the state’s other professional recycling and solid waste associations have provided invaluable input and support, including the New York State Association for Reduction, Reuse, and Recycling (NYSAR3), the Solid Waste Association of North America, New York Chapter (SWANA-NY), and the Federation of New York Solid Waste Associations. Others providing support and guidance to NYPSC in the past decade have included Call2Recycle, Covanta, the NY City Department of Sanitation, and Sims Municipal Recycling.

PSI has coordinated monthly meetings; helped the group prioritize products to address; provided education and technical assistance to stakeholders; and provided models for many of the EPR laws passed and new proposals still under consideration.

NYPSC Releases Briefing Paper on Packaging EPR
The briefing paper summarizes fundamental challenges in New York’s current recycling system inhibit progress with regard to dealing with packaging waste. The paper explains why EPR is the long-term solution to transform the system to be efficient, fair, and cost-effective. It also notes proven precedents around the world and describes opportunities to advance packaging EPR in New York State.

NYPSC encourages your agency to consider the environmental and economic benefits that will be achieved for New York State by holding producers responsible for waste management costs associated with the packaging and printed paper they put on the market.

Help us urge the New York State Legislature to consider the benefits of EPR legislation for packaging and printed paper View our model resolution and consider passing it in your jurisdiction.

NYPSC Releases 2018 Annual Report
NYPSC’s 2018 Annual Report provides an overview of the organization’s achievements in 2018 and outlines goals for 2019. Last year, NYPSC rallied local governments to support the passage of the Drug Take-Back Act and provided recommendations that ultimately improved the program. NYPSC also made important strides to advance product stewardship for paint, primary batteries, and product packaging.

This year, NYPSC’s top priorities include promoting strategies to address the recycling crisis across the state including consideration of packaging EPR, passing a strong paint stewardship program, and advocating for strong implementation of the Drug Take-Back Act.

NYPSC Submits Recommendations for Rules and Implementation of New York Drug Take Back Act
Last year, the Act became law thanks to the support of a coalition consisting of NYPSC, PSI, the NY State Association of Counties, and Citizens Campaign for the Environment. Now joined by Riverkeeper, the coalition continues to monitor the implementation phase, and has submitted detailed recommendations to the New York Department of Health to strengthen the rules and implementation of the Act.

New York State News

NY Dept. of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) Holds Stakeholder Meetings to Update Solid Waste Management Plan
The Solid Waste Management Plan sets forth a path for solid waste management across New York. The current Plan will expire at the end of 2020. To prepare for the next version, NYSDEC held stakeholder meetings across the state from February 14th to March 27th to review what the State has accomplished in the last decade, the current state of solid waste management, and pressing local issues. At the meetings, NYSDEC solicited feedback, concerns, and suggestions to improve solid waste management in New York.

NYS Senate Environmental Conservation Committee Unanimously Supports Paint Stewardship Bill
The NYS Paint Stewardship Bill (S.4351, same as A.6373) moved quickly through the NY State Senate’s Environmental Conservation Committee on April 9, 2019, advancing to the Senate’s Finance Committee for further review. As of mid-April, it is not known, however, when, or if, the bill will be considered by the Assembly’s Environmental Conservation Committee.  Please help move the bill forward in the Assembly by contacting your local Assembly member today and urging them to support Assembly Bill 6373.  To learn more, visit: http://nypsc.org/paint/

Product Stewardship Bill Introduced for Primary (Alkaline) Batteries Senator Jen Metzger and Assembly member Steve Englebright have introduced “same as” bills that would require manufacturers of primary (alkaline) batteries to collect and properly manage the batteries at the end of their useful life.  The bill numbers are A.4105 (Englebright) and S.2610 (Metzger), respectively. It is estimated that some seven million pounds of alkaline and other primary batteries could be recovered statewide under such a manufacturer-managed program.  NYPSC is tracking this legislation closely which has been referred to the legislature’s respective Environmental Conservation Committees.

National Updates

Product Stewardship Councils (PSCs): the Engine for Change in 2019
2018 saw meaningful accomplishments by PSCs across the U.S., including passage of the NY Drug Take-Back Act supported by NY PSC; the successful IL PSC-hosted Medical Sharps Dialogue Meeting; and the startup of the brand new MO PSC. It also marked the VT PSC’s 10th anniversary, a milestone that illustrates the pioneering and persevering spirit behind its pursuit of the first U.S. EPR law for HHW. In 2019, PSCs will continue to drive the momentum for product stewardship and EPR.

Education and Convenient Access to Drug Disposal Kiosks Critical for Effective Drug Take-Back
A new study published in the Journal of Pain Research shows that opioid-prescribed patients who receive information on the importance of drug disposal are three times more likely to dispose of unused drugs rather than keep them in home medicine cabinets where they can be a gateway for abuse. Most significantly, 84 percent of patients said they would use a drug disposal kiosk if one were located at a place they frequently visit.

Vermont Continues to Lead U.S. Battery Recycling
In 2014, Vermont passed the first — and still, the only — EPR law in the U.S. that covers household primary batteries of multiple chemistries. When the program began in 2016, Vermont saw a 187 percent increase in all battery collections (including both primary and rechargeable) and has since topped the charts for per capita battery collection performance.

Now Available! The Future of Packaging: From Linear to Circular
The Future of Packaging: From Linear to Circular is now available. Written by Terracycle CEO and Founder, Tom Szaky, and leaders spanning government, industry, and waste management, the book offers practical guidance for businesses large and small to innovate for a circular economy. Get your copy and crack open PSI CEO Scott Cassel’s chapter, which explores “Who is Responsible for Recycling Packaging?” and the benefits to be gained from holding brand owners responsible for reducing the impacts of their packaging choices.

Events, Webinars, and Conferences

  • Free webinar: Designing Sharps Stewardship for the Circular Economy | Product Stewardship Institute | May 7 | 11:00am – 12:30pm EDT | Register
  • Strive For Sustainability Solid Waste & Recycling Conference | Federation of New York Solid Waste Associations | May 19 – 22 | Bolton Landing, NY | Register
  • International Product Stewardship Forum | Global Product Stewardship Council and DASTRI | July 2-3 | Paris, France | Register
  • 2020 U.S. Product Stewardship Forum | Get ready! Be sure to put funding in your budget for the next PSI conference. The date and location will be announced in the coming months.

What We’re Reading

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