Local Actions

Local governments play key roles in the transition to Extended Producer Responsibility.

Regulatory Role

  • Adopt a local EPR resolution
    • Announce to producers of throw-away products that your municipality is phasing out rate-payer and tax-payer financed management of their wastes.  Producers will be expected to finance and/or and manage it themselves. 
  • Use disposal bans to drive products into recycling and EPR programs
    • Help recycling programs be effective by eliminating the easy disposal options that compete for the products. 
  • Nurture recycling through smart zoning and business licensing
    • Recognize recycling and reuse businesses as the mirror image of retail businesses.  Make sure in-store product take-back is exempt from unnecessary regulation and that clean recycling businesses are not restricted from commercial areas by zoning rules.
  • Adopt local take-back laws where feasible
    • Where local authority and conditions permit, consider requiring take-back of hard-to-recycle products as a condition for sale in the jurisdiction.
  • Lobby senior levels of government for EPR legislation
    • Only senior governments can create a level playing field so that all brand-owners for a particular product category are subject to the same stewardship responsibilities. 

Service Provider Role

  • Develop an exit strategy for product waste management
    • Phase out public management of waste products and packaging as EPR programs take over this responsibility.
  • Focus on organics (food scraps and yard trimmings)
    • Encourage development of services to provide recycling for yard trimmings and food scraps as part of the community waste system.
  • Take a new approach to waste characterization
    • Survey current waste quantities and management costs by product category rather than by material type.
  • Develop financing strategies for Zero Waste
    • Anticipate a shift from disposal fees to recycling fees, and ultimately to recycling being provided and financed by the private sector.

Consumer Role

  • Specify take-back in purchasing
    • Implement environmentally preferable purchasing with product take-back specifications.