NYPSC Updates

Packaging Stewardship Bills Gain Momentum

New York’s two EPR for packaging bills (S 1185and A 9790) remain active. The NY PSC began advancing packaging EPR in 2020. Early in the year, two packaging EPR bills (S 1185 and A 9790) were introduced. The PSC worked directly with Senator Todd Kaminsky and Assemblyman Steve Englebright to inform these bills, providing model packaging elements (drawn from PSI’s policy model) and extensive comments. Along with a coalition of supporters including Citizens’ Campaign for the Environment, the New York League of Conservation Voters, Environmental Advocates NY, the National Resources Defense Council, and the NY State Association of Counties, NY PSC plans to continue supporting packaging EPR in the upcoming 2021 legislative session.

E-Waste Remains A Top Priority for NY PSC

A promising EPR bill for e-waste (S 8480/A 10662) stalled in 2020 due to the early adjournment of the legislature, but remains a top priority for NY PSC. “Same-as” bills introduced by Senator Todd Kaminsky and Assemblywoman Pamela Hunter aim to make critical improvements to the New York State Electronic Equipment Recycling and Reuse Act (“E-Waste Act”) of 2010.NY PSC intends to continue working with state’s major professional solid waste and recycling associations, including the New York State Association for Reduction, Reuse, and Recycling (NYSAR3), the Solid Waste Association of North America – NY Chapter (SWANA-NY), and the New York State Association for Solid Waste Management (NYSASWM) to support these amendments in 2021.

Congratulations to NY PSC Advisor Peter Pettit on his Retirement

Long-Serving Advisor to the NY PSC, Peter Pettit, Retired in Fall 2020. NY PSC bids Peter Pettit adieu after serving many years as Director of the Bureau of Waste Reduction & Recycling at the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. Peter was also a long-time advisor to the NY PSC, providing technical expertise on EPR across product areas. His quiet leadership, honesty, and integrity will be sorely missed by all. NY PSC wishes Pete all the best in his retirement!

New York State News

NYSAR3 Fall Conference Goes Virtual with Success; Features Panels on Product Stewardship, EPR, and Zero Waste

At the NYSAR3 31st Annual NYS Recycling Conference and Trade Show, NY PSC Board Chair Andrew Radin moderated a panel on Recycling Markets and Packaging EPR covering the latest on market price trends for fiber, plastics, and metal, followed by and update on packaging EPR proposals in New York and beyond. Speakers from Casella, Waste Management, and Resource Recycling Systems were joined by Senator Todd Kaminsky on this lively panel. PSC Vice Chair Dawn Timm also moderated a panel on EPR in New York, with updates on key emerging EPR developments including the proposed amendments to the state’s e-waste law, next steps for paint stewardship, and emerging legislation on carpet and mattresses. Speakers included Marjaneh Zarrehparvar, President of PaintCare, Marie Clarke of the International Sleep Products Association, and Resa Dimino with Resource Recycling Systems – also NY PSC Treasurer. NY PSC Coordinator Sydney Harris of PSI also presented on two panels, discussing Reusables in the Age of COVID-19 and PSI’s work helping restaurants in Erie and Niagara Counties reduce their plastic footprints. View the full program online.

NY Climate Action Council’s Waste Advisory Panel Launches Discussions

NY PSC Board Member Resa Dimino joins committee. The Climate Action Council is charged with preparing a Scoping Plan to achieve the clean energy and climate goals set out in the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act, which include an 85 percent reduction in GHG emissions by 2050.  The Waste Advisory Panel is charged with developing recommendations that reduce the GHG impacts from the waste sector for the Council to consider as it develops the scoping plan. EPR has been a central part of the Panel’s discussions and draft recommendations to date. Proposed targets for EPR policy include packaging and printed paper, carpets, refrigerant containing appliances, and clean energy products (e.g., batteries, solar panels), among others. For more information see: https://climate.ny.gov/

NY PaintCare Program Launch on track for 2021; PaintCare Seeking Program Manager and Coordinator

PaintCare seeks qualified candidates including a Program Manager and one or more Program Coordinators to implement the New York PaintCare program. PaintCare will consider candidates with various levels of experience and located in different regions of the state. The program manager will be responsible for developing, implementing, and overseeing the operations of the New York PaintCare program. Program coordinators will assist with program implementation, including developing partnerships with program stakeholders and identifying, recruiting, and training paint drop-off locations. Learn more and apply.

New York State Drug Take Back Act Implementation – Continued Inaction from DOH

Over a year delayed, NY PSC continues to await action from DOH on Drug Take Back Act. The NYS Drug Take Back Act requires pharmaceutical manufacturers to fund a statewide drug take-back program that provides safe, convenient drug disposal options for the public. After the law took effect in January 2019, The Department of Health (DOH) has yet to publish final regulations to enable the implementation of the program, more than a year after closing the public comment period on draft regulations. Pharmaceutical manufacturers, due to submit take-back plans by July 2019, have still not submitted any program plans. The lack of safe disposal options for unwanted or expired pharmaceutical drugs in New York not only contributes to the drug abuse epidemic and accidental poisonings, but also to the pollution of our treasured waters across the state. Ongoing delay of the law’s implementation threatens to exacerbate the opioid epidemic amid the continued COVID-19 pandemic. In 2021, NY PSC will continue to push for action to implement this critical Act.

New York Passes Polystyrene Foam Ban

New York’s Expanded Polystyrene Foam Container and Polystyrene Loose Fill Packaging Ban takes effect on Jan. 1, 2022. The new law is the nation’s strongest statewide ban on expanded polystyrene, single-use foam food containers, and polystyrene packaging materials (packing peanuts). The NYS Department of Environmental Conservation in partnership with the New York State Pollution Prevention Institute invited stakeholders to attend a one hour virtual public meeting about NY’s Expanded Polystyrene Foam Container and Polystyrene Loose Fill Packaging Ban on Thursday, January 21, 2021 at 11 a.m. EST. Learn more about the law on this page and sign up to receive the latest information.

National Product Stewardship Updates

Flexible Packaging Association and Product Stewardship Institute Release Agreement on Legislative Elements of EPR for Packaging

PSI and FPA reached agreement on 8 elements of an EPR bill for packaging and paper products (PPP), with key input from NY PSC. NY PSC Board Members participated in a year-long dialogue with local and state level governments from around the country and the member companies of the Flexible Packaging Association (FPA) to reach a shared vision for a packaging EPR program that includes flexibles. The dialogue was designed and facilitated by PSI. The FPA/PSI dialogue marks the first time in the U.S. that producers of flexible packaging, state and local government agencies, environmental groups, and recyclers have collaborated to develop a regulatory framework for transforming the U.S. packaging materials management system. PSI and FPA invite other brand owners, producers, haulers, recyclers, agencies, and organizations to participate in similar discussions. Read more in the press release.

First All Battery Bill in the Nation Passes Legislative Council in District of Columbia

The District of Columbia Legislative Council passed the first all-battery producer responsibility bill in the nation in December 2020. The bill, approved by D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser and expected to be approved by Congress, will ensure that producers set up an effective recovery and recycling program in D.C. for both single-use and rechargeable consumer batteries. PSI’s policy team played a critical role in the development of the bill. The team’s technical advice combined with PSI’s network of experts around the country was instrumental to incorporating best practices into what has been touted as the nation’s strongest bill yet on batteries.

Statewide Pharmaceutical Program Launches in Washington

Washington State’s new drug take-back program launched on November 21, 2020. The program is operated by the national organization MED-Project and funded by pharmaceutical manufacturers launched in Washington State. Drop-off kiosks are available at pharmacies, clinics, hospitals, and law enforcement locations and prepaid return mailers can also be requested by residents from participating pharmacies. More information can be found at the MED-Project site for the Washington program and the Washington State Department of Health site.

PSI is hiring!

The Product Stewardship Institute (PSI) seeks an experienced, creative individual with a passion for environmental issues, an eye for design, and exceptional writing, editing, marketing, communications, interpersonal, and project management skills to serve as Director of Marketing and Communications. Reporting to the Chief Executive Officer, the Director of Marketing and Communications will develop and implement a digital marketing and communications plan to increase the organization’s visibility and sphere of influence, support outreach and communications around policy issues, and support the development of new funding opportunities at this fast-paced nonprofit organization. Learn more and apply.

Events, Webinars, and Conferences


2021 NY Federation Conference | Solid Waste & Recycling: Strive for Sustainability. The annual NY Federation Conference is now accepting registrations for 2021. The theme of this year’s conference is “Strive for Sustainability.” Speakers from across the spectrum of materials management will discuss how this concept will influence solid waste management and recycling, from COVID 19 industry impacts to innovative landfill operations, composting, recycling, and EPR. May 16-19, 2021. Learn more & register


Webinar | What Packaging EPR Means for Haulers & MRF Operators – Recording available for purchase

In December, PSI, the Solid Waste Association of North America (SWANA), the Extended Producer Responsibility Alliance (EXPRA) and the International Solid Waste Association (ISWA) presented a webinar about the effects of packaging EPR programs on haulers and MRF operators. PSI’s Scott Cassel and Sydney Harris provided a brief overview of packaging EPR in the U.S. and the different models that are emerging. Representatives from large and small waste management companies, managers of municipal programs, and owners and operators of MRFs discussed the challenges and opportunities they see in EPR, their thoughts on EPR legislation, and their roles under EPR programs.

Webinar Series| Master Class EPR with ISWA, EXPRA, and PSI – Free recordings available

PSI, the International Solid Waste Association (ISWA), and the Extended Producer Responsibility Alliance (EXPRA) jointly hosted four EPR Master Class webinars exploring the concept of EPR and its application to various waste streams in different countries. These webinars covered the basics of EPR, information on EPR fees and fee modulation, a discussion of EPR systems and vertical integration, and final, an exploration of best-practice case studies from four countries. Recordings of all four webinars are available for free online.

Support the NY PSC

New York’s extended producer responsibility (EPR) laws for electronics, thermostats, rechargeable batteries, and pharmaceuticals have saved local governments millions of dollars in waste management costs each year by making manufacturers responsible for the materials they sell. The paint EPR law we helped pass in 2019 will save municipalities millions more each year.

We ask for your community’s support today so we can establish EPR programs for packaging, household hazardous waste, carpet, and other products.

We are at a critical moment for addressing the plastics and packaging crisis. Recycling costs have skyrocketed, driven by the loss of markets caused by China’s restrictions on recyclable material imports, as well as inherent flaws in a system that has long needed updating.  Gone are the days when we could rely on recycling as a revenue stream. Whether you contract for services or operate a municipal facility, costs are escalating and many of us are facing bills in the hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars to continue our programs. Statewide, the cost impact of these market changes to local recycling programs is estimated to exceed $40 million in 2019. The situation in 2020 has not improved.

Please consider demonstrating your support with a sponsorship contribution today.

What We’re Reading

Support the NYPSC

Extended producer responsibility (EPR) laws in New York State for electronics, thermostats, rechargeable batteries, pharmaceuticals, paint, carpet and solar panels are saving local governments millions of dollars in waste management costs each year by making manufacturers responsible for the materials they sell.

Please consider reinvesting those savings to support NYPSC’s work. Become a sponsor today.

Want to know more about our work? Check out the 2023 NYPSC Annual Report.