We support and take part in regional solid waste policy planning efforts.
A Better Way to Handle Washington's Paper and Packaging
In recent years, the recycling system has faced dramatic changes. Paper and packaging are harder to recycle than they used to be - but they make up most curbside recycling. Because these changes threaten the system's viability, we are exploring alternatives statewide. Right now, consumers pay for their own waste. A different system called Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) would have manufacturers pay instead. Recycling and composting are cheaper than throwing things away in the landfill. Manufacturers would be more likely to make their products recyclable or compostable.
The province of British Columbia has successfully switched to an EPR system. The Responsible Recycling Task Force evaluated how EPR could work in Washington State. Here, EPR would be applied to packaging and paper.
Supporting Product Stewardship Programs
Product stewardship is another way to manage waste. Whoever designs, makes, or sells a product takes responsibility for its environmental impact. It's often used for products that contain hazardous materials. Product stewardship gives people places to take products when they're done with them. In Washington, product stewardship applies to fluorescent lights, household electronics, medicine, and paint.
Our team participates on the Steering Committee of the Northwest Product Stewardship Council.