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Waste & Recycling May 24, 2024 03:01:28 AM

California’s Senate Passes Household Hazardous Waste Extended Producer Responsibility Legislation

Waste Advantage
ScrapMonster Author
HHW is a broad category of many common products used daily by consumers that contain hazardous materials.

California’s Senate Passes Household Hazardous Waste Extended Producer Responsibility Legislation

SEATTLE (Waste Advantage): SB 1143, the Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) Producer Responsibility Act authored by Senator Ben Allen (D-24), passed off of the Senate Floor with a 30-7 vote. Sponsored by the National Stewardship Action Council (NSAC), the bill will establish Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) for HHW.

“Extended producer responsibility – ensuring producers, not taxpayers, pay the cost to manage their products at the end-of-life – has long been a focus of my work. Today, the Senate passed #SB1143, which would apply EPR to costly and difficult-to-handle household hazardous waste.” Senator Allen tweeted.

HHW is a broad category of many common products used daily by consumers that contain hazardous materials. HHW requires special handling and disposal, as it is illegal to dispose of HHW in trash or recycling, down storm drains, or onto the ground. When illegally or improperly disposed of, HHW can release toxic chemicals into the environment and contaminate our air, water, and food supply. Improperly disposed HHW exposes recycling and waste workers to avoidable dangers and increases insurance costs to recycling and landfill operators.

Providing convenient access to HHW collection and removing contamination of HHW from the trash or recycling will be critical to making laws such as the groundbreaking SB 54 (Allen) successful.  “Cal-Waste Recovery Systems is only collecting and processing curbside recycling bins yet in 2023 removed 183,000 pounds of HHW from the sort line. The contamination of food-grade materials from hazardous items should be of utmost concern to us all”, said Heidi Sanborn, Executive Director of NSAC.

The California Commission on Recycling Markets and Curbside Recycling which was comprised of 17 experts representing materials management companies, local governments, unions, and NGOs unanimously recommended that the legislature establish EPR for HHW in 2021. SB 1143 is a comprehensive solution that moves California away from its existing product-by-product approach to producer responsibility. 

Courtesy: www.wasteadvantage.com

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