Counties Advocate for Recycling Support

MACo Policy Associate Alex Butler today submitted testimony to the House Environment and Transportation Committee to support HB 36 Environment – Packaging, Containers, and Paper Products – Producer Responsibility. This bill requires packaging producers to provide reimbursements to county recycling networks due to the role these producers play in creating waste.

From the MACo Testimony:

Currently, all costs associated with recycling and waste management are left to local governments, and in effect, taxpayers. Due largely to declining markets for recycled commodities, county recycling networks have experienced significant hardships and have been forced to draw taxpayer subsidies to continue their operations.

HB 36 outlines a framework for an Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) model that would place responsibility on packaging producers for end-of-life management. Industry members would form one or more stewardship organizations that would collect payments from producers covered under the bill. Local governments would be eligible to apply for and receive reimbursements for the work they are already doing, including collecting, transporting, and processing covered materials. Counties would then be able to invest any new funds back into their networks to help ease the burden on taxpayers.
HB 36 would also encourage producers to make packaging that is more easily recyclable and more environmentally friendly.

Follow MACo’s advocacy efforts during the 2021 legislative session on MACo’s Legislative Tracking Database.