#MACoCon Features Future of EPR, Conversations on Recycling

At MACo’s Summer Conference, an expert panel examined the future of extended producer responsibility in Maryland. 

Recycling is a core function of local government, which until recently has largely been profitable or, at the very least, self-funding. Changing market conditions have turned this service into a major expense, upending long-term county plans. Now, policymakers and environmental activists are starting to question who should pay for this service, the taxpayer or the producers of packaging.

Delegate Sara Love led the conversation and moderated an informative panel at the “Don’t Kick the Can Down the Road: Next Steps in Recycling ” MACo Summer Conference session.

Don’t Kick the Can Down the Road: Next Steps in Recycling 

Description: Recycling nationally has been structured so that taxpayers bear the burden of decisions made at the corporate level. If someone buys a bottle of soda, that bottle is processed in a government-funded facility, and if that jurisdiction is lucky, they may recoup some of the recycling costs. But what if that structure was flipped on its head? Instead of taxpayers paying for recycling on the backend, what if the actual recycling costs were baked into the product and producers were encouraged to choose more environmentally friendly packaging? This is the theory behind extended producer responsibility or (EPR). This panel will explore the feasibility of EPR in Maryland, including its potential benefits and barriers.  


  • Megan Daum, Vice President of Sustainability, American Beverage Association
  • Chaz Miller – Maryland Recycling Network 
  • Andrea Crooms, Director, Prince George’s Department of the Environment 
  • Lelande Rehard, Senior Associate – Policy & Programs, Product Stewardship Institute 

Moderator: The Honorable Sara Love, Maryland House of Delegates  

More about MACo’s Summer Conference: