Read the full story in Environmental Protection.
The current waste management system in California relies on more than 500 local governments and their waste haulers to figure out how to recycle and dispose of products, even hazardous ones. In California, products banned from landfills exceed $500 million annually, according to a report done by the Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle). There is no estimate of the total cost of collection and disposal.
Driven to reduce these costs, encourage less toxic products and those that can be cost-effectively recycled, more jurisdictions are adopting resolutions to support a policy called extended producer responsibility (EPR). Producer responsibility shifts the cost of product waste management from the taxpayers and garbage ratepayers to the producers of products, which often incorporate the cost into the product purchase price. It also shifts responsibility for the recycling system to the private sector, ensuring a smaller government and more competitive as well as cost-effective recycling system.