Legislative Update Spring 2013

This year, the Washington State Legislature considered recycling and producer responsibility bills that ranged from good to extremely damaging.

One of Zero Waste Washington’s top legislative priorities was the defeat of two bills to dismantle the existing mercury-containing lights recycling law. With help from our allies, we successfully stopped these harmful bills. However, the National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) has filed a lawsuit against Department of Ecology that challenges the lighting Rule (more) and its determination that the manufacturers are responsible for fully financing the recycling program. We are monitoring this situation and continuing to work for a producer-paid recycling program for mercury-containing lights that is convenient for residents throughout the State.

Another Zero Waste Washington priority was passage of two good bills that would result in producer-provided recycling programs for rechargeable batteries and paint. Recycling rechargeable batteries recovers and reuses metal that replaces the output of mining and other extractive industries. Latex paint is a large volume waste stream that can be recycled, and leftover oil-based and latex paints pose a health risk to Washington families and our environment. Despite the fact that these bills were brought forward and supported by industry organizations, they didn’t pass this year.

Zero Waste Washington also opposes a bill that would weaken the Model Toxics Control Act (MTCA), making significant structural changes without a serious stakeholder process to weigh potential unintended consequences. Passed by the voters in 1988, MTCA is a critical program that funds toxic clean-up projects, implements prevention strategies, and protects public health. The budget-related bill could be considered during the special legislative session that starts on May 13, and we’ll continue to oppose it. You can help! Please call the legislative hotline at 1-800-562-6000 and let your legislators know that you oppose Senate Bill 5296.

Last Updated (Monday, 24 February 2014 13:17)