On Thursday February 16, 2017, the Oregon Senate Committee on Environment and Natural Resources held an informational meeting on SB 199 followed by an initial hearing. This is the first step for this piece of legislation, and if passed, will implement an extended producer responsibility program for household hazardous waste products in the state. Recycling Advocates was represented on the task force that discussed and refined the program presented in this legislation, and testified at the Senate Committee.
SB 199 covers the proper handling and disposal of a variety of products: solvents and other flammable products, herbicides and pesticides from our home and garden, and oven cleaners and pool chemicals for example. Throughout Oregon, it has been the responsibility of local governments to manage the environmentally sound disposal of these products with rate payers picking up the financial burden. This legislation adds the manufacturers of these products into the list of responsible parties, putting the primary burden of funding and environmental management on their shoulders. The legislation defines the desired outcome and the manufacturers implement the process and cover the costs.
The structure created for this program is very similar to Oregon’s E-Cycles program, a tried and true framework for successful producer responsibility. RA’s Board of Directors encourages the passage of this bill. We urge you to contact your state Senator, particularly if they are members of the Committee on Environment and Natural Resources. They are:
- Chair, Senator Michael Dembrow
- Vice-Chair, Senator Alan Olsen
- Member, Senator Herman Baertschiger Jr.
- Member, Senator Floyd Prozanski
- Member, Senator Arnie Roblan
If you are a constituent of one of these Senators please let them know that when you contact them. And watch this space for updates as SB 199 works its way through the committee and beyond.
Here is the letter we sent to Senator Michael Dembrow
By Betty Patton, RA Board Member and Past President