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[GreenYes] Producer Responsibility & Consumer Costs
I agree that consumers -- not taxpayers -- should bear the lion's share of
the cost of managing a product when it is no longer desired. I also believe
that these two groups are vastly different.

This viewed was shared by Frank Popoff, chairman of Dow, when he spoke to
Congress in 1993, saying that the complete life cycle cost of a product
should be examined and incorporated into the price of products. He went on
to say "Then we will need to pass that full cost to the ultimate consuemr so
that he or she can decide to consume or not consume based on full
information free of hidden costs or subsidies."

However, in addition to consumers, I believe that the manufacturers should
also have a responsibility -- it is they who are the only ones who can
redesign products to reduce their overall environmental impact. They also
have the greatest amount of technical knowledge of the components of their
products along with the supply chain and logistics of the flow of the
material,  and thus are in the best position to determine how they can be
reused or recovered. 

The role of manufacturers for EPR was also recognized by industry members
serving on The President's Council on Sustainable Development, chaired by
David Buzzelli of Dow and Johathan Bush of the World Resources Instititute
in their 1996 report "Sustainable America. A New Consensus for Prosperity,
Opportunity, and a Healthy Environment for the Future". Other industries
represented include Ciba-Geigy, Pacific Gas and Electric, Georgia-Pacific,
S.C. Johnson & Son, Enron, and General Motors. The report calls for a
comprehensive system of manufacturers' responsibility for products. 

As an example of what seems to be an extremely well run EPR system run by
industry for used oil, used oil containers, and used oil filters, see the
web page http://www.usedoilrecycling.com/ for the program in western Canada.
A business plan and list of results are given at the "About Us" button.
Noting on their web page that "Used oil is the largest, single source of
potentially hazardous recyclable material in western Canada", the oil
industry set up a comprehensive program to recycle these items with a small
fee included with sale of the product. At a presentation I attended some
years back by one of the representatives of this group, the representative
noted that the industry knew the material, knew the logistics and recognized
not only their responsibility but that they could handle the material more
effectively than government.

John Reindl, Recycling Manager
Dane County, WI 


> From: Heide Feldman [mailto:hfeldman@mrwmd.org]
> Sent: Monday, June 03, 2002 2:31 PM
> To: ' C E F G :-)'; pfranklin@container-recycling.org; RJayW2@aol.com
> Cc: GRRN - GreenYes
> Subject: RE: [GreenYes] Producer Responsibility & Consumer Costs
> 
> 
> I agree that this is a complex issue, but think that consumers of products
> should be responsible for disposal costs.  There are already several
models
> for this, incl. the purchase of tires where we pay a disposal fee in
> addition to the cost of the tire. Bottle bills do the same, when we pay a
> deposit we are in a way paying for the recycling of the bottle.  If I buy
a
> computer, I should pay for its disposal as part of the overall cost of the
> unit.  The person who doesn't own a computer should not have to pay for
our
> purchase. Of course, we could say the producers should be responsible, but
> that simply means that they would add the cost to the product so the
outcome
> is the same.
> 
> As to landfills, many of them are owned by public agencies, 
> not haulers. In
> our case, the landfill fees (fairly low at $30/ton) still 
> help to pay for
> our recycling program (we divert about 35% from the site, including
> demolition and construction debris) since recycling returns 
> are still too
> low to make the program self-supporting. 
> Best regards,
> Heidi Feldman
> Public Education Coordinator
> Monterey Regional Waste Management District
> Tel.: 831/384-5313     FAX: 831/384-3567
> 
> 
> 
> -----Original Message-----
> From: C E F G :-) [mailto:hither@mm.com]
> Sent: Sunday, June 02, 2002 7:02 PM
> To: pfranklin@container-recycling.org; RJayW2@aol.com
> Cc: GRRN - GreenYes
> Subject: RE: [GreenYes] Producer Responsibility & Consumer Costs
> 
> 
> 
> Pat, John and everyone...
> 
> ----- Part of Original Message -----
> "....consumers are taxpayers....Consumer/ taxpayers are 
> currently paying
> the cost of disposal/recycling/reuse -- through our garbage bills and
> through the taxes we pay....
> We simply need to realize that the consumer will be paying 
> the costs of
> disposal/recycling/reuse one way or another.  I'd like to 
> know which way
> is best and which way is cheapest...."
> + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + +
> 
> Consumer/taxpayer is basically everyone so let's drop the overuse of
> these two words.  Best and cheapest are what concern me the most.
> Producers will use any fees assessed to increase profits under the
> disguise of helping the environment.
> Waste haulers will also price gouge the consumer with 
> exorbitant curbside
> fees.  Do you remember the last time you called to have a mattress or
> boxspring
> disposed of?  Did they charge $30 or more?  Lastly we can not count on
> the landfills as they tend to be owned by the haulers.
> 
> There need to be several different methods used to assure 
> that products
> are manufactured with environmental responsibility and several
> reuse/disposal options available when the consumer wants to 
> get rid of an
> item.  The consuming public is not willing to pay $25-30 to discard a
> 5 year old computer monitor.  If that is the best($ costs) elected
> leaders and
> environmental staff members can come up with, then the vacant 
> lots, rural
> ditches and commercial dumpsters will continue to be used by consumers
> unwilling to pay more.
> 
> I do not have the answers to this complex problem, but I know this--
> "best and cheapest will not solve our environmental problems."
> 
> Regards, C. William
> 
> 
> -----Original Message-----
> From: C E F G :-) [mailto:hither@mm.com]
> Sent: Sunday, June 02, 2002 7:02 PM
> To: pfranklin@container-recycling.org; RJayW2@aol.com
> Cc: GRRN - GreenYes
> Subject: RE: [GreenYes] Producer Responsibility & Consumer Costs
> 
> 
> 
> Pat, John and everyone...
> 
> ----- Part of Original Message -----
> "....consumers are taxpayers....Consumer/ taxpayers are 
> currently paying
> the cost of disposal/recycling/reuse -- through our garbage bills and
> through the taxes we pay....
> We simply need to realize that the consumer will be paying 
> the costs of
> disposal/recycling/reuse one way or another.  I'd like to 
> know which way
> is best and which way is cheapest...."
> + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + +
> 
> Consumer/taxpayer is basically everyone so let's drop the overuse of
> these two words.  Best and cheapest are what concern me the most.
> Producers will use any fees assessed to increase profits under the
> disguise of helping the environment.
> Waste haulers will also price gouge the consumer with 
> exorbitant curbside
> fees.  Do you remember the last time you called to have a mattress or
> boxspring
> disposed of?  Did they charge $30 or more?  Lastly we can not count on
> the landfills as they tend to be owned by the haulers.
> 
> There need to be several different methods used to assure 
> that products
> are manufactured with environmental responsibility and several
> reuse/disposal options available when the consumer wants to 
> get rid of an
> item.  The consuming public is not willing to pay $25-30 to discard a
> 5 year old computer monitor.  If that is the best($ costs) elected
> leaders and
> environmental staff members can come up with, then the vacant 
> lots, rural
> ditches and commercial dumpsters will continue to be used by consumers
> unwilling to pay more.
> 
> I do not have the answers to this complex problem, but I know this--
> "best and cheapest will not solve our environmental problems."
> 
> Regards, C. William
> 
> 
> 
> 
> 
> 
> 
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