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[GreenYes] First Local Government in No. America Sheds Responsibility for Product Waste

Posted at



Local Government Returning Responsibility for

Discarded Products and Packaging is Best

Solution, According to Product Policy Institute

December 16, 2005 - By Product Policy Institute

ATHENS, Ga. - The response to the first

unilateral action by a local government in North

America to return all responsibility for the

management of product waste to senior levels of

government was applauded by the Athens, Georgia-

based Product Policy Institute today.

Product waste is all the manufactured goods and

packaging or made stuff discarded in our society

which local governments are typically

responsible for managing or regulating. Product

waste is contrasted with organic waste or grown

stuff such as food and yard trimmings.

The local body, Kootenay Boundary Regional

District (KBRD) in British Columbia, Canada,

wrote provincial Environment Minister, Barry

Penner in August. In the letter, KBRD Board

Chair, Rick Hardie, acknowledged British

Columbia's leadership in the use of Extended

Producer Responsibility (EPR) policies, but said

that KBRD's goal of achieving Zero Waste would

be difficult if not impossible to reach unless

EPR is extended to a broader range of products.

"The underlying problem," Hardie said, "is that

Regional Districts have been given

responsibility for managing the discards of our

consumer society without being given adequate

authority to do so in a way that doesn't impact

the local taxpayer."

At their Dec. 15 meeting the KBRD Board heard

the Minister response: agree that product waste

is an appropriate definition for the ultimate

scope of EPR programs which would leave local

governments with the responsibility to manage

only materials such as: garden or food waste for

composting; organic based waste; and demolition,

land clearing and construction refuse, Minister

Penner wrote.

"The Board is very pleased with the Minister

commitment to expand EPR programs in British

Columbia to encompass all product waste," said

Raymond Gaudart, Resource Recovery coordinator

for KBRD. "Over time this commitment will

relieve taxpayers of the ever increasing cost of

managing consumer discards and will provide an

incentive to manufacturers to design their

products with recycling in mind. Kootenay

Boundary will continue to press the province for

timely expansion of EPR programs."

This is the start of a new trend we will see

much more of," said Vancouver-based Helen

Spiegelman, president of PPI. "Municipal

recycling and landfilling of products is not

only costly to taxpayers; it is welfare for the

producers of wasteful products and actually

encourages production of more waste."

Both letters are posted at

About The Product Policy Institute

The Product Policy Institute (PPI) is a

nonpartisan research and education nonprofit

organization promoting policies that advance

sustainable production, consumption and waste

management in North America. PPI is working with

local governments to develop policies and

programs that conserve resources and reduce

local taxes by transferring responsibility for

product waste management back to the makers of

products and their customers.

Contact Info:

Helen Spiegelman

President Product Policy Institute



Raymond Gaudart

Kootenay Boundary Regional District



Product Policy Institute
P.O. Box 48433
Athens, GA 30604-8433 USA
Tel: 706-613-0710

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