Recycling legislation from around the nation

Recycling legislation from around the nation

By Editorial Staff, Resource Recycling

As many state legislatures adjourn across the country, law makers continued make headway on waste management and recycling bills. Overall, 256 bills relating to recycling have been introduced this session, with 24 being signed into law thus far.

Michigan Democratic state Senator Rebekah Warren yesterday introduced Senate Bill 432, legislation that would expand the state's beverage container return program to have a 10-cent deposit on water bottles and other currently non-covered containers.

"The Bottle Deposit Law has been one of the most successful advances in environmental protection in our state in recent years," said Senator Warren in announcing the legislation. "With an estimated rate of return of more than 95 percent on bottles currently covered under the legislation, expansion to cover water, juice and energy drinks would amount to unprecedented environmental benefits in this state, where our natural resources are so cherished."

In Mississippi, a new law creates a directory of certified electronics recycling firms. SB 2754 aggregates available data to create a registry of e-scrap processors certified to either the Responsible Recycling (R2) or e-Stewards standards, and effective July 1, directs all state agencies to manage their end-of-life electronic assets exclusively through processors on that list. Mississippi is not one of the 25 states with a statewide electronics recycling program on the books.

New Mexico is taking a closer look at the potential of product stewardship. House Memorial 56 directs the state department of the environment to convene a stakeholder group and produce a report to the legislature by December 1, assessing the benefits that product stewardship and extended producer responsibility in New Mexico. Items to be studied include electronics, mercury-containing devices, paint, carpet and other harder-to-recycle or toxic items.

A bill that would require strict labeling of degradable plastics is awaiting the signature of North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory. House Bill 315 specifically bans any rigid plastic container that does not have a molded label indicating the resin code and chasing arrows symbol. In order to be sold in the state, any degradable, biodegradable, or compostable plastic container must be clearly labeled as "Not Recyclable." The act would go into effect immediately upon the governor's signature.

Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin signed into law one of the toughest scrap metal theft laws in the country. HB 1740 requires all aluminum and copper scrap metal dealers in the state to be licensed by the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry. In addition to licensure, dealers are required to maintain records of the following seller information: legible photocopy of driver's license, vehicle description and license tag number, date and place of the transaction, transaction number, description and weight of the items sold, the names and addresses of any parties the seller obtained the material from, and the manufacturer serial number of the scrap material (if practical). Additionally, a mandatory hold is placed on all scrap metal transactions greater than 35 pounds, and the new law bans cash transactions over $1,000. The law goes into effect November 1.

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