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The original item was published from 4/8/2011 2:11:00 PM to 5/9/2011 12:05:00 AM.

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Posted on: April 8, 2011

[ARCHIVED] Resolution to support Extended Producer Responsibility (ERP)

The Amherst Select Board is supporting this resolution to support Extended Producer Responsibility (ERP):

WHEREAS, manufactured goods and packaging constitute approximately 75% of the waste managed by U.S municipalities, based on figures reported by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency; and

WHEREAS, the municipal waste management system was established a century ago to manage far simpler and more homogeneous wastes like ashes, food scraps and horse manure, rather than the manufactured goods and packaging which dominate today’s municipal waste; and

WHEREAS, hazardous and hard-to-recycle product management costs are expected to increase substantially in the short term unless policy changes are made; and

WHEREAS, there are significant environmental and human health impacts associated with improper management of hazardous products; and

WHEREAS, products and packaging are often toxic or disposable by design, and local governments have no input into the design or marketing of products, make no profit from the products, and do not have the resources to adequately address the rising volume of discarded products and associated packaging; and

WHEREAS, costs paid by citizens and local governments to manage discarded products are in effect subsidies to producers that enable and encourage producers to design products for disposal without regard to end-of-life product- management costs and hazards; and

WHEREAS, Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR; also called Product Stewardship) is an environmental policy approach in which producers (brand owners or first importers into the State) accept responsibility for the end-of-life management of their products, so that those who produce and use products bear the costs of recycling and responsible disposal; and

WHEREAS, when producers are responsible for ensuring that their products are reused or recycled responsibly, and when health and environmental costs are included in the product price, there is an incentive to design products that are more durable, easier to repair and recycle, and less toxic; and

WHEREAS, the Massachusetts legislature has enacted producer responsibility programs for certain mercury-containing products; and

WHEREAS, the Massachusetts legislature has committed to achieving greenhouse gas emissions reductions, and EPR policies are important strategies for achieving this goal through reduction of manufacturing and disposal emissions; and

WHEREAS, jobs in disassembly, reuse, repair and recycling are generated by EPR, offering significant local economic development opportunities; and

WHEREAS, the Town of Amherst can advance EPR through a variety of mechanisms including requiring the manufacturers of products sold to Amherst departments to take financial responsibility for collecting and recycling their products at the end of their useful life; by incorporating EPR policies into product procurement practices; and by favoring vendors and manufacturers that take back their products and associated packaging at end of life; and

WHEREAS, the Amherst Select Board supports statewide legislation to hold producers responsible for hazardous product discard management and other product waste management costs,

WHEREAS, EPR legislation for discarded electronic waste has been passed in 20 states and New York City, and the Amherst Select Board supports EPR legislation for discarded electronic waste,

WHEREAS, Framework EPR codifies the EPR principle and gives the State regulatory agency the authority to address multiple products over time; and

WHEREAS, the Amherst Select Board supports working with other Massachusetts municipalities and other states to move EPR policy forward nationally, and supports the Framework Principles for Product Stewardship Policy adopted by six Product Stewardship Councils in North America, including the Vermont and New York Councils;

NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED THAT THE AMHERST SELECT BOARD serves notice to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and to manufacturers and distributors of products and packaging sold in our jurisdiction, that we support the transfer of end-of-life disposal responsibility to producers (brand owners and first importers), under oversight of the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that Town of Amherst departments be authorized to send letters to the State legislature and State associations and to use other advocacy methods to support EPR legislation; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Town of Amherst include preferential producer take-back language in purchasing contracts where feasible; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Amherst Select Board urges the Massachusetts legislature to enact comprehensive EPR legislation based on the Framework Principles for Product Stewardship Policy; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Amherst Select Board urges the Massachusetts legislature to enact EPR legislation for discarded electronic waste this year; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Amherst Select Board will work with other Massachusetts municipalities and the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection to enact EPR legislation and regulation.


PASSED AND ADOPTED by the Amherst Select Board, State of Massachusetts, this fourth day of April, 2011.

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