I am posting a transcript of my comments regarding the EPR resolution that the City Council considered this evening as well as the resolution itself and other informational materials.
Please contact me if you have questions or comments!
I would first like to thank Lynne Pledger of Clean Water Action for coming before the Public Safety Committee on two separate occasions to educate the council and members of the public on Extended Producer Responsibility and its principles.
EPR is simply a way to make manufacturers responsible for the recycling and management of their products and in effect, lift the burden of high costs associated with management and disposal off of the municipality and its taxpayers.
By shifting the responsibility for management and disposal onto the manufacturers, we incentivize product innovations that extend the life of the product or make a product easier to recycle or refurbish.
For example: electronic waste is difficult and costly for municipalities to manage- they are filled with toxic components and computers, televisions, printers and so on, typically end up in our curbside trash pick up.
We pay a lot of money per ton for curbside trash and once those products end up in a landfill they pollute our environment.
On the other hand, we make money on the amount that we are able to recycle.
So, by establishing a program that helps producers increase the both number of collection sites and types of products that we can recycle, we can dramatically decrease the amount of trash tonnage that costs the city money to dispose of while increasing the amount of tonnage going toward recycling efforts.
Not only do we save money on trash disposal, but we actually make more money for increased recycling.
The legislation that tonight’s resolution supports will help reduce the amount of dumping happening on our city streets and alleyways.
It will also help create jobs by expanding existing recycling centers and creating a demand for new collections sites and recycling centers.
The Patrick Administration and the State DEP are fully supportive of comprehensive EPR legislation and since they have targeted Holyoke as the site of the near-coming Green High-Powered Computing Center, I believe that with this resolution we can continue to signal to the state that Holyoke is ready to think green, act green and ensure future green investments in the newly emerging green industrial economy.
I am fully in support of this resolution and I hope that my colleagues will join me in building Holyoke’s reputation as a leader in the green economy.