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from The Sun, June 12- 18

HOLYOKE- Wednesday, June 10th the Public Safety Committee met at City Hall to hear information regarding Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) an environmental policy approach in which producers assume responsibility for their products by financing the collection and responsible reuse, recycling or disposal of those products. Currently, taxpayers pay for the management of waste that is discarded.

“The taxpayers of Holyoke bear an unfair burden of costs associated with managing large and toxic trash items that cannot be broken down or recycled. We get hit twice; once for having to pay for handling such products and then again, when we cannot pull in revenues associated with recyclable products,” said Lisi.

Councilor Lisi, along with Councilors Kevin Jordain, Diosdado Lopez, and Elaine Pluta filed the order at the April 21st City Council meeting for Lynne Pledger of Clean Water Action, an environmental advocacy group, to speak about EPR and bring how it could benefit the city. Ms. Pledger urged Holyoke to adopt a resolution supporting statewide EPR legislation and regulation. In the meeting, she explained that Massachusetts cities and towns collectively spend millions of dollars managing discarded items, many of which are toxic and/or designed for one-time use.

“Town government started paying for trash clean up more than a hundred years ago when waste was mostly coal ash. Now that trash is mostly products and packaging, we need a new system,” said Pledger.

Many Holyoke residents and members of Project GreenHolyoke, a subgroup of C.R.U.S.H. (Citizens for the Revitalization and Urban Success of Holyoke) attended the meeting in support of the EPR campaign and to speak in favor of the city’s efforts to adopt the resolution.

Carlos Vega of 51 Portland St. said, “By expanding recycling opportunities in the city, we would be able to cut costs associated with items such as computers and refrigerators that are extremely costly for the city to handle due to their large sizes and toxic parts”.

The full Council will be voting on the EPR Resolution at their next meeting on June 16, 2009. For more information on the MA EPR campaign visit:

For an overview of the MA EPR campaign click on the link below:

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