Massachusetts Product Stewardship Council (MassPSC) is a formal committee of MassRecycle with the goal of shifting the costs of materials management and recycling from taxpayers to the companies that design and market products through product stewardship and extended producer responsibility.
MassRecycle members are highly encouraged to join MassPSC calls to participate in advancing EPR policies in the Commonwealth. Meetings are typically every other month. You can find future MassPSC meetings on our calendar.
MassRecycle has limited funds and no dedicated staff to appropriate to MassPSC; however, the Board of Directors is experienced and has a track record of organizing practical, effective solutions. Our strong municipal perspective is instrumental in demonstrating to legislators the importance of getting a law passed this session. While there have been many challenges in the past, MassPSC feels Massachusetts is at the precipice of a statewide change towards improved EPR practices.
At the community level, municipalities are feeling the financial impacts of waste management. Financial and environmental stimuli are helping to promote local recycling and EPR programs that are proven long-term solutions. China’s import restrictions on recycling have caused increased awareness around waste diversion issues and costs. Massachusetts is one of the few states in New England without dedicated mattress and paint recycling programs; MassPSC is poised to change that. Now more than ever, EPR legislation has a chance to pass in Massachusetts and MassPSC is committed to getting a bill passed this legislative session.
MassPSC will focus its resources on:
Legislation and Advocacy MassPSC will sponsor and support well-written EPR legislation and policies at the state level.
Education and Collaboration MassPSC will continue to promote EPR in various forms including:
Legislative meetings to inform legislators of MassPSC’s priority materials
Podcasts and videos
Email blasts and MassRecycle member calls
Update March 2022: Support Extended Producer Responsibility for Paint and Mattresses
The Massachusetts legislature has an historic opportunity to improve recycling in the Commonwealth. By March 31, the Joint Committee on the Environment, Natural Resources, and Agriculture will decide the fate of several extended producer responsibility bills. EPR takes the cost of recycling or safe disposal of products off of taxpayers and puts it where it fairly belongs: on the producers who design and make the goods, the retailers who profit from their sale, and the consumers who benefit from their use. According to a 2021 MassPSC municipal survey, municipalities spend over $11 million managing mattresses and over $2 million on paint annually.
Please write in support of EPR to your elected officials and send copies to the Joint Environment, Natural Resources and Agriculture Committee Chairs who will decide whether or not to advance these bills: H938 (paint) and H988/S569 (mattresses). Click this link for a quick letter template. Please customize for your community if possible. Find your local legislators by entering your address here: https://malegislature.gov/search/findmylegislator
Please CC the ENRA Senate Chair Rebecca Rausch firstname.lastname@example.org and Acting ENRA House Chair Mindy Domb email@example.com.
If time allows, please also call your legislators in support of these bills. Thank you for helping to improve recycling in Massachusetts!
Waneta Trabert, Chair Michael Cicale Rob Gogan Mike Orr Gunther Wellenstein
Previous Action Items
One of the most effective ways that municipalities can voice their support for extended producer responsibility (EPR) laws is to pass a resolution. Both the Massachusetts Municipal Association and state legislators pay attention to resolutions that municipalities pass. MassPSC is urging municipalities to pass a resolution to support EPR. Use the Municipal EPR Resolution Template to get started in your community.
MassPSC was established in 2010 and led by Lynne Pledger (Clean Water Action) and Claire Galkowski (South Shore Recycling Cooperative). In 2016, MassPSC was incorporated into MassRecycle’s organizational structure. The officers of MassPSC are MassRecycle Directors and are appointed to be MassPSC officers.
Chair – Waneta Trabert (MassRecycle Vice President, City of Newton)
Officer – Mike Cicale (MassRecycle Treasurer, Town of Wellfleet)
Officer – Michael Orr (MassRecycle Secretary, City of Cambridge)
Officer – Rob Gogan (MassRecycle Director)
Officer – Gunther Wellenstein (MassRecycle Director, City of Haverhill)
MassPSC supports and advocates for product stewardship. Currently, MassPSC’s is focused on advancing extended producer responsibility (EPR) legislation. The Product Stewardship Institutedefines EPR as:
“A mandatory type of product stewardship that includes, at a minimum, the requirement that the manufacturer’s responsibility for its product extends to post-consumer management of that product and its packaging. There are two related features of EPR policy: (1) shifting financial and management responsibility, with government oversight, upstream to the manufacturer and away from the public sector; and (2) providing incentives to manufacturers to incorporate environmental considerations into the design of their products and packaging.”
Manufacturers can engage in EPR in many ways: common forms of EPR include reuse, buyback, and recycling programs. Currently, 116 EPR laws are in effect in the US. Read more about EPR on the Product Stewardship Institute’s website. MassPSC accomplishes its goal of expanding EPR among Massachusetts manufacturers by sponsoring legislation and educating stakeholders.
MassPSC focuses its efforts on several products of concern for municipalities that manage these materials at every increasing expense. These include paint, mattresses, e-waste, and packaging. Through this work, MassPSC collaborates with many partners: