Solid Waste Management

It’s time to Rethink—in addition to Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. Much has changed over the last 40 years in technologies and characteristics as well as disposal/diversion methods of the solid waste we all produce.

Issue Team Chair: Ann Murphy, amurphy@lwvwa.org 
DOWNLOAD the Solid Waste Management Issue Paper
Interested in getting involved with this topic? Click here! 

Bill Tracking

Weekly Reports

Bill Descriptions

Get Involved

Session Wrap-Up

The 2023 Legislative Session closed with the passage of five of the League supported billsreducing plastics pollution was signed by the Governor on April 20, 2023, and will take effect July 23, 2023. Other bills on recycling of batteries, standardizing compostable products, reducing toxins in cosmetics, and a study on recycling wind turbines are awaiting signatures as of April 30, 2023.

Additional news: The approved budget includes a proviso to provide for the first steps of the WRAP Act –

  • Technical study of feasible recycling, reuse and plastic reduction rates in WA.
  •  Surveys and listening sessions with diverse communities across the state will seek out resident’s values and opinions about waste reduction and recycling (glass, metal, paper, plastic) today, their experiences, and what they would like to see. 

Work must be completed by December 2023 in order to inform the 2024 legislation.

During the interim, there will be continued work to return bills to the legislature in 2024. Efforts will continue in extended producer responsibility (EPR), recycling, and waste reduction. Another item will be the right to repair bill for electronic devices. Managing food waste is fast becoming a critical piece in efforts as well.

While managing solid waste is a smaller percentage of the contributions to climate change impacts, there are so many actions that citizens can take individually. But it’s not just about individual responsibility, but also getting companies to take responsibility for the waste their products create. The new efforts in “Extended Producer Responsibility” (EPR), incentivizing plastic waste reduction and better recycling outcomes will lead to creating a circular economy to divert waste from disposal.

So, keep up actions in your community!

Bill Tracking

League priority bills are in bold below.

Senate Bills Senate House After Passage
Bill # Bill Name (Brief Title) League Position Take Action In Committee On Floor Calendar Passed  In Committee On Floor Calendar Passed  Passed Legislature On Governor's Desk Signed

2SSB 5144

Providing for responsible environmental management of batteries.


SB 5287

Concerning a study on the recycling of wind turbine blades


House Bills House Senate After Passage
Bill # Bill Name (Brief Title) League Position Take Action In Committee On Floor Calendar Passed  In Committee On Floor Calendar Passed  Passed Legislature On Governor's Desk Signed
SHB 1033 Evaluating compostable product usage in Washington. Support

SHB 1047 Concerning the use of toxic chemicals in cosmetic products. Support

SHB 1085 Reducing plastic pollution

Weekly Reports

These weekly updates will provide you with a "deep dive" into the progress of each bill, along with more analysis of the potential impact of the bill if it should pass. 

      Descriptions of League Supported Bills

      SB 5154 Improving Washington's solid waste management outcomes. WRAP Act. Establishes product stewardship for packaging and printed paper, including recycling and reuse targets, accurate labeling provisions and requirements for post-consumer recycled content in plastic tubs, thermoform containers (e.g., clamshells), and single-use cups. Importantly, the WRAP Act includes a “bottle bill” section. This bill implements the top recommendations in Ecology’s Plastics Study (October 2020) which was required by Senator Rolfes’ SB5397 in 2019 to address our recycling crisis and the increasing amount of plastic pollution. Here is a factsheet.

      SB 5144 Providing for responsible environmental management of batteries. Product stewardship bill provides for recycling of all batteries. Similar to a bill in California that was recently signed into law. The bill would make battery manufacturers responsible for the lifecycle of their products, creating an incentive for them to make batteries that last longer or are easier to recycle and providing for convenient and responsible recycling of batteries in a statewide program. The program would include portable batteries and medium batteries (scooters and power tools). Large format batteries (over 25 lbs and 2000 Wh) would be subject to a Ecology study by July 2026, and then potentially other management, including producer responsibility. Here is a factsheet.

      SB 5245 Concerning biosolids. Ecology must establish pollutant limits for PFAS chemicals in biosolids, based on the results of the USEPA’s risk assessment for PFAS chemicals in biosolids. Ecology must ensure that biosolids are tested for PFAS chemicals for which this pollutant limit has been established. And land application of biosolids that do not comply with the PFAS chemical pollutant limit would be prohibited. 

      SB 5287 Concerning a study on the recycling of wind turbine blades Requires the Washington State University extension energy program to conduct a study on the feasibility of recycling wind turbine blades used in Washington. A single turbine blade weighs 12 tons, after 20 to 25 years it needs to be replaced.  This very hard to recycle material usually ends up in the landfill. The proposed study should provide information and recommendations on siting facilities in our state and if a state managed product stewardship program could be considered.

      SB 5376 Allowing the sale of cannabis waste:   this bill would allow sale of cannabis if the waste would not be designated as dangerous or hazardous waste and then be part of organic disposal. Currently, this organic waste is often landfilled.

      SB 5464/HB 1392 Right to Repair -  Promoting the fair servicing and repair of digital electronic equipment:  This bill requires digital electronic product manufacturers, such as Apple and Microsoft, to make repair information, parts and tools available to independent repair businesses and owners. There’s a huge amount of e-waste! For example, on average, Washington disposes of 8,700 phones every day. This bill would make it possible for small businesses to repair computers, tablets and cellphones. Extending the life of computers, tablets and cellphones will decrease the need for more resources, energy and transportation to manufacture new products – therefore also decreasing greenhouse gas. This bill will lower costs for consumers, get used computers, tablets and cell phones into the hands of people who need them, and help overcome digital inequities in Washington. This way, people will keep using their items instead of tossing them! LWVWA supports bills that reduce the amount of solid waste and provide equity in access with reused or lower cost devices.

      SB 5579 Allows the Department of Ecology to elect to refrain from or cease administering or enforcing a requirement related to the use of hydrofluorocarbons and other ozone-depleting substance substitutes if it determines that supply chain problems or other similar disruptions threaten to impair businesses or consumers in Washington, and that suspending enforcement of a requirement would mitigate the problem. We are “watching” this bill.

      SB 5605/HB 1551 Reducing lead in cookware: this bill bans, beginning January 1, 2025, the sale of cookware or cookware component containing lead or lead compounds at a level of more than five parts per million in or into Washington. Bill also authorizes Department of Ecology to establish rules and penalties. LWVWA supports measures to reduce exposure to toxics in the home.

      HB 1033 Evaluating compostable product usage. Establishes an advisory committee to standardize composting across Washington.

      HB 1047 Concerning the use of toxic chemicals in cosmetic products. Eliminates the sale of cosmetics that contain one of nine toxins as identified in the bill. Allows for a phase-out to keep toxins out of homes and environment.

      HB 1085 Reducing plastic pollution. A three-pronged approach to reduce the use of unnecessary plastics by 1) Requiring refill stations in drinking fountains in all new construction; 2) Phasing out mini toiletries plastic packaging (including shampoos, conditioners, lotions, and soaps) at hotels and other lodging establishments; 3) Banning foam-filled dock floats in our lakes and marine waters.

      HB 1131 Improving Washington's solid waste management outcomes. WRAP Act (see above)

      HB 1422 Clarifying that certain reusable packing materials are exempt from sales and use tax):  this bill excludes from sales and use tax the renting or leasing of packing materials under a packing material sharing and reuse program (i.e., a system that pools packing materials among multiple persons for reuse). Packing materials includes boxes, crates, pallets, bottles, cans, bags, drums, cartons, wrapping papers, cellophane, twines, gummed tapes, wire, bands, excelsior, wastepaper, and all other materials in which personal property may be contained or protected within a container. LWVWA supports the use of reusable packaging and thus deems that the tax exemption is reasonable.

      HB 1164 Responsible management of appliances containing harmful gases and other materials. Creates a producer responsibility program for appliances.

      HB 1185 Reducing environmental impacts associated with lighting products. Addresses a phase out of mercury light bulbs and an update of the existing light-cycle law.

      How To Be Involved
      • Contact Ann Murphy, Solid Waste Management Issue Chair, amurphy@lwvwa.org, (509) 385-8910.
      • Check back to this page for updates.
      • Read the Legislative Newsletter and respond to Action Alerts.

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