Environment
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

Overview

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.

In recent years the Legislature has passed bills relating to

  • Organics: reducing organic material to landfill, monitoring landfill methane gas; compost use; food waste; compostability labeling
  • Recycling: reusable bag bill; Revise recycling and reduce plastic pollution bill; Sustainable Recycling Paint Stewardship
  • Alternative to cremation

In this session there will be continued efforts on bills that didn’t make it in the 2022 session. Look for bills on (will post bill numbers as soon as they come available):

  • Extended producer responsibility (EPR), recycling, and waste reduction will resurface in the 2023 session as The WRAP Act—Washington Recycling and Packaging Act. This comprehensive bill is being championed by Sen. Christine Rolfes (D-23) and & Rep. Liz Berry (D-36). EPR is already happening in many places around the world, and in the last two years, four states (Maine, Oregon, California, Colorado) have passed similar bills. Washington could become the 5th state to enact—just like Washington was on women’s suffrage! Bill supporters estimate that enacting The WRAP Act will put $104 million back into our economy on an annual basis by saving resources, improving recycling, and reducing environmental impacts.
  • Reducing Plastics Pollution: A three-pronged bill will take a run at reducing plastics in our environment by: implementing a ban all Styrofoam docks (encapsulated foam); requiring water fountains in new construction to have the bottle refill option; requiring lodgings to install bulk soap/shampoo dispensers.
  • Battery recycling,
  • Right to repair extension.

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.

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

SB 5144

Providing for responsible environmental management of batteries.

Supports
x








SB 5154

Improving Washington's solid waste management outcomes. WRAP Act.

Supports

x








SB 5287

Concerning a study on the recycling of wind turbine blades

Supports

x








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
HB 1033 Evaluating compostable product usage in Washington. Support

x








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

x








HB 1085 Reducing plastic pollution
Support

x








HB 1131

Improving Washington's solid waste management outcomes. WRAP Act

Support

x








HB 1164

Responsible management of appliances containing harmful gases and other materials.

Support

x








HB 1185

Reducing environmental impacts associated with lighting products.

Support
x









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. 


      Bill Descriptions


      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 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.

      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 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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