Extended Producer Responsibility
Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) is a public policy approach that assigns producer responsibility to the producer for the end-of-life of products.
Product Stewardship encourages those who design, produce, sell, or use a product to minimize the product’s impact throughout all stages of the product’s life cycle. EPR policies 1) shift financial and management responsibility to the producer and away from the public sector; and 2) provide incentives to producers to incorporate environmental considerations in the design of their products and packaging.
Vermont Product Stewardship Council (VTSPC)
The Vermont Product Stewardship Council works to shift Vermont’s product waste management system from a government funded and ratepayer financed waste diversion to one reliant on producers to reduce public costs and drive sustainable improvements in product design. Members include the Addison County Solid Waste District, the Bennington County Solid Waste Alliance, the Chittenden Solid Waste District, the Central Vermont Solid Waste District, the Greater Upper Valley Solid Waste District, the Lamoille Regional Solid Waste District, the Londonderry Solid Waste Group, the Mad River Resource Management Alliance, the Northwest Solid Waste Management District, the Northeast Kingdom Solid Waste District, the Solid Waste Alliance Communities, the White River Alliance, and the Town of Burke. Partners include Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, the Connecticut River Conservancy, Casella Waste Management, the Vermont Small Business Development Center, Light Works, Inc., and the Vermont Agency of Natural Resources. Visit https://vermontpsc.org to learn more about the council’s work.
Product Stewardship Institute (PSI)
The Product Stewardship Institute is a national organization that works with public and private sectors, including VTPS, and multiple government entities in helping to draft public policy, while working with over 100 businesses to establish and promote product stewardship throughout the United States.
Visit https://www.productstewardship.us to learn more about this organization’s work.
EPR in Vermont
Electronic devices are banned from landfills in Vermont. The Electronics or E-Waste program requires manufacturers of computers (including tablets), monitors, printers, computer peripherals, and televisions to provide for recycling at no cost. These are accepted at many locations, including most transfer stations.
Manufacturers of fluorescent bulbs, including compact fluorescent lamps, also provide for recycling of these mercury-containing items.
Many older thermostats contain mercury, which is a hazardous substance. Many electrical supply stores accept these free of charge through the Thermostat Recycling Corporation.
Architectural paint can be brought to household hazardous waste events and to numerous hardware and paint stores. Recycling is done by PaintCare, a nonprofit organization that represents paint manufacturers to plan and operate product stewardship programs. Funding for paint recycling comes from the paint manufacturers.
Both primary (non- rechargeable) and rechargeable batteries are accepted at transfer stations and many retail locations for recycling for free. This program is operated by Call2Recycle, which helps battery and product manufacturers fulfill recycling requirements for their products.