A proposed bill in New York plans to help Long Island with its ongoing solid waste management crisis. The region is still working on a plan on where to put its garbage once the Brookhaven Landfill is expected to close in 2024.
The legislation, still in its early stages, sets up an extended producer responsibility program to encourage manufacturers to limit the amount of packaging that is produced.
Scott Cassel is with the Product Stewardship Institute, an organization that looks to reduce the environmental impacts of consumer products. He explains how the program would work.
“It would mean that those that produce paper and packaging would actually have to fund the cost or a significant amount of the cost of recycling. And depending on how eco-friendly or how much of the material they would make, those producers would pay more into the system or less, depending on those factors,” Cassel said during a forum hosted by the New York League of Conservation Voters.
Environmental advocates say the bill would help limit the amount of trash that goes into landfills. The bill shifts the burden of recycling costs from municipalities onto packaging producers.
Adrienne Esposito is the executive director of the Citizens Campaign for the Environment.
“The one part of the solution to managing solid waste is to reduce it. Everyone agrees. That is the cheapest thing that we can do. It’s best for the environment. It’s best for the public, and it surely is best for the municipalities that are now saddled with finding the answers and raising taxes to implement those new answers,” Esposito said.
The bill requires producers to finance the recycling of their products, and the state would reward manufacturers for creating easily recyclable products.