Urban Fold

Who Takes Out the Trash?

The expense of properly carrying out recycling and trash programs is weighing on cash-strapped states. Government is pushing back, with new requirements mandating that manufacturers take some of the load.

Melinda Burns writes, "During the past year, lawmakers in Maine, California, Minnesota and Oregon have proposed ways to start shifting the burden of waste disposal from the public to the private sector. Washington state has looked into the idea, and Rhode Island is studying it. They call it "product stewardship," "extended producer responsibility" and "responsible recycling."

Whatever the label, it means manufacturers themselves would be required to pay for collecting, recycling and disposing of designated products after their customers are through with them."

Environmentalists applaud these measures which they believe could drive creative solutions to packaging. Businesses, predictably, say it will drive up prices and hurt jobs.

Full Story: The Smoldering Trash Revolt

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