Extended Producer Responsibility

Some of Acton’s most expensive trash issues are the handling of hazardous waste, such as car batteries, electronics,  fluorescent lightbulbs, mercury-containing thermometers, and so on.

Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) is the notion that manufacturers of goods are responsible for designing and funding plans for the ultimate reuse or disposal of their goods and packaging.

Massachusetts and other states  have implemented Producer Responsibility programs for certain goods. In Massachusetts, for example, the Towns get reimbursed for their handling of mercury thermometers via a program funded by the manufacturers. The Bottle Bill is another variant of this type of program.

Green Acton has proposed that the Town of Acton sign a resolution in support of a framework for Extended Producer Responsibility that would give state regulators the authority to work with manufacturers on an industry-by-industry basis to design programs that would help remove the cost burden from towns of their waste disposal programs, starting with the most hazardous products that are the most expensive to dispose of.

You can join or contact the group working on this by writing to zerowaste@greenacton.org


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