In the U.S., not unlike Canada, local governments and service providers struggle to meet the public demand for services and try to do more with less. One such example is public utilities trying their best to prevent household hazardous waste (HHW) from disposal in the garbage or by flushing. This is a real challenge and is costly, considering the variety of issues that come with products such as pesticides, batteries, needles and pharmaceuticals. Many challenges associated with safely collecting and managing end-of-life products translate into high costs; we have heard stories from jurisdictions that literally stop advertising their HHW collection program because they can’t afford to increase collections.
California Product Stewardship Council (CPSC) is working with the National Association of Counties, and counties like Alameda, San Francisco, San Mateo along with their haulers, in the hopes of finding solutions whereby producers share in the responsibility of end-of-life product management, to reduce public impacts at the source and help provide more convenient collection opportunities, with no charge at the point of disposal.