Extended producer responsibility for batteries

By CMTA Staff

Capitol Update, April 15, 2011 Share this on FacebookTweet thisEmail this to a friend

Senator Ellen Corbett (D-San Leandro) has once again introduced legislation to mandate recycling of batteries. SB 515 would require a battery manufacturer to submit a product stewardship plan to CalRecycle by September 30, 2012.  The plan must contain a number of specified elements including the rate of collection.  Annual reports would be required. A filing fee and penalties for non-compliance would be imposed. Starting January 1, 2014, producers, wholesalers or retailers without plans deemed complete by CalRecycle would be banned from sales of household batteries.

The rechargeable battery industry has had their own product stewardship plan for a number of years and have been quite successful without government oversight or cost.  Alkaline batteries on the other hand are non-recyclable and no longer contain hazardous chemicals, but they remain listed in California as a “universal waste”.  The batteries that are currently being collected are sent to Canada for incineration.  They cannot be incinerated in this state due to California-only restrictions.

CMTA opposes this bill.  It was heard before the Senate Environmental Quality Committee on April 4th and passed out on a party-line vote.

Battery manufacturers have sponsored a different approach to product stewardship. AB 1189 (Jeff Miller, R-Corona) would create an industry program that mirrors what is being introducing nationally.  AB 1189 is before the Assembly Natural Resources Committee.

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