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Be Responsible

Mayors' organization urges passage of producer responsibility laws.

The U.S. Conference of Mayors (USCM) has adopted a resolution urging state and federal “producer responsibility” legislation. Such legislation is designed to shift the cost of “managing problematic product and packaging waste away from taxpayers and local governments to producers and the consumers of their products,” according to a news release.

USCM adopted the resolution in June at its annual conference. The resolution is based on language that was developed by the Product Policy Institute and that has been adopted by nearly 100 jurisdictions in California as well as local governments in New York, Massachusetts, Minnesota and Texas.

“Today the U.S. Conference of Mayors planted their flag in the waste pile and said, ‘no more,’” said Bill Sheehan, executive director of the Product Policy Institute, in a press release. “They asked product manufacturers to take primary responsibility for their toxic and non-recyclable products. We're proud of their leadership on this pressing issue.”

“Local governments are in serious financial trouble and can better use resources currently going to manage waste products like batteries, needles and fluorescent lamps to fund police, fire and basic public health services,” added West Sacramento, Calif., Mayor Christopher Cabaldon. “We need manufacturers to take responsibility for what they make, not leave it to the taxpayers and ratepayers to clean-up the mess at very high costs.”

The National League of Cities and the National Association of Counties have adopted similar resolutions.

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