Waste

California recently became the first state to restrict the distribution of plastic drinking straws in order to reduce plastic pollution and ocean waste.

The law, signed by Gov. Jerry Brown in September, will go into effect on Jan. 1, 2019. Full-service restaurants will be prohibited from providing single-use plastic straws to consumers unless the consumer requests a straw. In bars and restaurants across the country, plastic straws have become a popular target among those aiming to reduce waste.

Single-use plastic straws have recently come under fire, much like single-use plastic shopping bags and plastic microbeads. This year, Seattle became the largest U.S. city to ban the use of plastic straws and...

While states have made excellent progress during the past 20 years, more work is needed to ensure that existing waste tire stockpiles are remediated and new stockpiles are prevented. This article outlines some of the key criteria contained in states’ waste tire disposal laws and regulations, and assesses best practices undertaken by states.

CSG Midwest
Brownfields — former industrial and commercial sites that have been abandoned and are contaminated by pollutants or other hazardous materials — are among the hardest sites to redevelop for other business or residential purposes.

The Nuclear Waste Policy Act of 1982 established a national program for the safe, permanent disposal of highly radioactive wastes. In 2002, Congress approved a site at Nevada’s Yucca Mountain; however, that project was stalled and defunded in 2010. Consequently, there currently is no disposal facility in the United States for spent fuel rods from 99 operating commercial nuclear reactors across the country. Both the federal government and the private sector are taking action to develop solutions for the long-term, sustainable management of our nation’s spent nuclear fuel. The Department of Energy, or DOE, is seeking public input on how to site facilities for nuclear waste storage and disposal following a consent-based approach. At the same time, two private partnerships are attempting to develop interim storage facilities in New Mexico and Texas. This webinar, the second in a two-part series, explores these proposed solutions for the consolidated storage of our nation’s spent fuel and provides insight into the DOE’s consent-based siting effort.

On June 7, Tennessee Senate Majority Leader Mark Norris, who served as the 2014 CSG national chair, testified before the U.S. Senate Environment and Public Works Subcommittee on Superfund, Waste Management and Regulatory Affairs at a hearing regarding “Oversight of EPA Unfunded Mandates on State, Local, and Tribal Governments.” The hearing was a continuation of the subcommittee’s oversight of the Environmental Protection Agency’s rulemaking process and examined the agency’s compliance with the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act, or UMRA, and the impact of unfunded mandates on state, local and tribal governments. 

The President is expected to sign H.R. 2576, the “Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act” today. The bill, amending the Toxic Substances Control Act of 1976 (TSCA), calls for an overhaul of the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) ability to test new chemicals and regulate them accordingly.

On June 7, Tennessee Senate Majority Leader Mark Norris, who served as the 2014 CSG national chair, testified before the U.S. Senate Environment and Public Works Subcommittee on Superfund, Waste Management and Regulatory Affairs at a hearing regarding “Oversight of EPA Unfunded Mandates on State, Local, and Tribal Governments.” The hearing was a continuation of the subcommittee’s oversight of the Environmental Protection Agency’s rulemaking process and examined the agency’s compliance with the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act, or UMRA, and the impact of unfunded mandates on state, local and tribal governments. 

For Earth Day 2016, EPA is focusing on the issue of food recovery. About 40 percent of the nation’s food supply is lost or wasted, which results in decreased food security, adds unnecessary waste to landfills, and adds to methane emissions, which contribute to climate change. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, food loss and waste is estimated to cost retailers and consumers about $161 billion each year.

While Americans have shown an increased willingness to recycle paper goods, cans and bottles in recent years, recycling rates for toxic or hazardous products such as batteries and electronics are lagging behind. But states are ramping up efforts to change that. That’s according to Chaz Miller, director of policy and advocacy for the National Association of Waste and Recycling, who discussed emerging issues in product stewardship laws in the states and shared lessons learned from successful programs at a Feb. 2 CSG eCademy webcast, “Managing Solid Waste through Product Stewardship Laws.”

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