Waste

Homes across America have one large problem with prescription drugs, what to do with them. Unused, expired or unwanted prescription drugs can pose problems if disposed incorrectly. Flushing medications used to be a popular option until antibiotics, birth control and other prescription drugs began showing up in high levels in water supplies. Currently Take-Back programs and trash disposal may be the way of disposal. But which of these three options are best for the environment?

Hawaii recently became the first state in the country to ban the use of disposable plastic bags. Beginning in July 2015, retailers across the entire state will be prohibited from issuing non-biodegrade checkout bags and paper bags that are not at least 40 percent recycled. 

Proposed rules by the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) would place more emphasis on the role of states in ensuring the security of shipments of spent nuclear fuel. These rules, as well as other security issues involving spent-fuel shipments through the region, were prominent on the spring meeting agenda of the CSG Midwestern Radioactive Materials Transportation Committee. This group of state officials and legislators met in May in conjunction with the annual meeting of the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Transportation Stakeholders Forum (NTSF).

A plan to ship radioactive waste through the Great Lakes has received a flurry of criticism over the past year, but in February, it secured the approval of a key federal regulatory commission in Canada.

CSG South

This Regional Resource from The Council of State Government' Southern Office, the Southern Legislative Conference (SLC), focuses on the recycling industry in the Southern states. Advocates of landfills long have argued that a comprehensive recycling system is not an economically viable solution to the increases in municipal solid waste created by a growing population. In this regard, the states of the Southern Legislative Conference (SLC) of The Council of State Governments (CSG) have demonstrated that this presumption is incorrect and that, even in rural areas with low population densities, the jobs, supply chains and manufacturing facilities created by investment and participation in the recycling industry deliver significant, direct economic rewards. With strategically located primary collection points, community education and relatively few tax incentives, SLC states have promoted economic development and allowed local markets to deliver the goods necessary to supply the thriving recycling manufacturing industry of the South and negate the need to import these commodities from outside sources. This Regional Resource focuses on the economic analyses of recycling, especially in the SLC states, and the viable solutions that Southern states have realized with regard to the recycling of municipal solid waste (MSW) components. Further, by providing a 15-state compendium of the executive agency programs and legislative actions in the Southern region, this report offers a baseline for interstate comparison.

Two years ago, Massachusetts Supreme Court Chief Justice Robert Mulligan was concerned the trial courts in his state weren’t addressing environmental sustainability.

So he put together the Trial Court Energy Task Force, better known as the Green Team.

A decades-old project to store the nation's nuclear waste at Nevada's Yucca Mountain has been de-funded, leaving the future of federal policy up in the air.

Nearly 20 percent of our nation's electricity is generated by nuclear energy.  Nuclear energy is expected to play a key role in mitigating climate change.

BE IT NOW THEREFORE RESOLVED, that CSG urges the federal government to honor its obligations under the NWPA by continuing (pursuing) the development of a national repository at Yucca Mountain in Nevada, contingent on NRC licensing approval; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that CSG urges Congress to provide DOE and the NRC sufficient funding to carry out their obligations under the NWPA and to fully fund interactions between these agencies and the state governments affected by federal radioactive waste management and transportation activities, including full funding for the state regional transportation projects.

Suggested State Legislation: This Act is based upon Connecticut law enacting model legislation by The Council of State Governments/Eastern Regional Conference (CSG/ERC) and the Northeast Recycling Council, Inc. (NERC). In February 2005, CSG/ERC and NERC launched a collaborative project to develop a coordinated legislative approach to end-of-life electronics management in the Northeast.

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