City Council Meeting: June 23, 2009

Agenda Item: 8-B

To:†††††††††††††††††† Mayor and City Council

From:††††††††††††† Dean Kubani, Director, Office of Sustainability and the Environment

 

Subject:††††††††† Zero Waste Strategic Plan and Extended Producer Responsibility Resolution

 

Recommended Action

Staff recommends the City Council:

 

1.†† direct staff to develop a Zero Waste Strategic Plan;

 

2. adopt the attached resolution supporting the California Product Stewardship Council and extended producer responsibility (EPR).

 

Executive Summary

The most recent Sustainable City Report Card indicates a 68% solid waste diversion rate. This is nearing the 70% diversion rate established in the Sustainable City Plan for 2010. In an effort to continue our leadership in municipal sustainability nationwide, staff from the Office of Sustainability and the Environment (OSE) and the Solid Waste Management Division (SWMD) are proposing zero waste as the next appropriate waste diversion goal for the City.Achieving zero waste will require coordination of programs, policies and infrastructure.Staff recommends that Council direct the OSE andthe SWMD to develop a Zero Waste Strategic Plan for its review and adoption. Staff will also be working withthe Cityís partners at Southern California Disposal (SCD) and the Allan Company in zero waste plan development. In an effort to reduce the amount of waste that the municipal government is responsible for managing, staff also recommends that Council adopt the attached resolution supporting extended producer responsibility (EPR) at the state level andencourage the efforts of the California Product Stewardship Council.

 

Background

Zero Waste

Currently, the City is achieving a 68% percent waste diversion rate which is nearing the 70% target established in the Sustainable City Plan for 2010. The City of Santa Monica adopted the 70% solid waste diversion target for 2010 in order to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions entering our atmosphere and minimize the financial and environmental costs associated with landfill waste. According to State waste diversion information for the 2006 reporting period, the City of Santa Monica generated a total of 384,040 tons of solid waste materials. Of this amount 260,349 tons (68%) were diverted from the landfill as a result of the Cityís educational outreach and the utilization of a variety of comprehensive waste diversion strategies such as recycling, waste-to-energy, composting, and source-reduction programs. In addition, the City diverted nearly 190,000 pounds of hazardous waste materials through its household hazardous waste collection facility.

 

The creation of a Zero Waste Strategic Plan will allow the City to strengthen its current waste diversion operations while addressing significant challenges and emerging technologies.††† In the municipal setting, zero waste is considered to be achieved through a 90% solid waste diversion rate -- as the achievement of a 100% diversion rate is impacted by the contamination of recycled materials andthe inability to recycle certain products.

 

Extended Producer Responsibility

EPR is an important part of a Zero Waste Strategic Plan. It is also consistent with the Cityís current sustainable procurement policies and efforts. In California, manufactured products and associated packaging make up 75% of discarded waste materials1. Often, the city is responsible for the financial and environmental costs associated with waste disposal. California local governments spend over $100,000,000 each year collecting and properly managing household hazardous products alone2.EPR is a policy approach in which producers assume a portion of the financial and/or physical responsibility for the management of post-consumer product waste, so that those who produce these products also bear the costs of recycling and disposing of them properly.When manufacturers are responsible for ensuring that their products are re-used or recycled responsibly, and when health and environmental costs are included in the product price, there is a strong market incentive to re-design products that are more durable, easier to recycle, and less toxic.

 

Santa Monica has been involved in statewide efforts to promote EPR. OSE staff are active members of the California Product Stewardship Council (CPSC) whose purpose is to integrate EPR statewide.In order for EPR to gain further support with the state legislature, local governments are adopting formal EPR resolutions urging the development of industry standards and policies for EPR. These standards and policies will redirect the responsibility for managing manufactured waste back to the product manufacturers and limit the financial and environmental responsibility currently incurred by municipal governments. Over thirty communities in California have already adopted local EPR resolutions including the City and County of Los Angeles.

 

Discussion

Zero Waste

In order for the City to effectively implement a zero waste program, OSE, the SWMD, SCD and the Allan Company will need to collaborate to develop a Zero Waste Strategic Plan.Staff recommends returning to Council in a year with a proposed draft Zero Waste Strategic Plan that includes specific target dates and recommendations for reaching zero waste goals.During the course of the year, the various components of zero waste strategies will be evaluated to determine which approaches will best suit the City, identify opportunities for partnering with community groups and organizations, and develop target dates for reaching zero waste.

 

Extended Producer Responsibility

EPR is gaining recognition at the state level and municipal support for EPR enhances the California Product Stewardship Councilís efforts to integrate EPR statewide. Statewide EPR standards will redirect the responsibility for managing manufactured waste back to the product manufacturers and limit the financial and environmental responsibility currently incurred by the city.Staff recommends that Council adopt the attached EPR resolution to support these statewide efforts. By adopting the resolution, the City will join the City and County of Los Angeles , the City and County of San Francisco, the County of Santa Clara and the City of Oakland and many other cities and counties across the United States who support extended producer responsibility and are working towards municipal zero waste.

 

Financial Impacts & Budget Actions

There are no immediate financial impacts associated with the development of a Zero Waste Strategic Plan or adoption of an EPR resolution.The development of the Zero Waste Strategic Plan can be completed with OSE and SWMD staff working closely with the Cityís partners at Southern California Disposal and the Allan Company.

 

 

See attached resolution.

 

 

Prepared by:

James Conway, Senior Environmental Analyst

 

Approved:

 

Forwarded to Council:

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dean Kubani

Director , Office of Sustainability and the Environment

 

P. Lamont Ewell

City Manager

 

 

 

Attachment: Resolution Supporting Extended Producer Responsibility

 

1:†††††††† CA Product Stewardship Council, www.calpsc.org

2:†††††††† CA Product Stewardship Council, www.calpsc.org