The Connecticut General Assembly Environment Committee passed a version of a waste and recycling bill backed by Gov. Ned Lamont with some key changes last week.
The committee approved a substitute version of HB 6664 during its March 24 meeting. That version pauses the original bill’s extended producer responsibility for packaging provision until four other states — at least one of which borders Connecticut — implement their own EPR for packaging policies. Those states should also have an “aggregate population” of more than 20 million people, according to the substitute bill.
The substitute bill also removes a controversial proposal that would have charged a $5-per-ton disposal fee for MSW shipped out of state and a $3 fee per ton for waste bound for waste-to-energy facilities, said committee co-chair Rep. Joe Gresko during the meeting.
Rep. Laura Dancho proposed another amendment during the meeting that would have deleted the EPR program from the bill entirely, saying EPR for packaging would add costs to consumers and “completely disrupt a recycling and waste collection process that is clearly already working.” The committee rejected that amendment.
Several other states are considering EPR for packaging laws this year, including New York, Massachusetts and Rhode Island, all of which border Connecticut.
Provisions that remain in the bill include a measure to expand organics separation requirements and set mandatory rates for recycled content in plastic beverage containers. The bill also calls for giving the Connecticut Department of Energy & Environmental Protection more waste management authority, a provision waste industry groups do not support.