Barrett Jensen, government affairs manager at Waste Connections of Colorado, testified on behalf of the National Waste & Recycling Association’s (NWRA) Rocky Mountain chapter on May 4 before the Colorado Senate Finance Committee. Jensen testified in opposition to House Bill 1355, which would create an extended producer responsibly (EPR) program for recycling. The committee voted to advance the bill on a 4-1 vote with Sen. Dennis Hisey of Senate District 11 casting the lone vote in opposition.
“Studies on current European EPR policies have concluded that there is no evidence that EPR, as currently designed and implemented, has led to the use of more recycled content,” said Jensen. Jensen also discussed how EPR would raise prices for all consumers when inflation is high and that it would stress the existing recycling infrastructure throughout Colorado. The chapter recommended the state conduct a study and needs assessment before Colorado adopts an EPR program.
Earlier this year, similar bills were delayed or killed in Washington State, Maryland, Connecticut and Virginia. Similar EPR bills were passed in 2021 in Oregon and Maine. NWRA’s Policy Position on EPR outlines significant issues currently facing recycling. House Bill 1355 is now in the Senate Appropriations Committee, but it is unknown when or if the bill will be heard during the 2022 legislative session.