An Act To Increase Recycling and Composting by Creating the Maine Recycling Fund
Sec. 1. 5 MRSA §12004-I, sub-§24-G is enacted to read:
|Environment/ Natural Resources||Recycling Public Advisory Council||Mileage||38 MRSA §2128|
Sec. 2. 32 MRSA §1862, sub-§2, as amended by PL 1993, c. 591, §1 and affected by §5, is further amended to read:
Sec. 3. 32 MRSA §1874 is enacted to read:
§ 1874. Beverage containers of 32 ounces or greater
Sec. 4. 38 MRSA §1303-C, sub-§27-B is enacted to read:
Sec. 5. 38 MRSA §1303-C, sub-§33-A is enacted to read:
Sec. 6. 38 MRSA §2124-A, as amended by PL 2013, c. 300, §§19 and 20, is further amended by adding after the 3rd paragraph a new paragraph to read:
The report submitted under this section must include an assessment of the effect of the funds distributed through the Recycling Grants and Low-interest Loan Program under section 2127, including but not limited to an assessment of the progress in the rate of the recycling of organic material and progress in the rate of the recycling of discarded residential and commercial recyclable materials, including beverage containers under section 2129. The report submitted under this section must also include an assessment as to the ongoing viability of the Recycling Grants and Low-interest Loan Program, with a comparison of the potential benefits of initiatives funded through that program with the benefits of including beverage containers 32 ounces or greater in capacity in the bottle redemption laws under Title 32, chapter 28.
Sec. 7. 38 MRSA §§2126 to 2129 are enacted to read:
§ 2126. Maine Recycling Fund
§ 2127. Recycling Grants and Low-interest Loan Program
The department shall solicit the recommendation of the Recycling Public Advisory Council under section 2128 before making a final decision on the disbursement of funds.
§ 2128. Recycling Public Advisory Council
(1) Advise the department in developing criteria for the program;
(2) Review all applications to the program;
(3) Make recommendations to the department on the selection of applicants to the program;
(4) Provide an annual assessment of the revenue needed to satisfy the grant requirements of the program;
(5) Make recommendations annually to the Legislature regarding the priorities for awarding program funds; and
(6) Assist the department in evaluating the effect of the program on municipal recycling; and
§ 2129. Recycling fee on certain beverage container sales
Sec. 8. Staggered terms. Notwithstanding the Maine Revised Statutes, Title 38, section 2128, subsection 2, initial appointments to the Recycling Public Advisory Council of members other than the member who is an employee of the Department of Environmental Protection must be made as follows: 4 members must be appointed to terms of 3 years, 3 members must be appointed to terms of 2 years and 3 members must be appointed to terms of one year.
Sec. 9. Effective date. That section of this Act that amends the Maine Revised Statutes, Title 32, section 1862, subsection 2 takes effect December 1, 2016.
This bill establishes the Recycling Grants and Low-interest Loan Program and the Maine Recycling Fund under the Department of Environmental Protection to assist municipalities and persons engaged in the business of collecting, transporting, processing or marketing recyclable materials and to fund activities designed to enhance the State's recycling rate and the diversion of recyclable materials that would otherwise be disposed of in a landfill or processed at a waste-to-energy facility. The bill requires the fund to be used only to fund the program and to provide assistance to municipal recycling efforts.
The bill establishes the Recycling Public Advisory Council to assist the department in the administration of the program. The bill directs the council, in cooperation and consultation with the department, to initiate and conduct public outreach and education programs on the purposes and value of source-separated recycling, or recycling by separation at the point of generation, and sustainable materials management in order to maximize the recovery of all recyclable materials and yard waste generated by commercial and residential sectors.
This bill phases out beverage containers 32 ounces and greater in capacity from the bottle redemption laws beginning December 1, 2016 and ends the liability of redemption centers and dealers to consumers for deposits on January 1, 2017 and the liability of manufacturers and distributors to redemption centers for deposits and handling fees on February 1, 2018. The bill requires manufacturers and distributors of bottles 32 ounces or greater in capacity to pay a fee, beginning December 1, 2016 and ending December 1, 2022, at the rate of $0.005 per beverage container delivered for sale or distribution during any month in order to provide revenue to the fund.