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Environmental Stewardship Committee – June 2023 Report 

The Environmental Stewardship Committee (ESC) has met on the third Tuesday of each month at 10am at Hideaway Bakery. The meeting was held on June 20th and 4 people were in attendance. 

****PLEASE NOTE: Future meetings (starting in July 2023) will be held on the third THURSDAY of each month at 10 am at Hideaway Bakery**** 

We discussed: 

  • Legislative Update for Environmental Issues tracked by the SEN-ESC 
    • Plastic Pollution and Recycling Modernization Act: web page 

The Plastic Pollution and Recycling Modernization Act will update Oregon’s outdated recycling system by building on local community programs and leveraging the resources of producers to create an innovative system that works for everyone. The Oregon legislature passed the Recycling Modernization Act (Senate Bill 582) during the 2021 legislative session. The new law became effective Jan. 1, 2022 and recycling program changes will start in July 2025. 

About the new law 

This system-wide update will make recycling easier for the public to use, expand access to recycling services, upgrade the facilities that sort recyclables, and create environmental benefits while reducing social and environmental harms, such as plastic pollution. Producers and manufacturers of packaged items, paper products and food serviceware will pay for many of these necessary improvements and help ensure recycling is successful in Oregon. 


The start-up phase will span multiple years with extensive planning, research, rulemaking and engagement with interested parties. DEQ will keep people informed and seek input through several different channels throughout that time. 

DEQ Rulemaking 

DEQ is proposing rules to clarify and implement the Plastic Pollution and Recycling Modernization Act of 2021. The Act requires producers of packaging, paper products and food service ware to support and expand recycling services in Oregon for their products. This is the first of two anticipated rulemakings related to the Act. For this first rulemaking, DEQ is proposing rules related to topics including producer responsibility program plan content; DEQ’s administrative fees; the funding and reimbursement of local governments for eligible recycling-related expenses; and the materials suitable for recycling collection in Oregon. Public comments and testimony are being accepted for two public hearings (6/27 & 6/29/2023) as well as via email and post mail prior to 7/6/2023 @ 4:00 pm. 

Second rulemaking process 2 

A new Rulemaking Advisory Committee will convene for its first meeting on July 13, 2023, launching the second rulemaking process for the RMA. The second rulemaking will run through the fall of 2024 and will address a variety of topics, including: 

  • Living wages and supportive benefits for workers at commingled recycling processing facilities 
  • Permitting and certification standards for commingled recycling processing facilities 
  • Contamination Management Fee and Processor Commodity Risk Fee paid to recycling processors by producer responsibility organizations 
  • Impact Reduction and Reuse Fee 
  • Standards for life cycle impact evaluation and disclosure 
  • Covered product exemptions 

SB 543 (Enrolled): (Prohibits food vendor from using polystyrene foam container in sales of prepared food) 

  • Passed Senate 4/3/23; signed by Senate Pres. 4/27/23 
  • Passed House 4/26/23; signed by Speaker 5/1/23 
  • Governor signed 5/8/23 
  • Effective Date: January 1, 2024 
  • Becomes Operative: January 1, 2025 

SB 545 (Enrolled): (Directs Oregon Health Authority to adopt rules allowing restaurants to allow consumers to fill consumer owned container with food) 

  • Passed Senate 3/15/23; signed by Senate Pres. 4/27/23 
  • Passed House 4/26/23; signed by Speaker 5/1/23 
  • Governor signed 5/8/23 
  • Effective Date: May 8, 2023 
  • OHA to adopt rules that take effect no later than June 30, 2024 

SB 544: (Directs Environmental Quality Commission to establish program for source reduction of single-use plastic food ware and single-use packaging and achieve 25 percent source reductions compared to 2023 levels by 2030) 

  • Referred to Senate Energy and Environment then Joint Ways and Means 1/9/23 
  • 2 Public Hearings held (2/14 & 2/16/23) 
  • No meetings currently scheduled 

Adoption of standards regarding small non-road engines (such as Gas Powered Leaf Blowers): 

SB 525: (Directs Environmental Quality Commission to adopt standards prohibiting engine exhaust and evaporative emissions from new small non-road engines beginning January 1, 2026, unless a later date is required by federal Clean Air Act) 

  • Referred to Senate Energy and Environment then Joint Ways and Means 1/14/23 
  • Public Hearing held 3/23/23 o No meetings currently scheduled 

Status of Senate Bills SB544 and SB525

  • We will reach out to Environment Oregon to find out the best way forward for these two bills. 

Change of ESC meeting date 

We have changed the ESC meeting date from the 3rd Tuesday to the 3rd Thursday of each month. This will enable the ESC to receive a timely update from Devon Mann, who is a member of the City of Eugene Sustainability Commission, in regards to current and future happenings at the city level. 

Amazon Creek Tree Planting next steps 

• The city has given us the go-ahead to do weed and blackberry control around the trees that volunteers from the neighborhood, Obsidians, and ESC we planted in January and February along Amazon Creek (West Amazon between Hilyard and Snell Avenues). 

• The committee determined that we would work on getting volunteers together for a group work party sometime in the fall. 

• We will look for another long-term volunteer project along Amazon Creek with COE Parks & Open Space and will contact them to set up a meeting. 

Recycling options 

• Sanipac offers a “Recycle Plus” program that allows residents to recycle items like batteries, plastic containers (like yogurt and sour cream), plastic film, textiles and Styrofoam. 

• Apex does not offer this service, though they do pick up recycling and glass weekly. 

• EcoGeneration will also take plastic that is not recyclable through Apex or Sanipac, but there is a cost. 

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