Earlier this year, Connecticut became the first state in the nation to pass a law requiring manufacturers to recycle unwanted mattresses generated in the state. Now, the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection is reviewing similar rules for things like carpet and batteries.
Scott Cassel is chief executive officer of the Product Stewardship Institute, which was awarded $180,000 from the state to study the issue for the next three years. "It's focused on four different products," Cassel said. "Batteries -- household batteries, like the single-use batteries, or the rechargeable batteries that we may use in our laptops or in radios -- also, carpet, packaging and printed paper, and pesticides or fertilizers."
Currently, in addition to mattresses, Connecticut has product stewardship laws for things like electronics, paint, and mercury-containing thermostats.
Cassel said any legislation on carpets, batteries, or fertilizers is still at least a few years off, but could ultimately mean extra fees for consumers at the point of sale -- money that would then fund recycling programs.