Enacting waste and recycling legislation

We are implementing several laws passed by the Washington Legislature in recent years that include programs to address plastic products and packaging, improve organic materials management and recycling programs, reduce food waste, and establish a paint and a battery stewardship program.

Laws from the 2024 session

House Bill 1185: Lighting products

HB 1185 bans the sale of certain mercury-containing lights beginning Jan. 1, 2029, and allows in-state distributors, wholesalers, and retailers to sell any existing stock until July 1, 2029. This bill extends the mercury-containing lights collection and recycling program, that was scheduled to sunset in 2025, until Jan. 1, 2035. This bill ends the consumer fee added to the purchase of each mercury-containing light on Dec. 31, 2028, to coincide with the sales ban of those lights. 

More information: 

Megan Warfield

House Bill 2301: Organic material management

HB 2301 updates current organic materials management laws to include:

  • Establishing five grant programs within Ecology’s Center for Sustainable Food Management to support food waste reduction, food rescue, and other organic material management system improvements 
  • Establishing the Washington Commodities Donation Grant Program within the Department of Agriculture
  • Increasing the award thresholds for the Waste Not Washington School Awards
  • Mandating organic materials collection in jurisdictions that implement local solid waste plans
  • Requiring Ecology to adopt rules to establish permitting requirements for organic management facilities that accept food waste and that also are required to have a solid waste handling permit, to address contamination
  • Amending product degradability restrictions
  • Changing compost reimbursement eligibility requirements
  • Increasing reporting frequency for jurisdictions with a Compost Procurement Ordinance
  • Adding a requirement for products labeled as “home compostable” 
  • Establishing a work group to study how to improve the rescue of edible food from businesses and submit a legislative report by Sept. 1, 2025
  • Studying produce sticker technology including compostability, performance, printability, and cost and submit a report to the legislature by Sept. 1, 2025. 

More information:

Alli Kingfisher