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2024 MRN/SWANA Mid-Atlantic Annual Conference Recap

Home2024 Legislative Session Recap

2024 Maryland Legislative Session Recap

Every year, the Maryland General Assembly considers upwards of 2,500 bills of which as many as 700 or more may become law. And all this happens during a 90-day session! MRN advocates on behalf of the Maryland recycling community to ensure that legislative initiatives achieve their stated goals in a cost- and time-effective manner without creating unintended consequences that hobble our mission to promote a healthy, sustainable environment. If you’re not a member, please support our efforts by joining today!

This year’s 90-day session closed on April 8. While there were some disappointments (i.e., the Electronics Recycling and Mattress Stewardship bills did not move forward), there were also two major successes: The Maryland Paint Stewardship Bill and The Lithium-Ion Battery Safety Bill.  

A huge THANK YOU to Legislative Chair Chaz Miller and MRN President Kitty McIlroy for trucking down to Annapolis to testify on behalf of our community. And to all the members of the Legislative Committee and Board of Directors for your input, support and hard work.

Here’s a quick update on what we supported, what passed and what barely saw the light of day …

Bills We Supported in 2024

What passed:

HB0001 / SB0325 Maryland Paint Stewardship: Requiring producers of architectural paint or a representative organization to submit a plan for the establishment of a Paint Stewardship Program to the Department of the Environment by July 1, 2025, and in accordance with certain requirements; requiring the Department to review and approve certain plans, including a certain assessment; prohibiting the sale of certain architectural paint beginning January 1, 2026 unless an approved Paint Stewardship Program has been implemented by certain producers; etc.

Position: Supported. Read full statements for HB1 & SB325.

Actions: As a staunch supporter of paint stewardship for several years, MRN began the session pressing for quick passage of the bill with Chaz Miller providing in-person testimony in both House (view here) and Senate (view here) hearings. Finally, after several years of support, the legislation passed and was signed into law on May 9. 

HB0468 / SB0532 The Lithium-Ion Battery Safety Bill: Establishing the Commission to Advance Lithium-Ion Battery Safety in Maryland; and requiring the Commission to study and make legislative, regulatory, programmatic, and other recommendations and, on or before December 1, 2025, report its findings and recommendations to the Governor and the General Assembly.

Position: Supported. Read full statements on HB468 & SB532.

Actions: Chaz Miller and Kitty McIlroy both provided in-person testimonies during both Senate (view Miller's here) and House (view McIlroy's here) hearings citing the dangers that lithium-ion batteries pose to recycling and waste facilities, as well as collection trucks, when placed in recycling and/or trash bins. MRN has been named to the commission as a representative of the recycling community. *As of 5/14/2024, the bill is on the Governor's desk awaiting further action.

What stalled in committee:

HB0168 Environment - Plastic Products - Postconsumer Recycled Content Program: Prohibiting certain producers of certain plastic products from selling, offering for sale, or distributing the products to any person in the State unless certain conditions are met; requiring certain producers of certain plastic products to, individually or as part of a representative organization, register and pay a certain annual registration fee to the Department of the Environment; establishing certain minimum postconsumer recycled content percentage requirements for certain products; etc.

Position: Supported with suggested changes. Read full statement.

Actions: During his testimony in the House, Miller cited MRN’s support while recommending several changes including altering the recycling content goal deadlines, reconsidering the requirements for household cleaning and personal care products, and expanding the waiver provision (9-2608) to include conditions found in New Jersey’s law. There was no Senate version.

HB0830 / SB0686 Environment - Covered Electronic Devices Recycling Program – Establishment:  Establishing the Covered Electronic Device Recycling Program in the Department of the Environment; repealing certain provisions of law relating to existing covered electronic takeback programs; repealing a certain provision of law authorizing a county to address methods for the separate collection and recycling of covered electronic devices in a certain recycling plan; requiring a separate covered electronic device recycling account within the State Recycling Trust Fund; altering the uses of the Trust Fund; etc.

Position: Supported. Read full statements on HB830 & SB686.

Actions: Drafted by Kitty McIlroy and MRN’s Legislative Committee, this bill revises Maryland’s existing Statewide Electronics Recycling Program (SERP) (enacted in 2005, amended in 2007), by enacting a system for reuse, refurbishment and recycling of covered electronic devices (CEDs) by incorporating consumer fees/advanced recovery fees. McIlroy worked closely with legislators on the text of the bill as well as providing testimony in support of both the Senate (view here) and House (view here) versions.

HB1355 Environment - Office of Recycling - Mattress Stewardship Program - Establishment: Prohibiting, on and after January 1, 2029, a person from disposing of a mattress in a landfill, subject to certain exceptions; prohibiting, on and after January 1, 2029, a person from disposing of a mattress in an incinerator, subject to a certain exception; requiring certain producers of mattresses sold at retail in the State or a certain representative organization to submit a plan for the establishment of a Mattress Stewardship Program in the Department of the Environment for approval on or before July 1, 2025; etc.

Supported with amendments. Read full statement.

Actions: Kitty McIlroy worked closely with the sponsors of the House bill and provided in-person testimony citing the need to support mattress recycling programs that would take the financial burden of disposal costs off local government and the public. There was no Senate version.

HB0173 State Buildings and State Highways - Collection of Yard Waste: Prohibiting a person from disposing of yard waste collected on the grounds of a State building or a State highway in a single-use plastic container; and requiring a person to collect yard waste on the grounds of a State building or a State highway in a container that will not be discarded with the yard waste or in a container that is compostable. *Passed House/stalled in the Senate.

Position: Supported with one amendment. Read full statement.

Actions: Offered written testimony only.

No position but did offer comments ...

HB0735 / SB0642 Maryland Beverage Container Recycling Refund and Litter Reduction Program: Establishing the Maryland Beverage Container Recycling Refund and Litter Reduction Program to increase the reuse and recycling of beverage containers and reduce the litter, pollution, and costs associated with beverage containers; prohibiting a producer from selling, offering for sale, or distributing in or importing into the State a redeemable beverage container unless the producer is registered with the Department of the Environment, pays a certain fee, and is part of a certain stewardship organization; etc.

Position: No formal position. Read statements on HB735 & SB642.

Actions: Chaz Miller offered an informational testimony on both the House (view here) and Senate versions (view here) recommending that no legislative action be taken until the Statewide Recycling Needs Assessment required by Senate Bill 222 (passed in 2023) is completed.

What Else Happened (bills we tracked but offered no position or comments)

Approved by Governor:

  • HB0457 Environment - Synthetic Turf - Chain of Custody

Stalled in committee (unless otherwise noted*):

  • HB0166 / SB0146 Renewable Energy Portfolio Standard - Eligible Sources – Alterations
  • HB0841 Environment - Plastic Bottle Waste Reduction - Water Bottle Filling Stations and Reporting
  • HB0163 / SB0056 Food Waste and Solid Waste Reduction - Grants, Fund, and Surcharge (*Withdrawn by sponsor)
  • HB1318 Solid Waste Disposal Surcharge and Wasted Food Reduction and Diversion Fund and Grant Programs – Established

Go to the Legislative & Regulatory page to learn more about MRN’s legislative advocacy and updates on upcoming sessions.

If you have any comments or questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us by reply by email or by calling us at (443) 741-8740.

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