Bill Sheehan

Fellow, Products & Waste

Consumption & Waste

Bill Sheehan co-founded Upstream (formerly the Product Policy Institute) with Helen Spiegelman in 2003 and serves as its Executive Director. Bill advocates for public policy that protects public health and safety and slows climate change by encouraging waste prevention, clean production and reduced use of toxics in products. He developed, with Spiegelman, a historical analysis that showed how municipal recycling and waste management services enable product manufacturers to design and sell goods without considering disposal costs and impacts.

Since 2005, Bill has worked with local governments, communities and NGOs to bring "extended producer responsibility" (EPR) policies to the U.S. to spur green product design. This work resulted in the formation of local government Product Stewardship Councils in California, New York, Texas and Vermont; he is working in several other states to form Councils. Bill holds a Ph.D. in ecology from Cornell University.

videos

BILL SHEEHAN: Waste Not, Want Not

length: 4:13   credit:   Oct 05, 2010

"What's really exciting to me is that we see the change in how waste is managed ripple all the way up the food chain to change the unsustainable production and consumption system."

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Post Carbon Institute Products and Waste Fellow Bill Sheehan co-founded the Product Policy Institute with Helen Spiegelman in 2003 and serves as its Executive Director. Bill advocates for public policy that protects public health and safety and slows climate change by encouraging waste prevention, clean production and reduced use of toxics in products. He developed, with Spiegelman, a historical analysis that showed how municipal recycling and waste management services enable product manufacturers to design and sell goods without considering disposal costs and impacts.

Since 2005, Bill has worked with local governments, communities and NGOs to bring "extended producer responsibility" (EPR) policies to the U.S. to spur green product design. This work resulted in the formation of local government Product Stewardship Councils in California, New York, Texas and Vermont; he is working in several other states to form Councils. Bill holds a Ph.D. in ecology from Cornell University.

Latest Publications

Putting Boundries on Selling Stuff

Bill Sheehan    Jan 07, 2014   

I was asked recently about my “theory of change” in the light of ever-increasing power of corporations that put profits ahead of sustainability of people and the planet. I agree that concentration of corporate … >>

WASTE: Climate Change, Peak Oil, and the End of Waste

Bill Sheehan    Sep 27, 2010   

EXCERPT: We in rich contries have almost lost the ability to supply our own needs through local manufacturing and agriculture--or even to extend the life of products through reuse, repair and repurposing.  We rely on … >>

The Post Carbon Reader

Bill Sheehan

How do population, water, energy, food, and climate issues impact one another? What can we do to address one problem without making the others worse? The Post Carbon Reader features essays by some of the world’s most … >>

press coverage

Sheehan in Now Magazine on "waste welfare"

Bill Sheehan  

Post Carbon Fellow Bill Sheehan was quoted in this article Ontario's new waste policies. From the article: Picture it: town dump, turn of the 19th century. When municipalities finally started caving in to citizen calls to … >>