Sunday, March 14, 2010

Producer Responsibility for Fluorescents

We get asked about fluorescents on an almost daily basis. This announcement comes as great news for Washington State residents!

A bill creating a producer-funded recycling bill program for fluorescent lights, supported by WSRA and several other organizations, received final passage by the Washington State Legislature yesterday.

Compact fluorescent lights (CFLs) and fluorescent tube lights, which contain small amounts of mercury, will both be covered by the product stewardship program, which will begin by early 2013. Mercury is known to present threats to the environment and human health.

Curbside, mail-back and collection location options are all allowed in the program, which will be funded by manufacturers of lights sold in Washington, operated by an independent product stewardship organization and overseen by the Department of Ecology. Mail-back programs will be required to use vapor barrier packaging to contain the mercury if lights break during transport. Individual producers or groups of producers are allowed to set up their own collection and recycling programs, provided they adhere to the requirements of the new law, and those programs will also be overseen the Department of Ecology.

Steve McGonigal, Executive Director
WA State Recycling Association

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