This Saturday (September 12) will be a historic one in Maine. On that day a bill will go into effect requiring compact fluorescent lamp (CFL) manufacturers to share the costs and responsibility for recycling mercury-containing bulbs. Manufacturers will have until 2011 to implement a lamp recycling program but they must submit plans by 2010.
"Passage of this law sends a clear message out nationally (and globally) that a new day is dawning for total life cycle management and shared responsibility—from 'the cradle to the grave' for products containing mercury and other hazardous substances," said Mercury Policy Project Director Michael Bender.
"With this bill, Maine twice reduces the mercury in our environment," added Rep. Seth Berry, the bill's sponsor. "First, we reduce our electrical consumption; second, we ensure that CFLs are correctly disposed of. Equally important, Maine once again demonstrates to the nation that it is good business practice for manufacturers to participate in the end life of the products they bring to market."
According to the Environmental Leader website, which reported on the new bill, Massachusetts, Vermont and California are expected to follow Maine’s lead. All three states have similar bills pending. The state of Maine will oversee its lamp recycling program.
Hoteliers in the four aforementioned states should pay attention to the progress of the lamp recycling programs. No matter where your property is based, however, you need to have a CFL collection policy in place. You cannot just throw them away; they contain mercury and should be disposed of properly. Be sure to visit Green Lodging News for additional news and guidance on CFL recycling.