May 20 - Vermont Lamp Recycling Bill Signed into Law

Share Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin signed into law S.34 (Senator Lyons), a measure requiring manufacturers of mercury-containing lamps to establish and finance a recycling program for spent bulbs from residents and small businesses.

This makes Vermont the third state in the country to establish an extended producer responsibility program for lighting, after Washington and Maine.

Mercury-containing lamps, such as compact fluorescent bulbs, have significant benefits in terms of energy efficiency and cost-savings. However, these bulbs also contain small amounts of mercury, a neurotoxin, which makes proper recycling of the lamps critically important. According to Governor Shumlin, the legislation is an important environmental measure, key in helping protect Vermont´s waterways and natural environment from the problems associated with mercury pollution.

Currently, in California SB 589(Lowenthal) is intended to make retail collection of mercury lamps easier. According to CAW's Executive Director Mark Murray, the time is right to internalize cost of recycling CFLs.