Maine Requires CFL Producers to Pay for CFL Recycling

Maine Requires CFL Producers to Pay for CFL Recycling

The burden of collecting and recycling compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) in Maine is being put on the bulb producers. Under a new Maine law, CFL manufacturers will have to provide free collection of household CFLs by 2011.

What exactly the industry-funded program, or programs, will look like is up in the air for now. Manufacturers will be able to create individual collection programs or work together on the collection. If manufacturers don't create programs or participate, they won't be allowed to sell CFLs in Maine.

The impetus behind the bill, LD 973, was to provide safe disposal of CFLs since they contain small amounts of mercury. The state previously ran a pilot recycling program for CFLs since 2007. The state already bans throwing CFLs in the trash and has a law requiring CFLs that are used commercially must be recycled.

The state also has a similar collection program for electronic waste, which requires manufacturers of computers, TVs and other products to help pay for disposal of those items. And the state has other laws on the books that cover safe disposal of mercury-containing products like thermostat switches and button cell batteries.

Maine Governor John Baldacci signed the CFL law this week along with another bill aimed at informing residents about pesticide use. The other bill, LD 1293, sets up a registry that will allow residents to be informed when farmers are planning to apply pesticides with aircraft or air carriers.

The bill also requires farmers to inform residents living near the land that will be sprayed when pesticides will be used, inform them about the ability to be on the registry and provide information about the pesticides that will be used.

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