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[GreenYes] Re: Compact fluorescent bulb deposits



I agree, Doug, that this sounds like an ineffective situation. Not many people are going to pay the price and take the effort. And, with some 650 fluorescents sold annually in the US, it's a huge issue.

Here in Dane County, we require all retailers who sell fluorescents to take them back from their customers. A number of them take them back for free; at other stores, there is a nominal charge (nowhere near the cost charged by the mail-in service). We are fortunate in having many fluorescent lamp recyclers who service our state, and thus, prices are competitive. And stores recognize the public service aspect of providing take back and recycling.

I favor incorporating the cost of proper management into the price of the product, along with a refundable deposit to encourage the user to return the bulbs. This would apply to incandescents as well as fluorescents -- I am told that they are also hazardous, due to the lead solder.

John

> -----Original Message-----
> From: GreenYes@no.address [mailto:GreenYes@no.address]On
> Behalf Of Doug Koplow
> Sent: Tuesday, February 20, 2007 12:25 AM
> To: bsteinberg@no.address
> Cc: GreenYes@no.address
> Subject: [GreenYes] Re: Compact fluorescent bulb deposits
>
>
>
> But this means that the cost to recycle the bulbs is quite a
> significant portion of the cost to buy them. During sales
> events at Home Depot, the smaller CFLs can sell for around
> $1.50 each. And the direct cost is in addition to the
> various environmental impacts of packaging and shipping small
> quantities of product via common carrier.
>
> To me, this doesn't seem like a viable solution for a market
> that is to be measured in the tens of millions of units.
> Furthermore, if you really want to deal with the mercury, the
> incentive to recover the bulbs has to be built into its
> pricing and/or distribution structure -- not an optional
> add-on service that only a small portion of the consumer base
> will partake in.
>
> _______________________________
> Doug Koplow
> Earth Track, Inc.
> 2067 Massachusetts Avenue - 4th Floor
> Cambridge, MA 02140
> www.earthtrack.net
> Tel: 617/661-4700
> Fax: 617/354-0463
>
> CONFIDENTIAL
> This message, and all attachments thereto, is for the
> designated recipient
> only and may contain privileged, proprietary, or otherwise private
> information. If you have received it in error, please notify
> the sender
> immediately and delete the original. Any other use of the
> email by you
> is prohibited.
> >>> "Bruce Steinberg" <bsteinberg@no.address> 02/19/07
> 10:26 AM >>>
> We at RecycleFirst are now offering the CONSUMER CFL RECYCLING KIT,
> https://www.buyrecycledfirst.com/ProductDetails.aspx?PId=307679
>
> Product Description
> This 6"x6"x6" kit can hold up to 12 small compact fluorescent
> lamps and 6-8
> medium to large compact fluorescent lamps. Price includes the
> container,
> liner, liner tie, instructions, terms and conditions,
> outbound and return
> shipping and processing. Shipped via USPS outbound and FedEx Ground on
> return. Not available in Alaska, Hawaii or Puerto Rico
> Product Code : RF123
> SKU Number : RF123
> Manufacturer : Veolia ES Technical Solutions, L.L.C
> Price : $15.00
>
> This is a great way if people want to pay to have the bulbs properly
> disposed of. If any one is interested I would be happy to send more
> information.
>
> Bruce
>
>
> RecycleFirst
> 100 Main St., Ste 210
> Dover, NH 03820
> 603-516-3713
> F 603-516-7333
> Contract GS-02F-0158N
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: GreenYes@no.address
> [mailto:GreenYes@no.address] On Behalf
> Of Doug Koplow
> Sent: Sunday, February 18, 2007 12:24 AM
> To: Reindl@no.address; GreenYes@no.address
> Subject: [GreenYes] Compact fluorescent bulb deposits
>
>
> The price of compact fluorescents has fallen dramatically
> over the past few
> years as more of the technology has matured and production
> has shifted to
> China. This would seem to open the way for instituting a
> deposit per bulb
> of $0.50 - $1.00 without affecting sales that much. Is there
> discussion of
> this approach to controlling disposal?
>
> _______________________________
> Doug Koplow
> Earth Track, Inc.
> 2067 Massachusetts Avenue - 4th Floor
> Cambridge, MA 02140
> www.earthtrack.net
> Tel: 617/661-4700
> Fax: 617/354-0463
>
> CONFIDENTIAL
> This message, and all attachments thereto, is for the
> designated recipient
> only and may contain privileged, proprietary, or otherwise private
> information. If you have received it in error, please notify
> the sender
> immediately and delete the original. Any other use of the
> email by you is
> prohibited.
> >>> "Reindl, John" <Reindl@no.address> 02/16/07 14:40 PM >>>
> FYI; a good way to get toxics out of the waste stream...
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Hg-Info@no.address
> [mailto:Hg-Info@no.address]On Behalf Of
> mercurypolicy@no.address
> Sent: Friday, February 16, 2007 5:04 AM
> To: mwg-mercury@no.address; Hg-Info@no.address
>
>
>
>
>
>
> "General Electric has been making compact fluorescents for 20
> years. Now the
> company admits that the little bit of mercury in each bulbs
> could become a
> real problem if sales balloon as expected.
>
>
> "Given what we anticipate to be the significant increase in
> the use of these
> products, we are now beginning to look at, and shortly we'll
> be discussing
> with legislators, possibly a national solution here," says
> Earl Jones, a
> senior counsel for General Electric.
>
> In fact, Jones said he was having his first talks with congressional
> staffers on Thursday."
>
> See complete story below.
>
> Michael
>
> National Public Radio
> Environment
>
> CFL Bulbs Have One Hitch: Toxic Mercury
>
>
> Listen to this story...
> <http://download.npr.org/anon.npr-www/chrome/icon_listen.gif>
> by Elizabeth
> <http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=4566209>
> Shogren
>
>
> CFL bulb
> <http://media.npr.org/programs/atc/features/2007/feb/cfl/cflst
> andard.jpg>
> iStockphoto.com
>
>
>
>
> Tips & Advice
>
>
> *
> <http://www.gelighting.com/na/home_lighting/ask_us/faq_compact
> .htm#mercury>
> General Electric: FAQs on Mercury & Compact Fluorescent Light Bulbs
>
> * <http://www.nema.org/lamprecycle/epafactsheet-cfl.pdf>
> Fact Sheet:
> Mercury in CFL Bulbs(Requires
> <http://www.adobe.com/products/acrobat/readstep2.html> Adobe Acrobat)
>
> *
> <http://www.energystar.gov/ia/partners/promotions/change_light
> /downloads/Fac
> t_Sheet_Mercury.pdf> Energy Star: FAQs on Disposing of CFL
> Bulbs(Requires
> <http://www.adobe.com/products/acrobat/readstep2.html> Adobe Acrobat)
>
>
>
>
>
> In Depth
>
>
>
> <http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=7431198#7282810>
> Scroll down to read advice from the EPA and Energy Department
> on what to
> look for in a CFL - and get a home energy calculator.
>
>
>
>
>
> <http://www.npr.org/templates/rundowns/rundown.php?prgId=2>
> All Things
> Considered, February 15, 2007 * The Environmental Protection
> Agency and some
> large business, including Wal-Mart, are aggressively
> promoting the sale of
> compact fluorescent light bulbs as a way to save energy and
> fight global
> warming. They want Americans to buy many millions of them
> over the coming
> years.
>
> But the bulbs contain small amounts of mercury, a neurotoxin, and the
> companies and federal government haven't come up with
> effective ways to get
> Americans to recycle them.
>
> "The problem with the bulbs is that they'll break before they
> get to the
> landfill. They'll break in containers, or they'll break in a
> dumpster or
> they'll break in the trucks. Workers may be exposed to very
> high levels of
> mercury when that happens," says John Skinner, executive
> director of the
> Solid Waste Association of North America, the trade group for
> the people who
> handle trash and recycling.
>
> Skinner says when bulbs break near homes, they can
> contaminate the soil.
>
> Mercury is a potent neurotoxin, and it's especially dangerous
> for children
> and fetuses. Most exposure to mercury comes from eating fish
> contaminated
> with mercury,
>
> Some states, cities and counties have outlawed putting CFL
> bulbs in the
> trash, but in most state the practice is legal.
>
> Pete Keller works for Eco Lights Northwest, the only company
> in Washington
> State that recycles fluorescent lamps. He says it is illegal
> to put the
> bulbs in the trash in some counties in Washington, but most
> people still
> throw them out.
>
> "I think most people do want to recycle, but if it's not made easy, it
> doesn't happen," Keller says. "And they're small enough to
> fit in a trash
> can. So by nature, I think most people are not recyclers. So
> if it's small
> enough to fit in a trash can, that's where it ends up."
>
> Experts agree that it's not easy for most people to recycle
> these bulbs.
> Even cities that have curbside recycling won't take the
> bulbs. So people
> have to take them to a hazardous-waste collection day or a
> special facility.
>
>
> The head of the Environmental Protection Agency program
> concedes that not
> enough has been done to urge people to recycle CFL bulbs and
> make it easier
> for them to do so.
>
> "I share your frustration that there isn't a national
> infrastructure for the
> proper recycling of this product," says Wendy Reed, who
> manages EPA's Energy
> Star program. That programs gives the compact bulbs its
> "energy star" seal
> of approval.
>
> She says that even though fluorescent bulbs contain mercury,
> using them
> contributes less mercury to the environment than using
> regular incandescent
> bulbs. That's because they use less electricity - and coal-fired power
> plants are the biggest source of mercury emissions in the air.
>
> "The compact fluorescent light bulb is a product people can use to
> positively influence the environment to. prevent mercury
> emissions as well
> as greenhouse gas emissions. And it's something that we can
> do now - and
> it's extremely important that we do do it," Reed says. "And
> the positive
> message is, if you recycle them, if you dispose of them properly, then
> they're doing a world of good."
>
> Reed says the agency has been urging stores that sell the
> bulbs to help
> recycle them.
>
> "EPA is actively engaged with trying to find a solution that
> works for these
> retailers around recycling the product, because it's really, really
> important," Reed says.
>
> But so far, she says the biggest sellers of the bulbs haven't
> stepped up to
> the plate.
>
> "The only retailer that I know of that is recycling is IKEA,"
> she says,
> referring to the Swedish-owned furniture chain store.
>
> Reed says the EPA has been prodding other retailers, such as
> Wal-Mart, to do
> more.
>
> "We are working with Wal-Mart on it, we are making some
> progress. But no
> commitments have been made on the part of Wal-Mart," she says.
>
> Wal-Mart didn't respond to requests for a comment on the issue.
>
> EPA also has asked retailers to sell the lower mercury
> compact bulbs that
> some manufacturers are making. Engineers say you can't cut mercury out
> completely.
>
> Some other big companies have started paying attention to the
> recycling
> problem.
>
> General Electric has been making compact fluorescents for 20
> years. Now the
> company admits that the little bit of mercury in each bulbs
> could become a
> real problem if sales balloon as expected.
>
> "Given what we anticipate to be the significant increase in
> the use of these
> products, we are now beginning to look at, and shortly we'll
> be discussing
> with legislators, possibly a national solution here," says
> Earl Jones, a
> senior counsel for General Electric.
>
> In fact, Jones said he was having his first talks with congressional
> staffers on Thursday.
>
>
> Why Use a CFL?
>
>
> <http://www.npr.org/> NPR.org, February 8, 2007 * According
> to the federal
> government, if every American home replaced just one light
> bulb with an
> Energy Star approved compact fluorescent bulb (CFL), the
> United States would
> save enough energy to light more than 2.5 million homes for a year and
> prevent greenhouse gases equivalent to the emissions of
> nearly 800,000 cars.
>
> Energy Star is a joint project with the Environmental
> Protection Agency and
> the Department of Energy that promotes energy efficient - and thus
> climate-friendly - products.
>
> But not all CFLs are created equal. Here, some tips from
> Energy Star about
> what to look for and where to use a CFL:
>
> The Benefits
>
> - Energy Star qualified CFLs use at least two-thirds less energy than
> standard incandescent bulbs and last up to 10 times longer
> (average lifespan
> of a CFL is five years).
>
> - CFLs save $30 or more in energy costs over each bulb's lifetime.
>
> - CFLs generate 70 percent less heat, making them safer to operate.
>
> Where to Use
>
> - To get the most energy savings, replace bulbs where lights
> are on the
> most, such as the family and living rooms, kitchen, dining
> room and porch.
>
> - Install them in hard to reach fixtures, like ceiling fans.
>
> - Make sure the CFL matches the right fixture by reading any
> restrictions on
> the package. Some CFLs work with dimmers, others are
> specially made for
> recessed or enclosed fixtures.
>
> Myths
>
> - CFLs have a harsh, cold light quality. Increasingly, this
> is less of an
> issue. Over the past few years, manufacturers have worked to provide a
> warmer color. Some people say they still notice a difference,
> but the gap is
> narrowing. For a warmer, white light, look for a color temperature of
> 2,700-3,000K on the package.
>
> - CFLs aren't for bathrooms. Not necessarily. CFLs can work
> in bathrooms,
> but humidity may shorten the bulb's life.
>
> - CFLs can't be used in older houses. In fact, CFLs may work
> better than
> incandescent bulbs in houses with older wiring; CFLs generate
> less heat and
> draw less electrical current.
>
>
>
>
> Related NPR Stories
>
>
> *
>
> Feb. 15, 2007
> <http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=7431195>
> Letters: Zarif, the Dentist's Chair, and CFL Bulbs
>
> <http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=7431198>
> http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=7431198
>
> Michael Bender, Director
> Mercury Policy Project/
> Zero Mercury Working Group
> 1420 North Street
> Montpelier, VT USA 05602
> <http://www.mercurypolicy.org/> www.mercurypolicy.org
> <http://www.zeromercury.org/> www.zeromercury.org
> Tel: +802-223-9000
>
>
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